An article titled “NEO, China’s Fake Matrix” was previously shared on a few forums over the last few days. There are a lot of misunderstandings and false accusations in that article, and we would like to clarify those so that everyone knows what this project is and how far the progress is at the moment.
Firstly, the author claims that the NEO project dubs itself “China’s ethereum”. This is completely false. The NEO founders even said themselves in the AMA that they do not like that comparison. NEO is not a Chinese version of Ethereum and we have never made that claim; it is a totally different technology and has completely different goals than Ethereum. Blockchains that fork Ethereum’s EVM may be called “XX version of Ethereum”; NEO has its own virtual machine, its own innovative consensus protocol, and is not a “fork” of anything. **NEO is NEO**.
The author continues to argue that BFT should mainly be applicable to private blockchains and wonders how NEO then can call itself a public blockchain. NEO is not based on BFT, but actually dBFT, which the author then recognizes in later paragraphs. The author seems to answer his own question. More information about dBFT can be found on docs.neo.org/en-us/node/consensus.html.
Following are a number of paragraphs criticizing the white paper, ending with the author admitting that he couldn’t even find the white paper and used a cached version. The white paper is a Github document where changes are added continuously, so the author likely looked at a very early version of the white paper. The author claims the white paper is “inaccessible” and links here “http://docs.neo.org/en-us/white-paper.html”. That’s an invalid link; the white paper is published here(https://github.com/neo-project/neo/wiki) and is also linked there from the neo.org website(http://docs.neo.org/en-us). We welcome everyone to read and criticize that version instead of the author’s judgments on a cached version from who knows when.
The author then states that “In Neo’s current format it does not exist as a ‘public’ blockchain, it is a private blockchain owned and run by OnChain”. This is also a completely false statement, since NEO is an open source community project that started in May 2015 under the name Antshares, and has been open on Github ever since then. The private company Onchain was founded in 2016 and used the open source Antshares project as a foundation for a blockchain framework called DNA. Onchain is thus using parts of NEO, and not the other way around.
The only valid criticism from this article is that of voting and decentralization. NEO is not decentralized enough as of today, and that is fully intentional. Firstly, the only “centralization” is that NEO Council is still holding 50% of the tokens (these are the locked 50 million). This is to ensure that there is enough voting power for efficient network upgrades during the development of the ecosystem. Secondly, although the NEO Council holds 50% as of today, the distribution of these tokens will start in October, to be used for community building and cross-investments in projects that support the NEO ecosystem. Thirdly, network integrity is of greatest importance, and the NEO Council want to ensure that all consensus nodes have honest, non-malicious intentions. NeoID is an important part of this governance system, which is why the decentralization process is meant to be progressive and controlled.
For transparency, the remaining 50 million tokens will be distributed as follows:
* 10 million tokens (10% total) will be used to motivate NEO developers and members of the NEO Council
* 10 million tokens (10% total) will be used to motivate developers in the NEO ecosystem
* 15 million tokens (15% total) will be used to cross-invest in other block-chain projects, which are owned by the NEO Council and are used only for NEO projects
* 15 million (15% total) will be retained as contingency
* The annual use of NEO in principle shall not exceed 15 million tokens
As a last word, we would like to thank all who bring concerns and questions to our attention. NEO is a fully open source project that started in China, so much of the communication and documentation over the last few years has been in Chinese only. With international traction, we now receive questions from all over the world, and we are always interested to know your concerns. Hopefully this clears up a few questions.