The “year of the altcoins” is in full swing. Currently, altcoins hold 66.5% of the total cryptocurrency market cap. Just a year ago, Bitcoin (BTC) held 85.16% percent of the total market. The rise of NEO is something worth paying attention to. The altcoin has been taking the market by storm this past year, and even more so today.
The Rise of NEO
A project that has begun standing out among the rest of the pack most recently, is NEO (NEO). The team behind the project named the coin after a character from the popular movie, the Matrix. In just a year, the coin is up a staggering 123,000%. Right now, it is holding the 7th spot on the total cryptocurrency market cap, just barely under Stellar (XLM). At press time, NEO is selling at $160.00 a coin, up 7.21%, in 24 hours.
Many are calling NEO “the Ethereum of China” and it has quickly become the largest cryptocurrency within the country. Despite the country’s attempt to crack down heavily on cryptocurrency exchanges and Bitcoin mining recently, along with trying to flat-out ban Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), the digital currency has continued to rise. NEO’s founder, Da Hongfei, is a self-taught coder and recently told Bloomberg that he believes Beijing is “mostly done” with its crackdowns and he will now focus on developing his underlying technology.
NEO is designed to be Ethereum’s rival and aims to be a decentralized ledger that allows companies to issue tokens and set up smart contracts. Both projects focus on a “smart economy” and are an ICO platform. With China’s stance on ICOs, the fact that the government has yet to take any action on NEO is a great sign that it is in compliance with the country’s rules. Currently, NEO has several ICOs launching on its platform such as RedPulse and Medchain.
Currently, NEO is holding its first developer competition within its community. The explanation on the project’s main site is vague but it reads:
“As NEO’s first dev competition, this is an unparalleled opportunity to unleash your creativity, passion, and ambition. This global get-together of NEO community developers will give you a chance to inspire others while being motivated by your fellow competitors’ intellect and grit. Join us. Get inspired.”
Despite the unclear goal of the competition, it currently has 372 signups and allows for teams. The cash prizes of the competition will be rewarded in the currency ran on the NEO network, GAS. The grand prize will be rewarded to 1 team and will be $150,000 USD, converted to GAS. The second prize is rewarded to 2 teams and will be $50,000 USD. The third prize is given to three teams at $30,000 and they are giving ten teams an “award of merit” at $15,000. This initiative by NEO is huge and shows the major potential for the project.
As the CEO continues to build on the platform and ICOs continue to choose NEO over Ethereum, this could be a monumental year for the coin. I’m not sure how you top over 120,000% growth in a year again but if there’s one project that can do it, it’s NEO. Currently, GAS (GAS) is the top gainer on today’s market and is selling at $64.22 a coin, up 26.54% in 24 hours.
Noam Levenson, CEO of Eden Block said:
“Ethereum did it first. It was revolutionary and exciting and took the crypto world by storm. Today almost every ICO is built on Ethereum’s ERC20 token platform and Vitalik Buterin is one of our time’s greatest minds. Yet if we’ve learned anything from the fact that Alibaba is closing in on Amazon’s market cap and WeChat dominates China’s social media scene, it’s that China plays by their own rules.”
What are your thoughts on NEO? Could it potentially pass Ethereum down the road? Leave your comments in the box below.
Featured Image: TheMerkle