Formerly known as Antshares, NEO is a recent iteration on Ethereum’s smart contracts. NEO uses a unique blockchain algorithm that improves upon Ethereum’s model. While the basics still apply, it also supports decentralized commerce, identification and digitization of several assets. NEO also closes loopholes that have caused some Ether contracts to be vulnerable to hackers.
NEO – About NEO and Roadmap
Digital Assets + Digital Identity + Smart Contracts
The main design goal of NEO’s predecessor (Antshares) was ‘Digital Assets for everyone’, to build a digital financial system bridging the real-world assets. With blockchain technology, the digitization of assets can be decentralised, trustful, traceable, highly transparent, and free of intermediaries.
Continuing from this original intention, NEO firmly believes that it is an irreversible trend that real-world assets become digital and programmable. To reach this goal, Antshares takes a very different underlying design:
- Use Digital Certicate to Guarantee Trust
NEO supports digital certificates, solves the potential problem of untrustworthy nodes on a public blockchain. With digital certificates, one can legally issue assets on the blockchain and be protected by the regulations.
- Original Superconduct trade mechanism
This mechanism makes a trustless digital exchange possible. Support decentralized digital assets exchange. Match between sellers and buyers will be handled without the need for users to deposits anything on the exchange.
On the NEO blockchain, users are able to register, trade, and circulate multiple types of assets. Proving the connection between digital and physical assets is possible through digital identity. Assets registered through a validated digital identity are protected by law.
Digital identity refers to the identity information of individuals, organizations, and other entities that exist in electronic form.
For digital identities on blockchains to have rights, they need to be legally authenticated. The most widely accepted digital identity system is based on the PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) X.509 standard. Supporting X.509 + Web of Trust. Verification of identity when issuing or using digital identities includes the use of facial features, fingerprint, voice, SMS, and other multi-factor authentication methods.
Smart contracts are automatically executed programs in the blockchain environment. A blockchain system that supports smart contracts makes it possible for any kind of contracts, rules or instructions to be automated.
The NEO Smart Contract 2.0 (NeoContract) includes the following features: high certainty, high concurrency, and scalability. The contract types include: validation contracts, function contracts, and application contracts.
- Write Smart Contracts in any language
The difference between NEO Smart Contract 2.0 and Ethereum is that NEO is more intuitive: unlike the original Solidity language in Ethereum, the NEO smart contract can be used directly by almost any high-level programming language. Supporting languages such as C#, Java, Go, developers can quickly start developing smart contracts on NEO blockchain.
- NEO VM lightweight Virtual Stack Machines
NEO uses a lightweight VM that has short booting time and takes up a small amount of resources. The instructional setup of the NEO VM includes a series of cryptographic instructions to optimize the execution efficiency of cryptographic algorithms in Smart Contracts. Both features are very much suitable for short programs such as smart contracts.
- Better Scalability: Distributed Storage Protocol – NeoFS
When competing with traditional technology solutions, scalability is the handicap of blockchain technology. In order to have a censorship-immutable and trust-free system, blockchains such as Bitcoin compromises latency and throughput in its design.
NeoFS is a distributed storage protocol that utilizes Distributed Hash Table technology. Large files will be divided into fixed-size data blocks that are distributed and stored in many different nodes. The old block data can be stored in NeoFS, so that most of the full nodes can release the old data for better scalability and at the same time, ensure the integrity of historical data.
At the moment, the block generating rate is manually set at 15 seconds. With low enough latency in inter-nodes connection in the future, most blocks will be generated by every 1 second. With the bandwidth at 100Mbit/t and external cryptographic computing hardware, NEO Blockchain is capable of handling thousands, if no tens of thousands, of transactions per second.
- Innovative dBFT consensus mechanism
Consensus nodes use Byzantine Fault Tolerance(dBFT) Algorithm to reach consensus and ensure the finality of transactions. The system is operable as long as less than 1/3 of the nodes are dishonest. It is also ensured that the system keeps its finality, meaning that once confirmations are final, the block cannot be bifurcated, and the transaction will not be revoked or rolled back. (more)
- Cross-chain interoperability protocol –NeoX
This protocol allows multiple participants to exchange assets across different chains and to ensure that all steps in the entire transaction process succeed or fail together.
It is possible by creating a contract account for each participant using the NeoContract function. Any chain should be compatible with NeoX as long as they are compatible with NeoContract or can provide simple smart contract functionality.
- Quantum-computer-proof technology: NeoQS
The emergence of quantum computers creates a major challenge to RSA and ECC-based cryptographic mechanisms. For quantum computers can solve these cryptographic problems in an extremely short time. Using Lattice-based cryptograph signature and encryption technology, NeoQS can prevent the quantum crisis as Lattice-based cryptography provides encryption problems (e.g. SVP) beyond the capability of quantum computers.