NEO—the blockchain platform frequently nicknamed “China’s Ethereum”—has a wide range of projects up its sleeves. Even though NEO’s token price has been taking a hit along with the rest of the cryptocurrency market this quarter, NEO is still chugging along smoothly with developments and improvements.
For a refresher on what NEO is all about, you can read our NEO guide.
If you’ve been wondering what NEO has been up to lately, and what the near future has in store for the project, this article is for you.
First NEO Developer Competition Successfully Concluded
On November 20, 2017, NEO launched a competition for the global community of NEO developers. The goal was to bring like-minded individuals together with creative ideas to utilize NEO’s technology and turn their ideas into reality.
Over the course of 3 months, more than 500 developers and teams all over the world signed up for the event. 77 entries were submitted, consisting of a variety of inventive dapps related to everything from finance to games to energy management. Developers also submitted wallets, browsers, node software, and query transformation tools.
After strictly screening each submission and scoring them based on technology superiority, innovativeness, value, completeness, and adoptability, NEO announced the winners at the beginning of April:
First Prize (1 team):
Nachomen is a turn-based multiplayer game using a NEO smart contract as backend.
Second Prize (2 teams):
Elight is the project designed to automate thermo logistics processes.
Treatail is a revolutionary commerce layer that sits on top of all the sites and marketplaces on the Internet.
Third Prize (3 teams):
Loyalty Program on a NEO Blockchain
Enable business to launch loyalty programs or move existing loyalty programs to a NEO blockchain.
LOOT Marketplaces are a new decentralized ecosystem built on the NEO blockchain where digital assets in gaming can be securely bought, sold, and/or traded on blockchain technology.
Non-Fungible Token Smart Contract Template
A non-fungible token (NFT) can be thought of like a property deed.
More details about each of the winning projects can be found here.
Consensus Nodes Running Smoothly on NEO TestNet
At the very end of 2017, the NEO Council announced the launch of new consensus nodes on the TestNet. By allowing well-established commercial projects and communities to run consensus nodes, NEO greatly increases the decentralization, security. and, ultimately, success of the network.
A global, independent group of open-source developers, designers, and translators formed to support the NEO core and ecosystem, named City of Zion (CoZ), has been running three separate consensus nodes by individual council members in California, Michigan, and Sydney.
KPN, a Dutch landline and mobile telecommunications company, has also been running a node on the TestNet. KPN has 33 million mobile subscribers, 6.3 million landline customers, and provides internet to over 2.1 million people throughout western Europe.
In the NEO Council Monthly Report for February and March, the NEO team updated that both CoZ and KPN have been successfully running their respective consensus nodes for two full months. They have been managing 100% uptime and smooth node upgrades on short-term notifications.
As a result, both CoZ and KPN are scheduled to be voted onto the MainNet in the near future. This will further increase the failure tolerance of the network.
NEO Europe Tour
On April 14 and 15, 2018, Europe’s largest ever NEO event will take place in Amsterdam—aptly named Neo <3 Amsterdam. The first day will be dedicated to speakers giving presentations, as well as new project announcements. The second day will be a NEO hackathon with 600 GAS in prizes.
According to Dean van Dugteren, a developer for City of Zion, 6 brand new NEO projects will be presenting at the event, as he wrote on Twitter.
For more information about the conference and hackathon, you can view their website here.
After the big Amsterdam event, NEO will continue their Europe tour throughout April. Attracting the European market is important for NEO to grow, as they are mainly popular in Asia right now. If you live in Europe and are a NEO fan, you should definitely try to make it to one of the following events:
NEO-Backed Ziqilla Launches TestNet v1.0
According to their site, Ziqilla is “the world’s first high-throughput public blockchain platform—designed to scale to thousands of transactions per second.”
Ziqilla is actually the first platform to successfully integrate “sharding” into a public blockchain. Sharding is basically when nodes are split into “shards” that are then able to conduct micro-transactions in each blockchain block. This greatly improves the rate of scalability, bandwidth, and performance in blockchains.
After over 2 years of research and development, Ziqilla (ZIL) just launched their public TestNet on March 31, codenamed Red Prawn—named after a type of durian highly prized for its sweet taste.
In their internal testing, Red Prawn has already achieved 2,000 – 3,000 transactions per second. The team does admit that the stability of the TestNet still needs improvements, which they will be working on over the next few weeks.
NEO’s investment arm, NEO Global Capital, has invested in Ziqilla—a clear indication that NEO has high hopes to utilize their sharding technology sometime down the road.
Despite the current bearish cryptocurrency market, NEO’s future still looks bright. Their ecosystem continues to rapidly grow, and the team continues to create developments every single day. Their huge community also plays a huge role in expanding the project—in March alone, 18 NEO-related events were held around the world!