NEO Co-Founder: Ethereum Has 'Strongest Community of Developers'

Da Hongfei, the co-founder of NEO, a leading blockchain-based platform for developing smart contract-enabled decentralized applications (dApps), recently revealed that he believes the “whole world will [eventually] become digital.”

Hongfei, a self-taught computer programmer, pointed out that credit cards were never widely adopted in China. However, mobile payment apps such as AliPay and WeChatPay are used by millions of Chinese citizens because “it is much more convenient”, Hongfei mentioned. His comments came during an interview with Bitcoinist at NEO’s DevCon event - which was held in Seattle, Washington (on February 16th-17th).

Explaining how distributed ledger technology (DLT) was gradually adopted by financial institutions, Hongfei remarked: 

After 2014, bankers realized that some geeks invented a protocol that could transfer value across countries in a few minutes. So they are curious about the technology and they abstracted it and called it blockchain.

Vitalik Buterin Coined The Term Distributed Autonomous Organization (DAO)?

In 2016, many people realized that blockchain technology could be used to facilitate “collaboration between individuals” and other entities in general, Hongfei said. It was also during this time that developers “invented or borrowed words like decentralized autonomous company (DAC)” - which was later changed to DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, the NEO co-founder revealed.

When more people began working on DAOs, Hongfei began to “realize” that blockchain “was a new institutional technology.” He explained that blockchain technology will evolve in a manner that will be somewhat similar to how the internet developed. According to the South China University of Technology graduate, most of the implementation details will be abstracted away from the end-user and even software architects. This should allow application developers to focus more on creating solutions, rather than spending time learning about technical details that are not related to the software they’re trying to create.

Per the NEO co-founder:

[Blockchain development will be divided] into different layers. [For example,] TCP/IP is at the bottom and HTTP protocol is on top of TCP/IP. If you are building an internet application, you don’t have to bother about TCP/IP these days, you don’t even need to worry about HTTP. You have different middle layers to build on top of that. So blockchain will take a similar road.

Acknowledging that most dApps currently deployed have been built on top of layer one, or the base layer of blockchain networks, Hongfei believes that “in the future, there will be different layers” - especially “a lot of layer 2 solutions.” In order to launch applications on layer 2 or layer 3 networks, Hongfei recommended creating “native support” or native development environments.

Only Smart Contract-Based Assets To Be Supported On NEO 3.0

Hongfei, who’s also the founder on OnChain, a blockchain development firm, noted that NEO currently has “some complicated, global assets” which are UTXO (unspent transaction output)-based and NEO also has “smart contracts assets.” NEO’s developers are planning to “unify” both asset types so that “there will be no more UTXO assets”, Hongfei said. In the future, the NEO platform will only support issuing assets “with smart contracts”, the crypto pioneer explained.

Interestingly, Hongfei thinks “Ethereum currently has the strongest community of developers.”

He said that Ethereum’s development team is “like the go-to solution” and that “if you want to [learn] how to [write proper] smart contracts, [then] you will probably do it on Ethereum.” However, the “blockchain infrastructure” of today is “not ready for mass adoption” - as we need to work on developing second and third layer solutions, Hongfei argued.