NEO: the Rolls Royce of crypto-tokens (and that’s a bad thing)

David Gilbertson
Jul 15, 2018 · 4 min read

This week, I got excited about, then disappointed in NEO.

I was not well for a bit, so this is a short one.

The profit check-in

Get it together, IOTA

One thing I can’t help but notice is that I’ve got stuff spread all over the place, and it’s getting a bit much.

I installed Jaxx (even though it won’t hold IOTA or Stellar or Stakenet or Cardano) and it seems pretty good so far.

What I don’t understand is, how does it create all my private keys just from the twelve words: “vapor put cement valid cloth symbol bless torch walnut hollow scrap word”. Does everyone get those same words? Can someone explain to me how that works?



NEO is awesome.

  • Great language support. C#, Java, Go, others and most importantly, JavaScript.
  • Nice logo
  • And holy shit, check out that gender ratio!
You could play “who’s who” with this bunch.

I mean, compare that to the sausage fest that is the Ontology team:

There’s no queue for the ladies’ room in the Ontology office.

(OK I cut off the bottom row because it didn’t fit on my screen and diluted the juxtaposition.)

Even though I liked NEO a lot, I’m not going to spend any more time on it, because …

The first strange thing is that they have two different coins: NEO and GAS. I guess they were jealous that Basis has three coins.

They did explain why this was, but everyone else does it with one coin, so it seems a bit weird to me.

And what’s more, the NEO coin is indivisible. Like, there’s no such thing as 1.2 NEOs. You can have 1 NEO. You can have 2 NEOs. But no 1.2 for you.

What if NEO’s price goes the way of Bitcoin? You’ll be able to pay someone to the nearest $10,000?

That’s bizarre. I mean, even atoms are divisible, and ‘atom’ literally means ‘indivisible’ (scientists are so arrogant).

(PSA: don’t split an atom at home.)

But it doesn’t matter, because of this next thing…

The section on fees tells me the ‘deployment fee’ is 500 GAS. 1 GAS is currently $11. That’s $5,500, according to my calculator. To deploy an app.

You may gasp, if you like.

The ‘implementation fees’ are a collection of smaller fees. For example, calling Storage.Put costs $11 per KB (no I didn’t mean MB or GB. And yes, I really meant $11).

Storage.Get is a bargain at only 11c every time you call it.

And you’d better make sure you don’t accidentally call Asset.Create — that will set you back fifty five thousand dollars (not a typo).

I guess that’s the cost of decentralisation.

I have seen the argument that this will result in a higher calibre of apps on the NEO network.

This makes some curious assumptions:

  • People with more money create better apps
  • People that are more confident in their apps create better apps
  • Corporations and governments create better apps than individuals
  • There is no alternate platform on which to deploy apps
  • There is a problem with having too many apps

The way I see it, NEO is not where innovation will happen.

It is not where wacky experiments will take place.

And it is not an environment in which someone with not-much-money can take a chance with an idea that might just be crazy enough to work.

The thing that concerns me about NEO — as a speculative investment — is that maybe people think it’s an Ethereum competitor, and have assessed it on its merits, not factoring in the cost of using it.

What if other ‘investors’ are comparing Ethereum and NEO, seeing a BMW and a Rolls Royce, and thinking hey, the Rolls Royce is heaps better.

If that’s the case, then it’s probably fair to say that NEO is ‘overpriced’, and the number of people that actually deploy apps on it will fall short of expectations.

I got half way through the week before realising that NEO was a Roller. At that point, I jumped over to Ethereum to check how expensive it was (about $4 vs NEOs $5,500) and spent the rest of the week in Ethereum land.

There’s quite a lot going on.

There’s sharding (to mitigate the burgeoning size of the blockchain).

There’s Casper (to mitigate the earth-warming electricity usage involved in PoW).

There’s Plasma (to mitigate the low throughput with off-chain transactions).

And then there’s the new programming language, Vyper (which is apparently simpler than Solidity and has a great name).

I was reading about all these things thinking yeah, Ethereum is going full steam ahead. I really must get around to building something with it.

So this week, I’ve thrown $500 worth of Ethereum into my Jaxx™ wallet.

Next week

I think I might take a peek at Dash. I know precisely zero about it. As a backup, I’ll look at Monero — which I hear is making great strides with the drug cartels.

Now I’m going to relax with a bottle of scotch and practice drawing butterflies.

Here’s next week’s article.

how hackers start their afternoons.

David Gilbertson

Written by

I like web stuff.

how hackers start their afternoons.

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