NEO, formerly known as Antshares, has been described as China’s version of Ethereum. Find out how it works today in our Neo review.

What Is NEO Smart Economy?

NEO is the rebranded form of Antshares, which has long been seen as China’s Ethereum. The ecosystem revolves around the use of NEO as a currency.

Calling NEO the “Ethereum of China” is a bit misleading, because it’s designed to be a better version of Ethereum. Ethereum changed the blockchain world by introducing smart contracts. NEO also has smart contracts that function in a very similar way to Ethereum. However, NEO also has a number of major features that could make it a superior choice to Ethereum and other blockchains.

The main improvement NEO has over Ethereum is that it fills the security holes left by Ethereum. The infamous hack of The DAO has left a permanent impact on Ethereum’s security. NEO aims to push the blockchain community forward by fixing these security holes. NEO also has a specific mechanism in place that protects the blockchain from quantum computers – the futuristic computers that could threaten the cryptography of every blockchain in the world today.

In any case, Antshares rebranded to NEO in July 2017, then launched NEO Network 2.0 in August. Today, the company describes itself as “China’s first ever open source blockchain.” The blockchain was first developed in 2014, and it’s been open source since 2015.

How Does NEO Smart Economy Work?

NEO works in a similar way to any other decentralized ledger (blockchain). However, it also introduces several new and unique features to the blockchain community, including P2P networking, dBFT consensus, digital certificates, superconducting transactions, and cross-chain interoperability – all of which, the developers claim, make it an ideal foundation for the new and rising economy.

As the website explains, “NEO applies unique technologies adopted for future industry demand, and is the strongest comprehensive domestic public blockchain.”

One of the core features of NEO is that its underlying design supports multiple types of digital assets. Users can register, transfer, and trade at will over NEO.

Another core feature is that NEO uses digital certificates to guarantee trust. Digital certificates are used to place trust on the public chain. This provides full legal protection for assets digitized through the NEO platform.

And, like Ethereum, NEO uses Turing-complete smart contracts.

NEO Features

Obviously, there’s a lot going on with NEO. It’s a complex piece of technology. The full technical details are outside the scope of this article. However, here’s a basic overview of NEO’s core features – including the features that make it unique from other popular blockchains like bitcoin and Ethereum.

Multi-Asset Support:

NEO is designed from the ground-up to support multiple types of assets.

Digital Certificates:

NEO uses digital certificates to form the basis of its trustless ecosystem. Users never need to trust a centralized party or organization.

Superconductive Trade Mechanism:

NEO facilitates the P2P exchange of digital assets. Buyers and sellers of digital assets and currencies will be handled peer-to-peer without the need for third party exchanges.

Turing-complete Smart Contract:

Turing-complete smart contracts have a high certainty and finality. NEO’s smart contracts support parallel operation, sharding, and unlimited scalability when run in NEOVM.

Advanced Smart Contract Customizability:

NEO is known for the customizability of its smart contracts. Contracts can be customized to a high level using languages like C++, Java, and Go. That means developers can create advanced smart contracts without being forced to learn a new programming language.


NEO has a lightweight stack called the NeoVM, or NEO Virtual Machine. This virtual machine provides shorter startup times with efficient execution. Deterministic calling tree technology allows NEO to achieve unlimited theoretical scalability.

dBFT Consensus Mechanism:

NEO is also differentiated from other blockchains due to its unique consensus mechanism. That mechanism involves using Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithms to reach consensus and ensure the finality of transactions. It also ensures the system keeps its finality and availability as long as Byzantine fault occurs on less than one third of all nodes.

Original Cross-chain Interoperation Protocol:

NEO’s cross-chain interoperation protocol allows for atomic asset swaps, which basically means transactions are faster and require no middleman. NEO’s platform also allows for a distributed transaction protocol and guarantees the operation consistency of smart contracts executed on different chains. In layman’s terms, NEO is one of the few blockchains designed to be interoperable from the ground-up – it’s not designed to exclusively work within its own platform.

Lattice Cryptology Quantum Computer Proof Technology:

One of the biggest threats to blockchain technology is the invention of quantum computers. The entire basis of blockchain rests on the idea of modern computing power and its limits. A quantum computer could shatter cryptography, threatening the future of blockchain security and technology. NEO, however, specifically addresses this issue with its quantum computer-proof technology. Specifically, NEO has lattice cryptography-based signing and encryption techniques that allow for Turing encryption and decryption solutions through the shortest vector problem (SVP). In more straightforward terms, SVP cannot be solved by current quantum computers, which means NEO’s future is protected from the invention of quantum computers.

Who’s Behind NEO?

Key members of the NEO development team include founder Da Hongfei, Founder and Core Developer Zhang Zhengwen, and Secretary General Tao Rongqi.

You can contact the core development team by email at [email protected]

NEO Conclusion

Virtually every article on NEO calls the platform (formerly known as Antshares), the “Ethereum of China”. That’s high praise – although it’s also a bit misleading. Yes, NEO has smart contracts just like Ethereum. However, it also has several other innovative features that could make it the world’s leading blockchain platform. It’s a future-proof blockchain designed with interoperability and industry needs in mind.

You can learn more about NEO by visiting the organization online at

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