NEO, formerly Antshares, is up over 350 percent this month. The company is known for having built China’s first public blockchain and for working on a smart contract technology that is comparable to Ethereum’s.

At the time of writing, NEO has a market capitalization of $1.3 bln, this is around 50 times smaller than Bitcoin and 20 times smaller than Ethereum.


In a gathering at Microsoft headquarters in Beijing, Antshares announced that it would rebrand to NEO in Q3 2017.  

This name was chosen because it means ‘new’ in Greek. The rebranding process was recently completed and elegantly executed by Da Hongfei, the CEO of the organization.

It is important to note that it was also surprisingly well received by the community and was a crucial step for the organization to position itself as a leader in China’s smart economy.

Smart economy

Developers at NEO recently announced that they are working on implementing core functionalities that will make their tech ready for a smart economy. In the near future, the NEO Blockchain will serve for tokenizing assets, creating smart contracts and building digital identities.

While Ethereum smart contracts can only be coded in Solidity, NEO supports many more programming languages.

Currently, the NEO virtual machine supports languages such as C# and Java. This massively reduces the barriers of entry since programmers don’t need to learn a new programming language in order to work with NEO’s technology.

Tokyo meetup

Together with China and Korea, Japan is among the countries with the highest cryptocurrency volume in Asia. Its daily transactions match, and sometimes even surpass, the ones coming from the United States.

Therefore, it was a major milestone on the roadmap of NEO to assist several meetups in Tokyo, the capital of Japan.

In the latest meetup, which took place on August 10th, Da Hongfei briefly introduced NEO and explained the potential of smart contracts and digitalization of assets. After the 50-minute presentation concluded, there was a Q and A session.

Some of the most interesting remarks from the team were that the organization is planning to decentralize NEO even further and that investors won’t have to pay GAS when participating in token sales.

Blockchain partnerships

Since NEO successfully rebranded and upgraded its core technology, several blockchain companies joined the organization’s ecosystem.

Companies like CoinDash, Bancor and Agrello joined the group of early adopters. Time will tell if NEO succeeds in setting up a similar initiative to the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.

China as a market

China is a country that is known for developing its own services and technologies. Its citizens rarely adopt the ones coming from western countries.

This can be observed in platforms like Baidu (search engine), Weibo (social network) and WeChat (chatting application). These companies completely dominate their respective sectors and leave no room for competitors like Google, Facebook or WhatsApp.

We might see a similar situation play out in the adoption of Blockchain as well. If that is the case, then NEO will probably find it easier than Ethereum to build a following in China.