What is Neo?
Neo bills itself as a “rapidly growing and developing” ecosystem that has the goal of becoming the foundation for the next generation of the internet — a new economy where digitized payments, identities and assets come together.
Initially known as Antshares, this project was believed to be China’s first-ever public blockchain when it was launched in February 2014. The open-source platform subsequently rebranded to Neo three years later.
As well as creating a worldwide community of developers who create new infrastructure for the network and lower barriers to entry, the team behind this project operate an EcoBoost initiative that’s designed to encourage people to build decentralized apps and smart contracts on its blockchain.
It’s often been likened to the Chinese version of the Ethereum network.
The co-founders of Neo, and its predecessor Antshares, are Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang. Both serve as chairmen of the Neo Foundation, which aims to promote the blockchain’s adoption.
Da Hongfei has said that, although the internet is a great invention, it has many flaws — and this means that everyday consumers don’t always have control over their own data. The entrepreneur believes blockchain applications will eventually go mainstream.
Erik Zhang was the author of the Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithm, which aims to deter untrustworthy participants from taking part in the blockchain’s operation. This technology went on to be used in the Neo blockchain. He also served as the core developer for this network, and is playing an instrumental role in the development of Neo 3.0, the next iteration of the project’s infrastructure.
One of the unique selling points of the Neo blockchain concerns its continuous development, which helps ensure that it is futureproof and able to cope with sudden increases in demand. As mentioned earlier, the project has developed Neo 3.0 — enhancing network security and allowing a greater number of transactions per second to be processed.
Unlike many other blockchains, this network also has two native tokens: NEO and GAS. While NEO serves as an investment token and allows people to participate in votes concerning improvements to the blockchain, GAS is used to pay fees for the transactions that are being completed on the network.
Few other blockchain projects also run a development fund to the extent that Neo does. EcoBoost launched back in 2019, and it was billed as an initiative that provides “full life-cycle support for high-potential projects” — including grants, technical support and promotion on social media.
Find out more about GAS, the second native token to Neo
How does Neo compare with Ethereum?
Explore our comprehensive crypto how-to guides
What’s going on in the crypto industry? Find out in our blog
Neo is a non-profit blockchain project that utilizes blockchain technology and digital identity to digitize assets, to automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts, and to realize a "smart economy" with a distributed network. 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.
1. Create accounts
In order to buy Neo in Canada we will first need to create an account on a local exchange to buy Ethereum or Bitcoin. Then you will need to create an account on a global exchange to trade the Ethereum or Bitcoin for Neo.
Create Local Exchange Account
If you want to buy Neo right now (with a verification delay), and if you want to buy only a small amount ($375 CAD or less) use Coinbase.
For a more comprehensive guide and comparison of the various exchanges, see the Exchanges Guide. We offer a pretty good pro and con list of each exchange.
Create Global Exchange Account
Next, you will need to create an account on a global exchange. This will allow you to trade the Bitcoin or Ethereum for Neo. Unfortunately, it's not possible yet to do it all on the same exchange. Which is why you need to use multiple exchanges.
We recommend using Binance
For a more comprehensive guide and comparison of the various exchanges, see the Exchanges Guide.
Verify and Fund
In order to fund your local exchange accounts you will need to verify your identity. This often involves sending in copies of your drivers license, a utility bill, and in many cases a selfie of you holding your ID. This is normal ask for verification on exchanges.
As for verification on global exchanges, the verification is usually faster and less intense. For example on Binance you do not need to verify if you are withdrawing 2 BTC or less.
2. Buy your cryptocurrencies
Now that you have both a local exchange account and a global exchange account it's time to make your purchases. You need to buy XRP or ETH, transfer it to the Global exchange, and then place an order to trade it for Neo.
Buy a Cryptocurrency
If you are not using Binance, it is a important to verify that your global exchange will trade the cryptocurrency you are buying in this step, for Neo.
Login to your local exchange and buy your desired amount of Neo in XRP or ETH. We currently recommend buying with XRP as it provides a faster and cheaper transaction than Bitcoin/Ethereum, as long as your exchange supports it. Ethereum is ok if you are using Shakepay as they will cover the network fees to transfer to Binance or another exchange.
Transfer Cryptocurrency to a Global Exchange
This involves getting the funding wallet address from Binance account and withdrawing to it from your Shakepay account.
You will need to wait for the transaction to complete. Once you see the funds appear in your global exchange account you are ready to proceed to the next step.
Trade for Neo
The next step is to actually buy Neo. On your global exchange place an order to trade the crypto currency for Neo. You will most likely need to buy USDT or BTC so you have the correct currency for the trading pair offered.
The fastest way is to place a market order which buys Neo for the current market price on the exchange. However, consider using a limit order to get a better price, but remember if the market price does not hit your limit price your order will not be filled.
3. Storing your Neo
If you just bought some Neo you are currently storing it on the exchange you bought it on. This is OK if the value is small. However, if you own a significant amount it is best practice to transfer your cryptocurrencies to a wallet that is not an exchange.
If you are just getting started you will probably want to use a software wallet. They are typically free and are considered more secure than leaving Neo on a exchange.
Feel free to do a google search to research what wallets are available and know what the options are.
Once you have decided on a wallet, follow the instructions to get it setup then withdraw your Neo from your exchange account. It is common for a small fee to be associted with the withdrawal.
The safest way to store Neo, or any cryptocurrency, is with a hardware wallet that is not connected to the internet. This is to prevent it being stolen or hacked from a exchange or a wallet connected to the internet.
Consider looking at the Ledger line of hardware wallets. They have been in the industry a number of years and offer one of the widest selections of devices.
Leaving it on an Exchange
This is generally not recommended. However, you might want to do this if you are actively trading Neo. Be aware you are taking an extra risk. Exchanges have been known to get hacked or disappear, search QuadrigaCX scandal.
The main advantage of doing this is instant access to your Neo, and saving the fees associated with transactions and withdrawing.
Always consider the reputation and size of the exchange if you are storing a cryptocurrency asset on it.
Generally speaking, I do not keep a balance on any of the local exchanges. If I am going to hold a balance of a cryptocurrency coin/asset on an exchange it will be Binance as they have the most robust platform. However, use this information at your own risk. The safest place for your crypto assets is a hardware wallet like Ledger.
Regardless of the exchange, if you are holding assets on the exchange, make sure you enable two factor authentication and use a separete secure password on the account.
- Create an account on a local exchange.
- Create an account on a global exchange.
- First buy ETH or BTC on the local exchange.
- Next trade that ETH or BTC for Neo on the global exchange.
- Store your Neo, consider getting a software or hardware wallet.