NEO is a blockchain designed for running DApps and smart contracts.
NEO is also the name of one of the cryptocurrency tokens that helps to power the NEO blockchain. The other such token is GAS.
It originated in 2014 and was initially known as AntShares, and rebranded to NEO in 2017.
NEO’s main feature is its support for DApps and smart contracts. It also was one of the first public blockchains to support these features. As such, NEO was designed as more than a solution for recording cryptocurrency transactions. Its primary goal is to host applications using a decentralized network.
NEO is often compared to Ethereum, another public blockchain that helped to pioneer DApps and smart contracts.
Some even refer to NEO as the “Chinese Ethereum,” because NEO originated in China and has long been supported by the Chinese blockchain community.
Although NEO and Ethereum are similar in many respects, there are important differences between the two:
Unlike Ethereum and most other blockchains, NEO is powered by two built-in tokens.
The first, NEO, serves to provide ownership in the NEO blockchain. Owners of NEO can participate in network governance. They are also eligible to earn dividends that are paid out in NEO’s other token, GAS. GAS tokens are used to pay to execute DApps on the NEO blockchain.