Want to jump straight to the answer? You can buy NEO on eToro, Robinhood and Voyager.
Neo competes directly with Ethereum as a platform to create financial products on a blockchain. The company is seen as the “Chinese Ethereum,” as the Neo Foundation is based out of China. Neo’s transactions are cheaper than Ethereum’s and the platform has a fund to stimulate continued development into the future. With this in mind, Neo is an attractive investment for investors who believe another crypto will eventually replace Ethereum as a platform to build decentralized applications on.
What is Neo?
Neo is a blockchain network that competes with Ethereum to provide a platform to build financial infrastructure on. Unlike Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Neo let developers build financial products directly on the blockchain. This eliminates the need for a centralized 3rd party, making a financial ecosystem that is both trustless and permissionless.
A trustless system means that there is no need to trust a 3rd party to operate on your behalf. For example, you need to rely on a crypto exchange to hold your assets securely and continue supporting the cryptocurrency tokens you’re invested in. Instead of a 3rd party controlling your assets, you control your funds with your crypto wallet and transact using code on Neo’s blockchain. This code is referred to as smart contracts, as they’re capable of handling assets on the blockchain.
Neo’s network provides a permissionless financial system for anyone who can access the platform’s smart contracts. Unlike an exchange or bank, you can use a smart contract without having to gain “permission” by making an account or submitting paperwork.
Brief History of Neo
NEO was initially released as Antshares back in 2014. The blockchain company is based out of China and is believed to be the 1st public blockchain to be developed in the country. In 2017, Antshares rebranded to Neo and quickly appreciated from sub $1 prices to almost $200 at its peak.
Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang are the co-founders of Neo. They operate the Neo Foundation, which is used to facilitate upgrades to Neo and aid in the adoption of Neo’s network. Currently, NEO is trading for just under $40 and has a market capitalization of about $2.75 billion.
The 2nd token on Neo’s network is NeoGAS. NeoGAS is similar to Ethereum’s gas, but it’s not directly linked to the NEO token. NeoGAS is used to purchase computational power for transactions and smart contracts, “fueling” the network.
Step 1: Open an online account.
In order to purchase NEO tokens, you’ll need to make an account with a crypto trading platform that supports the trading of the asset. Unfortunately, most major exchanges like Coinbase and eToro don’t support the trading of NEO, but you can watch the price movements of the token on the Coinbase app. The most popular exchange that supports NEO is Binance, a popular crypto exchange that supports a variety of altcoins.
To make an account with Binance, you’ll need to provide the website with information about yourself. The information you provide is for tax purposes, and it’s very similar to making an account with a stock brokerage. Some information you’ll need is your Social Security number, address, email address and birthday.
Step 2: Buy a wallet (optional).
If you don’t plan on actively trading your cryptocurrency, you should store your crypto assets on a dedicated crypto wallet. Storing your funds on an exchange puts your crypto at risk of being stolen, as hackers may be able to breach the exchange’s security. The 2 main types of cryptocurrency wallets are hardware and software wallets.
Software wallets are computer programs that you can use on your computer or mobile device. These programs are more secure than storing your funds on exchanges and are generally free to use. Hardware wallets are the most secure way to store your NEO tokens, as hardware wallets are physical devices that store your crypto offline.
Best Hardware Wallet: Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is an affordable hardware wallet for most crypto investors, coming in at just over $50 on Amazon. The wallet supports a variety of altcoins and its Ledger Live platform allows you to download applications for lesser-known crypto assets.
Ledger makes a premium crypto wallet called the Ledger Nano X that retails for $119 on Ledger’s website. The Nano X has a couple of benefits over the Nano S, such as Bluetooth connectivity and support for up to 100 applications (the Nano S only supports up to 18 applications). For most investors, the Nano S will have everything you need to store your cryptocurrency securely.
Best Software Wallet: Binance Wallet
Binance Wallet is an exchange wallet that holds your crypto assets off the exchange. If you choose to use Binance to buy and sell NEO, it’s a great option to store your cryptocurrency since it’s so convenient. Also, Binance is one of the few wallets that lets you earn NEOgas, which is deposited to your wallet on the 2nd day of each month.
Step 3: Make your purchase.
In a similar way to stocks, you can buy NEO as a limit order or a market order. Market orders purchase your NEO tokens at the market price which is determined by the highest bid and lowest ask in an exchange’s order book.
Alternatively, you can buy your NEO using a limit order. Limit orders purchase NEO at a specified price you set when placing your order. If the market price dips to the price you’ve specified, the order will automatically purchase NEO at that price.
Given its high transaction fees, many investors are looking for alternatives to Ethereum. NEO is a clear competitor to Ethereum, and it may gain traction if Ethereum can’t fix its scalability problems quickly.
Trade, Sell or Convert your NEO
If you plan on day trading your NEO, then you’ll need to keep your crypto on an exchange. You can’t trade cryptocurrencies from most crypto wallets, but some high-tech wallets let you exchange crypto using smart contracts. If you’re holding your NEO in a crypto wallet, you’ll need to send it back to an exchange in order to sell it. To transfer your NEO tokens from your crypto wallet, just enter your exchange’s NEO address in your crypto wallet and send it on its way.
Current Crypto Prices
The entire cryptocurrency asset class has been in a bull market this year, with prices appreciating well over 100% in many cases. Institutional buyers like Square, Tesla and Grayscale have all been driving up the price of bitcoin by adding the asset to their balance sheets. To get an idea of how cryptocurrency prices are moving, check out some of the major cryptocurrency prices below.
Is Neo a Good Investment?
If you don’t think Ethereum will be able to scale in a timely manner, then Neo may be a good investment for you. Right now, Ethereum’s market capitalization is about 75 times more than NEO’s, and most blockchain developers use Ethereum to build smart contracts. Network effects are an important part of the blockchain industry, and it will be hard for any smart contract-enabled blockchain to replace Ethereum as a decentralized financial service provider.
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