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.
When it comes to trading NEO, there is certainly profit to be made by the price fluctuations. As with all cryptocurrencies, price movements are very volatile due to the nature of such a new phenomenon. Unlike traditional currencies that have been around for hundreds of years, the recent introduction of cryptocurrencies into the world of trading is very exciting.
Brokers are now relaxing with regards to cryptocurrencies however because of the huge price swings they experience, costs can be increased, which is basically the broker protecting themselves.
There are many cryptocurrency exchanges nowadays, where it is very easy to trade NEM and other cryptocurrencies with the touch of a button.
How to buy NEO online - step by step guide
Despite NEMs market share being in the top 10, it is still not available on all major exchanges. It is very difficult to buy it outright with your fiat currency (GBP, EUR, USD etc), but not impossible. I recommend however that you go through more familiar institutions who have a good reputation within the industry.
This will create an extra step in the process of buying NEO. The extra step is involves buying another more popular cryptocurrency that is easy to buy directly with your fiat currency. Once you have a cryptocurrency, it is very easy to exchange it for NEO, there are plenty of excellent exchanges to do so.
Before you can buy NEO, you must first get a NEO wallet. This is where your NEO is stored, much the same as a cash wallet. This acts similar to your email, you will be given a wallet address where people can send NEO to you and a password that only you will know.
I will now take you through how to buy NEO.
- Firstly, you must buy another cryptocurrency to exchange it for NEO. I will use Bitcoin because it is the largest cryptocurrency. The easiest way to buy Bitcoin is through Coinbase, which is one of the largest and most trusted exchanges. You must set up and account, filling in your details.
- Once you set up an account, you must add a payment method. You can either directly link your bank account to the Coinbase account or use a credit / debit card. Click 'add payment' and select the method you wish to use. You will then have to wait for this to be verified by Coinbase, this may take a little time because of the huge upswing in popularity for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
- Once verification is complete, you will be able to fund your account with USD, EUR or GBP. Once you have funded your account, you can then buy as much Bitcoin as you choose.
- Once you own some Bitcoin, you must then find an exchange to transfer your Bitcoin into NEO. I recommend coinswitch.co because it give you a choice of exchanges to use and lets you compare which price exchange offers the best price.
- On coinswitch.co, click 'continue' to get to the price comparison page.
- Enter the amount of Bitcoin you intend to exchange in the 'You have' section. This will determine how many NEO coins you are due and then gives you the options of different exchanges for you to choose. Click 'Exchange' on the one you want to use.
- Next you will be required to enter the address of your NEO wallet. This is the address you will have been given when you opened your NEO wallet. Tick 'I agree to terms' and then click 'next.
- You will then be taken to a processing page where the transaction is completed. You will then receive an address to send your Bitcoins to. You must go back to Coinbase and make a payment for the same amount to the address you were provided with.
How to buy NEO with a credit card
There are no straight forward methods to buying NEO using a credit card. The methods that are available are untested I recommend you avoid until they are proven. Be careful if you are buying NEO directly using a credit card.
The safest method to buying NEO with a credit card, is to go through the process mentioned above and buy Bitcoin using a credit card and exchange for NEO.
How to buy NEO with Paypal.
PayPal once embraced digital currencies and made it possible to buy things like Bitcoin through its payment platform, but recently it has withdrawn somewhat and only offers users of cryptocurrency the option of depositing money from the sale of Bitcoin into their PayPal accounts. This is again done through Coinbase, and because of that, only works with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
To use PayPal with NEO, there is not much opportunity, but it once again is linked back to Bitcoin, and is only useful when depositing money. A NEO holder could sell their NEO for Bitcoin, send it to Coinbase, and then withdraw that money into PayPal for fiat currency such as Dollars.
How to trade NEO
There are various exchanges whereby you can actively trade NEO, Poloniex is one of the most trusted sites to trade NEO with other cryptocurrencies. Given the huge price swings NEO and other cryptocurrencies are experiencing there is no surprise at the increase of people wanting to trade these markets.
Brokers are now getting in on the act and allowing you to trade cryptocurrencies using CFDs, this opens a huge market for speculators who want to profit from the price movement of markets like Bitcoin, Ethereum and NEO.
A popular broker that offers you access to trading cryptocurrencies is AVA Trade. Creating an account with AVA Trade is just as quick and easy as setting up an account with Coinbase.
- Go to AVATrade.com and sign up by providing basic details. Alternatively, you can sign up using Facebook or Google+.
- You will be asked to provide information on various topics, so AVA Trade can gage your experience and in turn the level of support they can offer you.
- When asked to select a trading platform, I would recommend selecting 'Floating Spread Account' with MetaTrader4 (MT4). MT4 is a hugely popular trading platform thousands of people use across the world. This will give you access to all the cryptocurrencies they offer.
- You then must fund your account. Decide the method you with to do so with and similar to Coinbase you can make a direct deposit into your newly created account. Click web-trading or download MT4 and you can begin trading.
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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