What is NEO?
New Smart Economy (NEO), formally known as Antshares is China's first public blockchain.
It has received support from the likes of Alibaba and using their new smart contract code they intend to support decentralised commerce and the digitisation of many assets.
Walkthrough Video that Explains How to Buy NEO Online
It has been dubbed the 'Ethereum of China' because of its iteration on Ethereum's smart contracts.
Its founder, Da Hongfei, revealed at the Microsoft headquarters in Beijing that it is working with Chinese authorities to map real world assets using their smart contract system.
What is so special about NEO?
NEO Vs Ethereum
As we mentioned, NEO has resemblances to Ethereum in its operation strategy however there are clear differences between the two.
- A big difference is the language each currency uses. Ethereum uses a proprietary language developed by its developers, compared to NEO which uses multiple languages, which include Microsoft.Net, Java, Kotlin, Go and Python. The ability to use popular languages attracts many more developers as they do not need to learn a new source code. And the fact it offers so many languages, hugely opens the pool in which they can choose their developers.
- Rather than mining, NEO uses bookkeeping nodes, which are incentivised to run the NEO network. This makes the cryptocurrency more resistant to forking.
NEOs smart contract plans
Smart contracts help exchange products or services in the transparent, secure and conflict free way without a middleman.
NEO intends to create a new way in which smart contracts can be used for real world applications. NEOs founder was quoted saying "We hope the platform can be used for different front-end scenarios, such as the digital asset wallet, forum, voting, profile management and mobile applications."
To execute a smart contract, you need a virtual machine (VM) and NEO are essentially planning to take all the best bits of other currencies VM and combine them into a super VM.
Should I buy or trade NEO?
Buy and hold strategies are only successful when the underlying product has value. NEO certainly has some big plans. The fact that they want to bring the technology of blockchains into the real world is an exciting prospect.
The day we see NEO technology being used by a company that is part of the S&P 500, I would suggest that Da Hongfrei's vision may be realised and NEO will be a leader not only on the cryptocurrency stage but the technology stage.
Until that happens this is still a prospect with a lot of potential, value will come with the technologies development.
I also don't think this cryptocurrency is going anywhere out of sight any time soon. I say this because China are notorious for backing their own projects over western ones. Given that this is China's first attempt at a public blockchain, I would expect the Chinese authorities to continue to work with NEO in taking this technology forwards.
Trading NEO, like all cryptocurrencies, definitely offers the chance to make some money on the price fluctuations. As cryptocurrencies are currenlty a new phenomenon it is unsurprising the kind of volatility we are seeing in the markets. This volatility is a traders dream because it means they can take advantage of the large moves.
Unfortunately you cannot trade NEO as a CFD yet but you can buy the product itself and look to sell at higher prices. Crypto exchanges are making this possible, and not charging you a spread, so you can get in at the price offered.
Brokers are becoming more relaxed around cryptocurrencies and have begun to offer the cryptocurrencies with the highest liquidity, which include the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.
How to buy NEO online - step by step guide
Considering NEO is China's first venture into blockchain technology it is slightly surprising that you cannot buy it directly. Unfortunately that is the case and it requires the same method as many other cryptocurrencies, whereby you need to buy another coin and trade it for NEO.
Saying that NEO has recently come out of the top ten for crypto market share, clearly being affected by the news that has come from China about ICOs and exchanges.
Still, the way to actually purchase NEO is buy another currency, in the example below we show you using Bitcoin because it is the largest cryptocurrency on the market at the time of writing this.
Before you can buy NEO, you need somewhere to store it. This is called a wallet. You can either download a wallet onto your computer or use a web version. They work in a similar way to your email, you are provided with a password to enter and an address for others to send coins to you. You can get a NEO wallet by going to the NEO site.
Below are the steps to buy NEO.
- As highlighted earlier, in this example we will be using Bitcoin and Coinbase. Therefore you must open a Coinbase account by filling in the form provided.
- Next you must add a payment method. You have two choices; a bank transfer or via credit / debit card. Coinbase then requires verification which may take a little time because of the surge in Coinbase users (due to its popularity).
- Once Coinbase verifies you, you are free to fund your account (EUR, GBP & USD are accepted). Once your account is funded, you are free to buy Bitcoin using the Buy/Sell button in the dashboard.
- Next you must find an exchange to trade your Bitcoin for NEO. Coinswitch is an excellent site because it offers price comparisons between exchanges. And you can do the whole process through their site.
- Pick BTC for the top section and LTC for the bottom.
- Enter the amount of Bitcoin you plan to trade. Coinswitch will determine the how much LTC you are due and also give you the options for the best prices of other exchanges. Continue and click 'Exchange'.
- You will have received an address to your NEO wallet, enter that into the section it asks you to. Click next.
- You will be taken to a processing page where you are given an address to send your Bitcoin.
- Once you have sent the Bitcoin, it will take around 10 minutes to confirm the transaction, you will then find your NEO in your NEO wallet.
How to buy NEO with a credit card
As highlighted earlier, you cannot buy NEO directly with a credit card. You must go through a process similar to the one we have just gone through. Purchase another more established coin (Bitcoin for example) and then exchange that for NEO.
If you do come across sites that offer you the ability to buy NEO directly, make sure you do your research about them. Given the fact that NEO was born in China, I wouldn't be surprised if there are Chinese sites that offer this service.
How to buy NEO with Paypal.
Paypal once embraced cryptocurrencies and allowed you to buy Bitcoin and other coins through its platform but has taken a step back and now only allows account holders to deposit money from the sale of Bitcoin into their Paypal account. All of which must be done through Coinbase and therefore means that this only works with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
The only way to use NEO and Paypal together is to sell your NEO for one of the coins available on Coinbase and then deposit into your Paypal account. Pretty longwinded but still possible.
How to trade NEO
You can trade NEO using crypto exchanges, with popular ones like Bittrex and Poloniex giving good services. Given the volatility there is definitely opportunities to make money trading NEO. We are seeing an influx of traders to these exchanges to trade cryptocurrencies because of the possibility of making a lot of money quickly.
More traders is a good thing for liquidity because it means you can get into and out of markets at the price you intend to rather than waiting for a buyer or seller to take the other side of the trade. This is especially useful for up and coming crypto coins like NEO.
We are starting to see more brokers venturing into the crypto markets. The likes of eToro and AVA Trade are offering the more established coins as CFDs. This is exciting because it means you can trade on leverage and short sell these markets without owning the product. Giving more opportunities to trade.
As mentioned, AVA Trade is a widely used broker that offers you the ability to trade six cryptocurrencies as CFDs. To open an account you must:
- Go to AVATrade and sign up using the form below. There is also the option of signing up with Facebook and Google.
- Before you are granted an account, AVA Trade want to know your level of knowledge on the financial markets. This is important because there are risks when trading and they want to make sure you are aware of these risks.
- You are then asked to select an account, I like 'Floating Spread Account' with MetaTrader4 (MT4) because you get to use MT4, arguably the most used trading platform in the world.
- Next you can fund your account. Similar to Coinbase, you can do this by either bank transfer or credit / debit card. Now your final choice is whether you want to download the MT4 platform onto your computer or use the web version. The computer version has more features but if you are new to MT4, it may be advisble to familiarise yourself with the web version first.
The future of NEO trading
NEO has climbed into the top 10 cryptocurrencies in terms of market share, and like many of the other cryptocurrencies has seen a huge rise in its price. Just this year we have seen an increase of over 40,000%, where it started at just $0.12 and saw an all-time high of $51.98.
Taking NEO tech into the real world
As we have already mentioned in this guide, the targets NEO have set themselves are hugely exciting and should they reach them, we will see the price catapult north once more. If they are able to produce the technology they intend to, with the creation of a new VM, the use in the real world could be endless.
The idea of using blockchain when voting would mean that once a vote is cast, there is no way of defrauding the vote.
NEO has also embarked on several serious efforts to introduce itself to a wider audience, not least by supporting several popular coding languages but also in its PR strategy. Targeting Tokyo due to its large crypto trade volumes.
They are also collaborating with companies like Red Pulse, which is an event-driven Chinese market research company. They want to allow readers to use digital currency to reward analysts and contributors on the platform directly using a new token but powered by the NEO platform.
Another development NEO is part of, is the first Blockchain smart fund. Built on the NEO platform, it hopes to eliminate high risks, inefficiencies and moral hazards often associated with traditional fund intermediaries.
With this and the backing of Chinese authorities I think the future for NEO looks bright. It still has the same risks as other cryptocurrencies in that the bubble could burst but until then I think NEO looks good.
Enjoyed this NEO guide? Then see our other cryptocurrency guides:
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