Da Hongfei, the co-founder of NEO, spoke about the evolution of Blockchain Technology during the recent NEO Devcon conference, which was held in Seattle. He also spoke about the new upcoming version, NEO 3.0 and the platform’s mission.
NEO Devcon Conference 2019 was one of the most-awaited conferences of the year. The conference was filled with the industry’s notable speakers and representatives. The main focus of the conference was the development of the NEO ecosystem and the contribution made by projects associated with NEO to the ecosystem. Moreover, the conference was also a knowledge hub as it covered topics regarding Blockchain technology, developer communities, crypto-economics and decentralization as a whole.
The keynote speakers of the conference for the first-day included,
- Da Hongfei – Founder of NEO, who spoke about ‘The Promise of Smart Economy’,
- Erik Zhang – Founder of NEO, who presented the possible improvements in NEO 3.0
- Miha Kralj – Managing Director at Accenture, who presented on the topic ‘Big Trend in Blockchain’
- Pablo Junco – Director of Worldwide Apps Solutions Strategy at Microsoft, who’s speech was about ‘Blockchain Use Cases and Enterprise Needs on the Microsoft Platform’
- Dr. Chris Berg – Senior Research fellow at RMIT, presented on ‘Crypto-economics and the Future of the Global Economy’
Da Hongfei’s keynote began with him speaking about his experience with Bitcoin [BTC], the very first cryptocurrency of the decentralized space. Hongfei spoke about how he was introduced to Bitcoin in 2011 and how he bought the virtual currency the following year for $10. He also spoke about launching a cryptocurrency exchange which however, never materialized.
Nonetheless, Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang launched NEO, a leading cryptocurrency project and the seventeenth largest cryptocurrency, after two years. Hongfei went on to speak about NEO at the event.
NEO is a notable project because of its Byzantine Fault-tolerant consensus mechanism, making it the first public blockchain project around the world to implement it. More so, this mechanism also saw an upgrade with the introduction of delegation, making NEOs consensus mechanism a Delegated Byzantine Fault-tolerant [dBFT] consensus mechanism.
Even NEO token economy has set the project apart from all the other cryptocurrency projects in the space. This is because NEO was the first project to introduce and implement dual token economy, NEO and GAS. The governance structure of NEO is also one of a kind as the Foundation reserved 50% of NEO tokens for the future development of the project and the Foundation.
To add on, NEO’s smart contract system is quite different when compared to other smart contract platforms such as Ethereum. For example, developers do not have to learn new languages to write smart contract. Instead, they can use Java, Python, C#, JS and several other common computing languages, added Hongfei.
Furthermore, Da Hongfei spoke about his perspective on blockchain technology. Here, he remarked that the blockchain, in its “minimal form,” is a ledger technology, adding that it is much more than that. Blockchain technology is a platform that allows developers to build decentralized applications on top of it, he added. More so, the technology is also a network protocol and is a platform where people can transfer value via the Internet.
The Founder went on to say that the revolutionary technology has more aspects than the ones mentioned above. According to him, Blockchain Technology is a “new institutional technology,” which enables people in the space to form new forms of institution. Here, he refers to an institution as some sort of social system, which has many rule sets structuring peoples’ interaction with each other.
This was followed by the Founder remarking that blockchain is an “evolution of ledger technology”. He stated that everything will soon have a digital representation including assets, securities, IoT devices and even personal ID, adding that these have to be based on a decentralized system to prevent hacks and the potential creation of honey pots. Since they would be decentralized applications, the trust, in turn, would not be based on centralized system, but the technology in itself, thereby creating a transparent and inclusive ecosystem.
Da Hongfei said,
“And because everything is digital, I believes we will see a bigger, global market and the government will probably get smaller. We will invent many new forms of institutions that we haven’t ever imagined of. So that’s my vision about smart economy.”
This was followed by Da Hongfei stating that NEO 3.0 is ‘an open network for smart economy,’ briefly speaking about its technical and governance aspects. He went on to say that public blockchains are going to be the infrastructure for the future smart economy, along with cloud computing, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.
According to him, blockchain technology along with other leading technologies is going to pave the path that would help facilitate and build the future smart economy, adding that NEO’s vision for the upcoming year is to “better serve the smart economy.”
The NEO team will be taking its first step towards this with the project’s new version – NEO 3.0, which would be released in the coming years. Here, the co-founder stated that the team wants to “change the architecture of NEO” and “make it better, even perfect”.
“So, we want to do abstraction of assets. Today, there are two kinds of assets, smart contract assets and global assets on NEO. We will abstract them into one kind of asset. So, in the future, there will be no global asset, everything will be under smart contracts, mostly net five assets.“
The developer team will also unify the transactions. Here, every transaction will be a user defined smart contract and there will not be a deployed smart contract transaction. Additionally, the team will also unify different smart contracts; there will be a native smart contract which will be deployed on the client immediately after its installed.
NEO 3.0 will also have a “proper layering,” in which developer applications would be based on Layer 2 blockchain. Further, NEO’s consensus mechanism will be optimized and the on-chain governance incentivized, incentivising token holders to vote for consensus node.
Other key upgrades of NEO 3.0 include internet resource access, direct access to internet and better security, a system similar to iOS and Android. NEO 3.0 will also introduce a new infrastructure model and NEO FS, a distributed off-chain storage solution, along with a new identity solution.
The topic of discussion was NEO Foundation, the Foundation dedicated towards the development of NEO and its ecosystem. The Foundation was recently registered with the Malaysian authorities and the purpose, as stated by Da Hongfei, is to make the decision making, and financial reporting more formal and make the governance more transparent.
Currently, the Foundation has around $2 million in cash [Fiat], Bitcoin and Ethereum equivalent to $7 million, 40% of NEO dedicated for the development of the ecosystem. This financial report also shows that the ecosystem is quite healthy compared to other projects and the looming bear market.
Fundamentally, NEO has two entities under it, Neo Global Development [NGD] and Neo Global Capital [NGC]. NGD focuses on executing strategies that are set by the NEO Foundation and NGC focuses on the funding of the project. The other important group of the NEO ecosystem is the developer group; the core developers and the developer communities.
This was followed by Da Hongfei stating that NEO’s next focus would be to be more transparent, and further decentralize the consensus node. Currently, NEO has seven consensus node on the Mainnet, out of which two are run by third party entities.
Further, NEO would also be optimizing its development process, with the team focusing on the specification process first and then on the coding. There will also be a proper quality assurance, which would ensure that the quality of the code is improved drastically.
“We will strive to improve the infrastructure of NEO including NEO FS, the distributed file system, NEO ID, SDK, Layer 2 solutions, stable coin schemes, decentralized exchange including NASH and also STO solution.”
Towards the end of the keynote, the co-founder emphasized on NEO’s mission. The current mission is “To make NEO the number one blockchain by 2020, to make it the most favourable platform to build applications on top of it by providing best performance, diversified ecosystem and also compliant solutions,” said Da Hongfei.
In order to achieve to the same, the team has launched a NGD base in Seattle, home to the biggest software company in the world, Microsoft. Moreover, the base will be led by developers who previously worked for Microsoft, all aiming to drive NEO not only in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, but also in the technological industry as a whole.
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