We had the pleasure of sitting down with Da Hongfei, founder of NEO, and Zhao Chen (Johnson), head of Biz Dev for OnChain at the Shanghai Blockchain Summit for a chat.

Da Hongfei was giving a talk to a packed house of blockchain and crypto enthusiasts at the Shanghai International Convention Center. Bitshares, a fellow Chinese crypto was also in attendance.  

NEO, which many call the “Chinese Ethereum”, due to the fact that it hosts smart contracts has been on a tear recently.

NEO Charts

The cryptocurrency is up an astounding 3,053 percent since the beginning of this year and people are beginning to catch on to China’s hottest cryptocurrency.

Da Hongfei spoke about several aspects of NEO that were of particular interest.

The Smart Economy

NEO brands itself as the Blockchain for the “Smart Economy”. This is something that really came across in the chat. They don’t want to only be seen as a cryptocurrency for speculators.  They believe they have true real world use cases that can create value in the new “Smart Economy”.

So, what comprises the smart economy?

NEO wants to integrate digital assets, digital identity, and smart contracts into its platform. When the company rebranded from Antshares and upgraded to NEO 2.0 it introduced new features, such as cross-chain protocol, quantum-resistant cryptography, a distributed storage protocol and a secure communication protocol.

“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. The platform also features an open API that can be used for integration with other systems.”

Blockchain-based Enterprise Digital Asset System

The Architecture

The consortium version of NEO, namely DNA (distributed networks architecture), shares the same architect and smart contract system as NEO, and is equipped with more tools for institutional purposes. Onchain is a legal entity that provides Blockchain solutions and services based on DNA.

Da Hongfei pointed out that NEO is the non-profit part of the equation, which is community driven and funded, whereas Onchain is for-profit and VC-backed.  Together they share open source tech, ecosystem and developers, and NEOX, which is cross-chain protocol.

“In a crypto-world where even the slightest bit of news can send a coin skyrocketing or crashing, we do not focus on marketing or promotion, and have relied very much upon the developer community and word of mouth in technical terms. Our team is very tech-focused.”

So far, it seems to be working well for them.

The Future

As NEO continues to catch the attention of crypto-enthusiasts across the globe, the future looks bright. Recently a collaboration with AdEx was announced, that will be the first DApp on the NEO blockchain.

Additionally, Red Pulse, which is an event-driven Chinese market research company announced that it will build a research sharing platform built on the NEO 2.0 smart contract platform. Red Pulse, which is also based in Shanghai will be the first ICO to be run using NEO. The platform will reportedly allow readers to use digital currency to reward analysts and contributors on the platform directly with a new token called $RPX, powered by the NEO platform.

Another interesting development NEO is a part of, is the first Blockchain smart fund. NEST, which is built on the NEO smart contracts platform, will be a new fund paradigm that will try to eliminate the high thresholds, high risks, inefficiencies and moral hazards often associated with traditional fund intermediaries.

We thank Da Hongfei, Zhao Chen(Johnson), NEO/Onchain and John Patrcik Mullin for sitting down and sharing their thoughts.