Why More ICOs are Making NEO Their Platform of Choice
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have become a popular means for startups to raise funding for their blockchain projects. More than $3.8 billion was raised from 211 token sales last year. The excitement seems to have carried over to this year as well. So far, there are already more than 40 ICOs conducted that resulted in over $1 billion in funding. If the trend continues, 2018 could even become a bigger year for blockchain and ICOs.
The emergence of development platforms has been instrumental to this growth. Ethereum, arguably the most popular platform, powers many of the active blockchain projects and crypto tokens currently in circulation. However, Ethereum’s dominance is now being challenged as ventures begin to use other platforms.
Understanding NEO and its advantages have led many projects to use its blockchain in the past year. Some of the successfully concluded ICOs include data exchange Apex, crowdfunding platform Zeepin, robo-advisor AlphaCat, and market intelligence platform Red Pulse. Zeepin and AlphaCat were even able to raise $60 million and $48 million respectively.
There are more NEO-based ICOs lined up for this year. Social media network Narrative, recruitment platform Moonlight, gig economy solutions Thor, and trading service Neon Exchange (Nex) are several noteworthy upcoming ICOs.
This growing adoption has also raised interest in the platform’s token, NEO. The token has shown growth over the past year even reaching all-time highs last January. It may have experienced a dip due to February’s market correction but it has been steadily rising since. Recently, established trading platform eToro even announced support for the token placing it alongside major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.
NEO has already been touted as the Ethereum of China since both platforms enable development of decentralized applications (dapps) and smart contracts. It’s founder, Da Hongfei, however, is quick to point out NEO’s set of features that make it a more comprehensive development and transactional platform.
“NEO’s support for the development languages of smart contracts and the form of languages are different from Ethereum. We provide various advanced languages in the form of compiler. Besides .Net and Java, we will support Python and Go in the future which can cover more than 90% developers. Compared with Ethereum, development has a more smooth learning curve and shorter learning circle, allowing for the fast introduction of projects on NEO,” Hongfei shares.
For developers, NEO’s support for a wider set of programming languages is actually a nice draw. One of the barriers to blockchain entry for most startups is the technical expertise required. Ethereum smart contracts mainly use Solidity which most developers still have to learn. NEO allows most programmers to be functional with the platform more quickly since it supports the most popular languages used today.
NEO’s ecosystem not only allows smart contract development but it is also envisioned to include functionalities for digital assets, identity management, file system, secure communication protocol and quantum safe mechanisms. It’s also this focus on security that has encouraged PickcioCOIN to choose NEO as its platform over Ethereum.
Aside from these, another reason why more ICOs are considering NEO is scalability. Ethereum’s popularity has been a double-edged sword. While it has built a solid base of dapps, any sudden surge in adoption or use of any of these dApps can cause bottlenecks in the network.
Since Ethereum currently still uses proof-of-work consensus, it has trouble dealing with large transaction volumes. It currently is able to handle an average of around 10 transactions a second. In contrast, NEO uses a delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance consensus mechanism and claims that it can handle 100,000 transactions a second.
Ethereum’s team has already unveiled plans to address this by implementing measures like shifting to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm and sharding. The hard fork is supposed to happen this year but no definitive date has been revealed yet. For ventures who need speedy transactions, it’s prudent to just opt for other platforms that readily provide scalability.
Ultimately, only time will tell how these blockchain platforms will be able to perform. Many still swear by Ethereum given the active development and its clout in the space. What is important is that the emergence of alternative platforms like NEO gives developers and ventures choices.
NEO envisions itself to usher in a new smart economy by empowering ventures with access to cutting-edge blockchain and crypto technologies. So far, it has done a good job attracting more projects. The market could see more NEO-based dapps emerge as ventures continue to enter the crypto space.