NEO (NEO) previously Antshares

Do not make investment decisions based on this article – read the disclaimer before you proceed and leave the website if you disagree with it.

It is 18th of August 2017 today. This review takes into consideration investing in NEO at its current price at 85 000 satoshi

NEO – The question we’ve all been asking lately – is it too late to invest in the “Chinese Ethereum” after it went up 100x in price?

TL:DR

We should always be wary of investing right after a massive surge in price, and whenever everyone is talking about an investment – usually it is too late at this point. NEO, however, has massive potential. I couldn’t find any problems with NEO that might be holding the price back, so I can’t say that the token is underpriced currently. However it is undeniable how huge the opportunities ahead – the ICOs that will consume NEO tokens and the Chinese government and adoption. It is obvious we missed the tens-of-X (10x, 30x) returns, but there might be a very good price increase in the future, in spite of that. I would definitely buy NEO again and consider it a mid-risk, decent-reward mid-term investment. There are profits to be made, but I will wait for a lower re-entry point (400-700k satoshi)

Summary

NEO is the Chinese Ethereum. There will be ICOs run on the NEO platform, just like ICOs are run on the Ethereum platform now, and this is huge. What is, in my opinion, even more important, unlike Ethereum where smart contracts are written in the lesser known language Solidity, NEO can be adopted by tens of times more developers, because smart contracts can be written on the most popular programming language – JAVA, C#, etc. ICOs have already started using the NEO Platform (District 0x, AdEx) and there might be many more to come – and NEO will be needed for all of them. And making writing smart contracts now accessible to almost every programmer out there, this is huge. Looking at all the applications here, and reading about how improved their Smart Contract platform is, it will be of no surprise to see NEO host China’s everything digital (identities, contracts, payments, ownerships, medical records, etc) http://docs.neo.org/en-us/index.html The NEO token is not divisible and max supply is 100 000 000 (this might in the future require a fork in order to make it accessible to a larger quantity of people) but the neogas GAS token produced by it, is divisible to 0.00000001. The GAS token is being produced by wallets holding NEO.

Important: The NEO team have founded a joint-venture company with the Chinese Government. This is an indirect indication of the Chinese government support for the project, and this is huge! They are also in some kind of partnership with Microsoft who are very glad that NEO uses C# as one of the languages for writing smart contracts.

Website: https://neo.org
Coinmarketcap: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/neo/
Exchange: https://bittrex.com/Market/Index?MarketName=BTC-NEO

General

  • Website: does it look good/presentable – the website looks great, according to their roadmap, it has just been redesigned (probably because of the rebranding to Neo from Antshares). It has English and Chinese. It has the faces of everyone involved with the crypto and lots of useful links. The blog hasn’t been updated since July.
  • Website: Does it have a roadmap for the cryptocurrency development – it does, but it only includes the cryptocurrency’s history so far, there are no future events in it – disappointing.
  • Website: Does it have a whitepaper – a very elaborate and nicely written one in English and Chinese – http://docs.neo.org/en-us/index.html  I encourage you to read it. It explains how the token supply is distributed and how its going to be put to use. It also contains the documentation for programming smart contracts and the NeoContract whitepaper.
  • Website: Is the domain name and TLD good – as good as it gets
  • Website: Is it a quick wordpress template, a 2-hour html job or a custom design with lots of work, money and thought thrown at it – absolutely custom
  • What new does this cryptocurrency bring to the world, what problem does it solve, what does it stand for– I imagine NEO to be Ethereum 2.0 with Smart Contracts 2.0 with a great ease of adoption, low learning curve. Its smart contracts can represent and enforce our world in digital form – literally all of our digital needs.
  • How does the cryptocurrency name sound (does it sound legit and like a good brand name) – It sounds good – short, open and memorable. Much better than its previous name antshares. And GAS is a great name for the Neo Gas token. The best possible name for that purpose.
  • Is it a PoW, PoS or PoW/PoS coin, what is the mining difficulty or APR, does it suffer from inflation – Neither. It runs on dBFT, which is supposed to be much better http://www.econotimes.com/Blockchain-project-Antshares-explains-reasons-for-choosing-dBFT-over-PoW-and-PoS-659275 It is premined – all 100 million have been minted in the genesis block. 50 million tokens have been sold, and 50 million retained in order to be used for developing the platform – and will be spent gradually, in a distributed in time manner. 100 million GAS will be generated by the NEO in circulation for the next 22 years. I’d say inflation won’t be a problem here. No miners or electricity consumption needed as well.
  • Who is behind the cryptocurrency – are they shady figures, or have they placed their names and pictures on the website; what is their track record and reputation; do a quick google/github research on them – what I call, an open-faces presence – the team and their names are at the bottom of the webpage. A quick google search on the co-founders shows nothing wrong. Here’s an interview with them on reddit, for whoever is interested: https://www.reddit.com/r/NEO/comments/6puffo/we_are_da_hongfei_and_erik_zhang_founders_of_neo/
  • What is the limit on supply of coins in circulation – A NEO token is essentially a “share” in the network. The GAS is the money. 100 million NEO indivisible and 100 million GAS each divisible to 1/100 000 000th You can read an interesting concern about the indivisibility of NEO and a couple of answers on that here https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2057932.60
  • Is there a link to the source codehttps://github.com/neo-project
  • When was the last commit made, and how frequent are commit – several projects have been committed to in the last 24 hours – apparently the project is under heavy development
  • How many developers participate in the coding process – 3, one of them is the co-founder

Exchanges and trading

  • Which exchanges (and how reputable they are) is the coin traded on, what is the daily trading volume and market cap So far, from all that we’ve discussed so far, we’ve had no reason to believe that the current price is a bargain (that the token sells for less than its actual value, or that there is an ongoing problem with the crypto that is keeping the price down). Now, we see that NEO is only being traded on bittrex, among the biggest exchanges, and on predominantly Chinese exchanges, but it still hasn’t been listed on the biggest exchanges. These are a few bullish events to look up to, that might increase the price.The market cap is 1.8 BILLION USD but it had reached 2.4 billion at one point. It is among the top 10 cryptos in terms of market cap and volume at the moment. 24HV is 162 million USD.

  • Are there buy (support) or sell (resistance) walls – NEO has been on a downtrend recently, there is a small support wall at 800 000 satoshi (about 130 btc) and a smaller one around 750 000 satoshi (but those are insignificant in comparison to the daily volume of 17 000 BTC). There are bigger resistance walls at 900+ one of which is 800 bitcoin, another one 1500) So currently it is easier for the price to keep going down rather than go up. I think anywhere around 700 000 – 750 000 sats might be a fair re-entry point. (I bought at 710 000 and sold at 990 000 a week or two ago)
  • How does the chart look – looks normal. Nothing for a long time, then the bullish trend, and now a bearish trend looking for support.
  • Does the chart contain patterns that look like pump and dump actions or trading by bots – dont think so
  • Has the coin spiked on one exchange after being added on another exchange – no

Social

  • Is there a Bitcointalk forum Announcement thread – yes  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1571738.0 (Antshares) and https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2057932.0 (NEO)
  • How many pages is it – The Antshares one is 350+ pages, the NEO one is 32 pages
  • History of the coin according to the forum and general public impression of the coin throughout – We are going to review the new one (NEO). Mainly constructive discussions about the nature of the project, questions about the wallet and about the relationship between NEO and GAS. There is a very elaborate concern here raising a red flag on NEO’s ability to become a currency on this page: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2057932.480
  • Is there a slack channel
  • How many members in the slack channel – 5000+
  • What is the public sentiment in the slack channel – hard to say, too much activity. Haven’t noticed either FUD or HYPE though.
  • Is there a Twitter profile for the cryptocurrency and does it post regular updates, how many followers https://twitter.com/NEO_Blockchain  – 52000+ followers, tweets frequently
  • Is there a Facebook page for the cryptocurrency and does it post regular updates, how many likeshttps://www.facebook.com/NEOSmartEcon/ 3200 likes

Current state

  • Are there any known problems with the source code, the wallet or something else regarding the coin (transactions, mining, efficiency) – a few users comlpaining about wallet problems in the bitcoin talk forums, but I don’t see fixing the wallet bugs as a reason for a price surge.
  • Is there an active development for fixes on the way – as we’ve already established, there are frequent commits on github
  • Has the wallet been under maintenance for prolonged periods of time on some/all of the exchanges Is any government planning on banning the coin (or similar coins) or putting heavy restrictions towards its use – no

Popularity and perception

  • What does a quick google search tell us about the coin – bullish articles
  • Are there youtube videos about the coin – lots of news, analysis and predictions
  • What is the general sentiment in the comment section below the videos (constructive, fud/hype, calling out scam etc) – very optimistic
  • Is the coin associated with illegal/criminal activity or the dark webno
  • Similar cryptocurrencies/projects – Ethereum

Branding analysis

Many traders and observers believe that the market is perfect and that the best product wins. This has never been the case and the laws of branding explain how quality is not measured in absolute terms and rewarded with adequate price/popularity/adoption, but is actually subjectively perceived according to events/context/history/positioning/perception in the human mind.

There are now much better cryptos than Bitcoin, but it has first mover advantage. It is a domestic word. It is associated with and used as a synonym for cryptocurrency. It is the leader, the original thing. This is much stronger than actual parameters by which the product operates.

Ethereum is the first one that became widely popular as the “viable, and better, alternative” but see how far it went – about 5-15% of Bitcoin’s value. Ethereum is a me-too in the cryptocurrency market.

Now, NEO might be actually better than Ethereum which is better than Bitcoin, but the associative boxes for the leader, and the alternative have already been taken. So what does NEO have? It is an alternative to the alternative of the leader. So 10-100% of the price of Ethereum might be a plausible price for it. Hardly anything over that. It is now perceived as the Chinese Ethereum. China is a subset of the World, so NEO is a subset of Ethereum. Neo is now about 15% of Ethereum. How much further can it go?

At least its name doesn’t say “coin”. There is only one “coin” other than Bitcoin in the top 10. “Coin” means “Me too” in the context of bitcoin. The association to Neo from the Matrix is geeky but its not bad to be geeky in crypto. The antshares name was very confusing, so rebranding was a great step towards mass adoption.

It can be said that NEO occupies the “China” box in the consumers’ minds and this is also good. This is a narrow focus on a particular market – NEO can be very strong there, considering that Bitcoin and Ethereum are more general-purpose coins. China is big, powerful, and the Chinese people have a reputation for sticking to their own services, so this is a relatively good position. Is it a $200-300 one? We will see.

This branding analysis does not take into consideration mechanical, distributional and other factors at play, so it should have a small weight in the overall evaluation of the crypto.


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