NEO, formerly ANS |
|Initial release||February 2014 as AntShares|
|Code repository||NEO Github|
|Block time||15-25 seconds|
|Circulating supply||c. 65.0 million (as of 6 March 2018[update])|
|Supply limit||100 million|
The NEO project was originally launched in 2014 as Antshares with development resources provided by co-founder Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang through their development company Onchain. NEO rebranded from Antshares to NEO in June of 2017.
A total of 100 million NEO were created in the Genesis Block. 50 million NEO were sold to investors, with the remaining 50 million NEO locked into a smart contract. Each year, 15 million NEO tokens are unlocked which can be used by the NEO development team to fund long term development goals. NEO tokens generate a slowly deflationary amount of GAS tokens which are used to pay for transactions on the network. The inflation rate of GAS is controlled with a decaying half life algorithm that will release 100 million GAS over approximately 22 years.
NEO uses a Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) consensus mechanism and can support a large amount of transactions per second.  To achieve consensus, bookkeeping nodes are randomly selected to validate transactions on the network based overlapping networks of trust in a manner most similar to Hyperledger Fabric and Stellar which employ subtlety different implementations to solve for the Byzantine General's problem. Systems employing dBFT for consensus cannot hard fork into two separate chains as the mechanism relies on 2/3 majority rule to operate.
NEO smart contracts support many common programming languages via the NEOVM compiler, including those on Microsoft.net, Java, Kotlin, Go and Python. Isolation of smart contract code inside of the neoVM is crucial for network security and scalability. neoVM features a lighter weight implementation of Docker which reduces requirements on system resources by avoiding the need to replicate an entire virtual environment.
The core of the NEO feature set revolves around tools that allow developers to efficiently deploy and scale smart contract applications on the NEO blockchain.
- NEP5 Communications Standard - the NEP5 gives developers a standardized workflow and template to build decentralized applications. All tokens using the NEP5 standard are automatically able to transact with any other token using the NEP5 standard which allows for applications such as decentralized exchanges and other more advanced cross token communication.
- X.509 Digital Identities allow developers to tie tokens to real world identities which aids in complying with KYC/AML and other regulatory requirements
- NeoX – A cross chain protocol that will allow NEO tokens to communicate with tokens on other blockchains.
- NeoFS – A decentralized file sharing service based on the InterPlanetary File System.
- NeoQ – A lattice-based cryptographic mechanism which creates problems that cannot be solved by quantum computers and ensuring being quantum-proof 
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