Over the weekend, CryptoGlobe reported that NEO might have a fatal security flaw. From this original article, it appears that NEO, often hailed as the “Chinese Ethereum,” had an error that would allow hackers to steal user’s tokens from the public blockchain without the users knowing. Found by Tencent, a Chinese technology giant, this bug was originally disclosed on Weibo (Chinese Twitter):
Monitoring the famous blockchain project NEO (corresponding to the digital currency "Antcoin") has the risk of remote piracy. When a user starts the NEO network node with the default configuration and opens the wallet, the digital currency may be remotely stolen
Just hours later, NEO responded on Weibo. Erik Zhang, co-founder of NEO, clarified that the vulnerability didn't affect "normal users," noting that "all in all, normal users of the NEO blockchain will not suffer the possibilities of a token theft operated from afar." His words came in an attempt to qualm the fears of NEO holders.
His message was shared in English on CoinNess. NEO later confirmed this on their Twitter account, by sharing a screenshot of Zhang’s response:
Erik Zhang @neoerikzhang, founder and core developer of #NEO, denied the risk of remote token theft for normal users and explained the reasons from the technical point of view. See report below👇 pic.twitter.com/yKfXYbD8bs— NEO Smart Economy (@NEO_Blockchain) December 2, 2018
The bear market has not been nice to this smart contract platform. NEO is currently trading at $7.71, down 96% from its all-time high of $194.79. NEO has also dropped in its rankings. During the peak of the bull market, NEO was the #6 cryptocurrency by market cap. Now, it’s been pushed all the way down to the #18 spot, falling behind competitors like ETC and BNB.
This is not the first time NEO has been victim of similar claims, which sme claim to be an attempt to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). Most notably, researcher Eric Wall posted a lengthy takedown of NEO earlier in the year:
1/ NEO thread. I never paid any attention to this project because "it's a Chinese Ethereum!" just sounded so stupid for reasons I didn't even know where to begin to explain. If you, like me, ignored NEO for this reason, here's a quick recap of how hilariously bad this project is:— Eric Wall (@ercwl) March 4, 2018