NEO to Open New Development Office in Seattle Headed by Former Microsoft Exec

Omar Faridi
  • NEO's new development office set to open later this month in Seattle, Washington.
  • NEO's development team is planning to hire new staff members for the office.

The developers of NEO, a leading blockchain-based smart contract platform often seen as the "Chinese Ethereum" that is used for creating decentralized applications (dApps), are planning to open a new office in Seattle, United States.

Last month, Erik Zhang, the co-founder of NEO, said that NEO’s development team was in the process of making key improvements to the smart contract-enabled platform’s delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) consensus protocol - which its founders claim “will become the best consensus mechanism for blockchains.”

According to NEO News Today, John deVadoss, a former general manager at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington offices, will be in charge of managing operations at NEO’s new Global Development (NGD) office in Seattle. Scheduled to officially open later this month, NEO’s developers are reportedly looking to recruit staff members for the company’s Seattle-based office.

Details Regarding NeoFS To Be Revealed During DevCon

In order to expand and presumably diversify its operations, NGD has been establishing new partnerships with Microsoft and several other large IT firms. Explaining why NEO’s developers chose to open their new office in Seattle, Zhang remarked: 

Seattle has huge developer resources and a strong atmosphere of innovation, and NEO has always placed great importance in technology development.

Notably, NGD has announced the launch of its new office only a day before the NEO DevCon conference in Seattle is scheduled to take place (February 16-17 2019). During the developer conference, Zhang is reportedly planning to “share more details” regarding the ongoing development of NeoFS.

As described by Zhang in an interview last month, NeoFS is “a distributed storage network” that will allow “applications [to] store massive amounts of data.” The NEO project technical lead also revealed in January that the development of the first release candidate (RC1) of NeoFS should be completed by Q3 2019.

NEO 3.0 To Launch In 2020

NEO 3.0, a major upgrade of the NEO blockchain platform, is expected to be activated next year (in 2020) and it will require “at least one hard fork” - according to Zhang. Commenting on how he intends to contribute to NEO’s upcoming updates, Da Hongfei, NEO’s other co-founder, tweeted (on January 1):

In 2019 we will work harder to improve infrastructure. Personally I'll focus on modules that can be added to NEO [including] distributed storage, identity, layer2 [in order] to improve NEO's crypto-economics, and to deliver the best developer experience.

NEO’s native token (NEO) is currently trading at around $8.28 and the market capitalization of all tokens stands at just above $538 million according to CryptoCompare data. NEO tokens were trading as high as $157 in January 2018 and the platform’s market capitalization reached an all-time high of over $10.5 billion during the historic crypto bull market of late 2017.

Neutral Dollar Stablecoin Founder Explains How to Access Shared Liquidity Pools

Matthew Branton, the Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Neutral, a smart contract-enabled platform that provides various financial instruments for the cryptocurrency industry, has predicted that stablecoins will have “a tremendous impact on the future economy.”

Branton, a computer science graduate from Lafayette College, told CryptoGlobe that stablecoins offer “access to a digital currency that can enable payments, credit, and banking services which many people don't have access to.”

According to Branton:

[Stablecoins are] innovative digital assets [that] will help lower the barriers for [major financial] applications and [they will also] help people transact in value [systems] they are familiar with, such as the USD [and other fiat currencies.]

“Cultivating Healthy Dialogue to Help Build Wider Understanding” of Stablecoin Market

In response to a question about how the traditional financial system could be upgraded (in terms of both the regulatory framework and technological infrastructure) so that it can allow users to legally acquire stablecoins and other digital assets, Branton remarked:

In order to ensure that regulation evolves in tandem with advances in financial technology (FinTech), dialogue between regulators and innovators is essential. Cultivating a healthy dialogue among fintech project [developers], stakeholders and regulators of traditional finance will help build wider understanding of the benefits of stablecoins, and in turn accelerate the creation of regulation and infrastructure that accommodates stablecoins in the global economy.

Neutral Dollar Aims to Provide “Diversified Exposure” to Investors at “Lower Risk”

When asked what unique value proposition the Neutral Dollar stablecoin offers, which may not currently be available in the cryptoasset market, and how this is supposed to be relevant and useful, Branton said:

The Neutral dollar provides diversified exposure, presenting a lower risk alternative against other stablecoins (which contrary to their name, may not exhibit stability) in the market. In addition, the Neutral Dollar functions in a way that creates an additional layer that allows for shared liquidity amongst constituents stablecoins, a property that isn't inherent in their design. Given the fragmented and nascent nature of the crypto market structure right now, this solution is particularly relevant and unique in the marketplace.

Responding to a question about the potential impact he expects his company’s line of products to have on the cryptoasset market, Branton stated:

The impact of our products is to not only give end-users a better means to invest, trade, or hedge cryptoassets, but to also facilitate liquidity and engage in better portfolio management practices through our products. In order for the digital asset space to reach its full potential, the industry needs reliable financial instruments that take us beyond the limitations of fiat currencies, while also upholding the highest standards in stability and transparency. In the longer term, we plan to explore the launch of a suite of financial products to improve market infrastructure and activity.

Digital Asset Security Is “Quite Solid”

Commenting on how we can ensure the security of our assets, including stablecoins users might acquire, since the technology used to transact in these assets is highly technical, Branton noted:

Given that collateral is on-chain and smart contract based, security is decentralized in nature and quite solid. Asset safety is still the responsibility of the end-user — crypto-storage extends beyond the case of stablecoins and Neutral Dollar itself.

He added: “Ultimately, once a Neutral Dollar token is deployed on smart contract networks, it will function completely autonomously. The math and algorithms that govern its operation will operate independently of a centralized entity and in a transparent manner, and provide continuous services on the network.”