NEO Now 16th in Market Cap With Another 7% Price Rise, DevCon in February

Siamak Masnavi

The price of the NEO token, which is the base asset of the NEO blockchain (also known as "Chinese Ethereum"), has gone up another 7% to $9.71 in the past 24-hour period, powering NEO past both NEM (XEM) and Ethereum Classic (ETH) in the market cap table, thereby making it the 16th most valuable cryptocurrency. 

In fact, what is even more impressive is that, according to CryptoCompare, as can be seen in the chart below, the NEO price has gone up around 53% in the last 30 days, from $6.34 (10 December 2018, 09:00 UTC) to $9.71 (9 January 2019, 09:00 UTC), making it one of the best performing cryptocurrencies over this period:

NEO - 30 Days - 9 Jan 2019.png

One possible reason for NEO's strong price action over the past few weeks is the excitement in the NEO community over the upcoming annual developer conference, "NEO DevCon 2019", which is being held February 16–17 in Seattle, United States. At this conference, NEO's founders are expected to share "new roadmap and platform innovations, and showcase how the global NEO blockchain community is bringing the Smart Economy vision to life."

Another partial explanation might be that on Monday (January 7th), NEO's official Twitter account announced that according to "the latest yearly ranking released by China’s Center for Information and Industry Development (CCID), which is under the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology," NEO was listed as a Top 10 Public Blockchain:

 Yet another reason might be the tweets sent out on January 3rd by Erik Zhang, founder and core developer of NEO, about the planned upgrade to NEO's consensus algorithm "Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance" (dBFT):

As for what else NEO HODLers can look forward to in 2019, here is a nice list presented by user "Edgegasm" in the thread "Next milestone?" in the "/r/NEO" subreddit:

"Based on current discussions/developments/announcements, we should expect to see the following in 2019 at minimum:

  • Decentralization of remaining consensus nodes that are currently operated by NEO (at least 4 of the 5, they should probably keep one)
  • Node stability improvements (will improve TPS)
  • Node recovery system (let a node rejoin consensus automatically in the event of a disconnect)
  • Third consensus phase (commit phase, to prevent 'sporks')
  • Light wallet voting implementations (likely in Neon first)
  • NeoFS candidate beta (NEO SPCC's DDSP).

Other possibilities for this year (speculation):

  • Network analytics
  • Additional nodes added in batches of 3 (taking us to 10, 13 etc)
  • Other performance improvements (for scalability)
  • Block explorer improvements (neo-scan)
  • NeoID and NeoX details (maybe not ready for release, but it's not beyond reason either)"

Featured Image Courtesy of NEO Team

Switzerland's Largest Online Retailer is Now Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments

Digitec-Galaxus, Switzerland’s largest online retail company, has reportedly decided to start accepting bitcoin (BTC) payments.

Digitec and Galaxus customers can now pay for goods and services with bitcoin and a few other major cryptocurrencies. In addition to BTC, users can make payments in XRP, ETH, Litecoin (LTC), Tron (TRX), OmiseGo (OMG), and NEO.

Digitec and Galaxus’ online retail outlets will also be taking payments in Bitcoin “Satoshi Vision” SV (BSV), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Binance Coin (BNB). Commenting on the Swiss retailer’s decision to start accepting cryptos, Oliver Herren, the co-founder and CEO of Digitec, remarked: 

Cryptocurrencies are fascinating and could become a relevant means of payment in e-commerce. We would like to support this development. We wanted to do that for a long time.

Coinify Will Help Convert Crypto Transfers To Swiss Francs

Herren added that Digitec decided to take cryptocurrencies as payment because people may have invested in them and they may want to use them. “Or because you cannot turn them into real money [since] your bank does not accept it. Or maybe just because you ...  like to try new things,” Herren said.

According to Switzerland’s e-commerce giant, it wants to encourage millennials, who may be heavily invested in the blockchain space, to start using cryptocurrencies for practical purposes such as paying for everyday goods and services. Price volatility of cryptocurrencies may not be an issue as Digitec and Galaxus will immediately convert crypto payments to Swiss francs using Coinify’s services, a third-party payment processor.

At present, crypto payments are only available for Switzerland-based users, however the company has said that it might allow customers in other areas to pay with crypto if their initial effort is successful.

Danish Food Takeaway Outlet Accepts Bitcoin Payments For Its 1500 Restaurants

In December 2018, Hungry.dk, one of the largest online food portals in Denmark, started accepting Bitcoin again. The food takeaway company handles orders from more than 1,500 restaurants in Denmark and had been accepting BTC payments since 2014. However, it had decided to stop taking crypto payments in late 2017 due to very long transaction processing times.

A representative from Hungry.dk noted (last year): 

We have accepted Bitcoins as a payment method for quite some time. We decided to remove the feature temporarily last year though because the average transaction time took too long, and the experience wasn’t the best.