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NEO has smashed its all-time high this week despite a bearish market, as the ‘Chinese Ethereum’ quickly becomes one of the fastest growing platforms for regulated ICOs.

What has caused this bullish trend for NEO? 

Since December, NEO’s price has seen a huge 372% rise from $33.34 to its current all-time high up at $157.44 (at the time of writing) as the market begins to take stock of the 27 ICO’s launching this year on the NEO platform.

Having had little price movement over Q4 last year, NEO looks to step up its game going into 2018, with highly innovative projects including the already successful Red Pulse ICO, the world’s first decentralized mobile phone network, Qlink, and a community driven NEON exchange, NEX, based on the NEO blockchain. 

Powering the NEO blockchain, and what will be fuelling these ICOs is NEO’s spendable ‘GAS’ token. GAS is a token reward whereby holders of NEO are paid GAS tokens provided NEO is held in supported wallets.

These GAS tokens are used on the NEO blockchain to fuel smart contract deployment and general transactions, similar to gas used in Ethereum. What makes GAS unique is that it is not destroyed, and has a finite supply. 

With new ICOs dependent on GAS to power their projects, the scarcity of these tokens has driven the price up to $78, allowing NEO buyers an opportunity to earn a passive income from simply ‘HODLing’ the cryptocurrency.

While this benefits the community in one aspect, the voting powers attached to these tokens have also raised some concerns, as NEO holders fear these larger ICO companies will have whale-like dictatorship over NEO’s future direction.

What else does NEO have to offer? 

What also makes NEO different from other cryptocurrencies is how it reaches consensus on the blockchain. Consensus, in context to blockchain transactions, is largely about how an honest ledger is maintained by adhering to a single truth. 

Given that there are countless transactions occurring all over the world at any given time on the NEO blockchain, there’s a very large scope for disagreement on what has been transacted, as well as what balances should everyone have in their wallets.
Many different cryptocurrencies have attempted to solve this issue through various consensus protocols to validate their own blockchains, including:

Proof of Stake (PoS): Refers to the random selection of a synchronized candidate on the blockchain to validate the chain with the highest collateral, rewarding them on creating the next block.

Proof of Work (PoW): Refers to the process of ‘mining’ which uses huge amounts of computing energy to solve complex mathematical problems to issue new blocks.

Then there is NEO with its dBFT (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance) algorithm. 

This consensus mechanism has been chosen by NEO as they believe it offers greater scaling options for the blockchain, is less prone to deviation from malicious actors who try to destabilize the system and uses a great deal less energy than crypto mining. This scalability feature will play a vital role for the development of NEO’s blockchain as new DApps are added to the platform.

What’s next for NEO?

With new ICOs on the horizon, and their numbers only expected to grow, NEO may be looker towards newer heights. Additionally, the scarcity of GAS and its potential payout for NEO holders is another factor that can drive the price higher in the coming months.