A beginner’s guide on how to buy, sell and trade NEO in the US.
Neo is a Chinese blockchain platform designed to provide a distributed network for the smart economy. Formerly known as AntShares and often referred to as China’s Ethereum, Neo enables the development of digital assets and smart contracts.
The Neo ecosystem has two tokens, NEO and GAS, which each perform important roles. For more details on how the Neo platform works and how you can buy NEO in the US, keep reading.
Where to buy NEO
You can buy NEO on a wide range of cryptocurrency exchanges, including:
A step-by-step guide to buying NEO
If you want to buy NEO, read on for step-by-step instructions on how to do it:
Step 1. Register for an account with an exchange that allows you to buy NEO
The first step is to search for an exchange that lists NEO in one or more currency pairings. Once you’ve found an exchange that meets your needs, you can sign up for an account by entering your email address and creating a secure password.
This is all you need to do before you can place a buy order on some platforms, but many exchanges require additional information (such as your full name, contact details and a valid form of photo ID) to satisfy KYC (know your customer) laws before permitting you to make a deposit and place a trade. It’s also important to enable two-factor authentication on your account for extra protection.
Step 2. Deposit funds into your account
Unfortunately, many cryptocurrency exchanges don’t allow users to exchange fiat currency, such as US dollars (USD), for NEO. This means that in many cases, you’ll first have to own or buy a cryptocurrency that’s listed in a currency pairing with NEO, such as Ethereum (ETH) or bitcoin (BTC), and then use it to buy NEO.
Step 3. Buy NEO
Find the link for the markets section on your chosen exchange and search for the currency pairing you want, such as ETH/NEO. Next, click on “Buy NEO” and type in the number of NEO you want to buy or the amount of another currency you want to spend.
The final step is to review the full details of your transaction, including the total cost, before finalizing the purchase.
How to sell NEO
If you want to sell any NEO, you’ll need to follow a similar process to that outlined in step 3 above, obviously making sure to click the “Sell NEO” link. Remember also that because exchanges don’t list every possible pairing for a particular cryptocurrency, you may not be able to directly exchange your NEO holdings for the currency you want.
Which wallets can I use to hold NEO?
Unless you’re preparing to place a trade, the security concerns associated with exchange-based wallets mean it’s not recommended to hold your funds on an exchange for an extended period of time. Instead, it’s generally a safer option to store your NEO in a secure wallet.
Some NEO-compatible options you might like to consider include:
- Ledger Nano S (hardware wallet)
- NEON Wallet (desktop wallet)
- NEO GUI (web wallet)
- NEO Tracker (web wallet)
- NEO Wallet (web wallet)
How NEO works
Founded in 2014 by Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang, Neo is a community-based blockchain project which, according to its official website, “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”.
What does this mean in the real world? Well, Neo aims to provide the following features to users:
- Digital assets. Through the use of smart contracts, traditional assets can be turned into digital ones and securely stored on the blockchain.
- Digital identity. Neo will enable the creation of digital identities for individuals and organizations, and those identities will only be accessible via multi-factor authentication.
- Smart contracts. Like Ethereum, Neo will allow the creation of smart contracts. However, Ethereum is based on its own proprietary coding language known as Solidity, which developers must first learn in order to build on the Ethereum ecosystem. Meanwhile, Neo supports many additional code bases, including C#, VB.Net, F#, Java and Kotlin, thus removing this barrier to entry for developers.
- Dapps. Neo will also support the creation of decentralized applications, such as decentralized exchanges and legal smart contracts.
Though it started life as AntShares, the project was rebranded to Neo in June 2017. The Neo network has two cryptocurrency tokens:
- NEO. This is the investment token of the Neo system and is used to create blocks, manage the network and fulfil other tasks requiring consensus.
- GAS. GAS is the fuel that powers transactions on the Neo blockchain. Check out our guide on how to buy GAS for more information on this token.
Key things to consider if you’re thinking about buying NEO
Cryptocurrencies are complicated and highly speculative, not to mention volatile. Before purchasing or holding any crypto, it’s critical that you thoroughly research a coin or token and familiarize yourself with all the risks involved.
If you’re thinking of buying NEO, consider the following factors first:
- Supply. According to CoinMarketCap at the time of writing (2/14/18), the circulating supply of NEO was 65,000,000 out of a total supply of 100,000,000 NEO.
- Crowdsale. 50,000,000 NEO tokens were sold during an August 2017 crowdsale, with the other 50,000,000 reserved until October 16, 2017, to be managed by the Neo Council as follows:
- 10,000,000 to Neo developers and Council members
- 10,000,000 as incentives for developers in the Neo system
- 15,000,000 invested in auxiliary blockchain projects used by Neo
- 15,000,000 set aside for “contingencies”
- Concerns. Some commentators have pointed out that reserving half the total supply of NEO tokens for Neo developers produces the potential risk of those tokens being dumped on the market and other practices that could affect NEO’s value.
- Use. NEO tokens represent the right to manage the network. Management rights include voting for bookkeeping, NEO network parameter changes and a number of other tasks.
- Not divisible. Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, NEO is not divisible. In other words, the smallest unit of NEO will always be 1.
- Proof of Stake. Neo operates on a proof-of-stake model that allows users to generate GAS by staking their NEO tokens in a wallet. GAS is required to perform transactions on the Neo system.
- Developer use. One critical factor in the future value of NEO tokens will be the widespread adoption of the Neo platform by developers. While there’s been plenty of hype around the potential for Neo in the past 12 months or so, whether or not it achieves mainstream popularity remains to be seen.
- Based in China. The fact that Neo is based in China offers both benefits and disadvantages. On the plus side, China’s huge population and economy mean there’s great potential for growth if Neo becomes the go-to platform for Chinese developers. On the other side of the coin, the Chinese government has in the past launched a number of crackdowns on cryptocurrencies, so regulatory pressure is a concern.
- Market competition. Neo is not only competing with the well-established Ethereum platform, but also with platforms such as Cardano, EOS, Lisk and more.
If you thoroughly research the Neo platform and the pros and cons of the NEO cryptocurrency, you’ll be well placed to make an informed decision about whether or not to buy NEO.