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NEO Partnership Analysis
Summary:
A deep dive into the ecosystem and partnerships surrounding the NEO smart-contracts platform.
Table of contents:

1. NEO

2. Strategic corporate partnerships

3. Technology Partnerships

4. City of Zion

5. Conlcusion

1. Neo

A leading smart-contract platform out of China, NEO is focused on developing a compliant platform for realizing “the smart economy.” by automating the creation and management of digital assets through using smart contracts.

Billed as the ‘Ethereum of China’, NEO’s place in the restrictive Chinese economy means that it must pay heed to regulatory concerns and design its systems with the government in mind.

However, despite its Chinese origins NEO aims to compete with Ethereum and others and position itself as the leading platform for smart contracts, dApps, and ICOs. Therefore, a striking strategic partnership with governments, corporations, and organizations that can help propel it to mass adoption is crucial to the continued success of the NEO project.

In this report, we will look at both the strategic corporate partnerships as well as the technological partnerships of NEO.


2. Strategic corporate partnerships

KPN - Dutch telecommunications company

Founded in 1989, KPN is a Dutch landline and mobile communications company worth approximately $12bn. KPN provides internet access to millions across Western Europe and as of early 2018, is planning on hosting a full NEO consensus node.

The NEO network is secured using the Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithm (dBft) whereby network users vote for delegates, also known as consensus nodes, who are responsible for securing the network and adding new blocks to the blockchain. Consensus nodes require a significant infrastructure investment to materialize.

Although the announcement made by Douwe van de Ruit, KPN Blockchain Business Lead at the NEO Amsterdam Conference does not constitute a partnership in the classical sense of the word, KPN’s entrance into the NEO ecosystem does indicate that the Dutch telecommunications giant is serious about building on the NEO blockchain. With around 5 million customers using their mobile services alone, the network effect gained from a full KPN consensus node bodes well for the NEO’s future growth prospects.

Qlink and Cenntro automotive

Qlink is a Singapore-based decentralized mobile network which has recently teamed up with electric car manufacturer Cenntro automotive with the vision of bringing the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) to life.


Qlink will fit Cenntro-produced cars with a BaseStation, creating 4G and Wi-Fi coverage and facilitating Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) data transmission.

These Cenntro-Qlink vehicles will be registered on the NEO blockchain, providing a real use case for the digitization of physical assets that NEO hopes to implement.


3. Technology Partnerships

Onchain and ontology

Founded in 201 Onchain is working with government and business in an effort create bespoke blockchains servicing the many needs of both the public and the private sector. They “envision large-scale adoption of distributed ledger technology across private and public sector organizations” and through their Distributed Network Architecture (DNA),“ have worked steadily to make this goal a reality.

Voted into the Top 50 Fintech companies by KPMG in 2016, Onchain has worked with organizations ranging from local Chinese government authorities to Microsoft in their mission of linking private and public enterprises to the blockchain. A joint venture with the city of Guiyang sees Onchain bringing it’s smart contract 2.0 technology to the 4 million citizens who call the city home.

Onchain’s founders, CEO Da HongFei and CTO Erik Zhang, set out to bring blockchain to business and government in response to the attention during the development process of Antshares, which has since rebranded to become NEO.

While NEO is a public, decentralized network the solution offered by Onchain specifically caters to enterprises and organizations seeking tailor-made, permissioned blockchains. Onchain’s DNA platform shares the same architecture and smart contract system with NEO. With the introduction of NEOx providing cross-chain interoperability and asset exchange, Onchain and NEO plan to link between the private and public blockchain projects creating an information superhighway. Having secured membership into the prestigious Hyperledger projects started by the Linux foundation shows that Onchain is on the right track.

Ontology is a public blockchain project launched by Onchain in 2017 with the expressed goal of creating trust mechanisms which can then be altered for specific business needs. Ontology and NEO, while both setting out to bridge the gap between blockchain technology and the real world, have different yet complementary focus points.

Onchain and NEO are not the same entity, despite sharing the same founders and similar origins. NEO is a decentralized public blockchain while Onchain is a privately-held company with funding from Fosun International Limited, a Chinese conglomerate, and investment company. While NEO’s focus is on digital asset and the smart economy, Onchain aims to solve problems such as trust, identity, and data exchange and authorization. Together they can hasten the arrival of a truly global smart economy on the blockchain.

City of Zion

While NEO does maintain a team of core developers, the project is supported by an independent consortium of international developers known as City of Zion or CoZ. Co-founded by Tyler Adams, Ethan Fast, Fabio Canesin, Thomas Saunders, Luciano Engel and Ashley Rolleston, CoZ is governed by a council of 9 members voted in by their peers and a high council of 4 voted in from the council.

They have received funding from NEO to the tune of $270,000 as award money for their dApp competition. In return, they have created immense value on the NEO blockchain. Projects driven by City of Zion include the NEON wallet, a NEO block scanner and the NEX platform which will allow the creation of decentralized exchanges for trading between a variety of tokens on the NEO blockchain.

Microsoft China

Although no official partnership has been struck, NEO and Microsoft China collaborated on a developer competition with $490,000 prize money.


4. Conclusion

In its quest to overtake Ethereum as the primary destination for ICOs and smart-contract, NEO is focusing on digitizing the real-world economy thereby creating what it calls ‘the smart economy.’ Through its Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, NEO’s big brother has numerous partnerships with established corporations. Despite its innovative technology and strategic placement in the gargantuan Chinese economy, NEO still has a way to go when it comes to cultivating business relationships with prominent enterprises.


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