NEO vs. Ethereum: Battle of the Smart Contracts Platforms
What is NEO vs. Ethereum?
The global blockchain market is set to increase from $706 million in 2017 to $60 billion by 2024. With blockchain set to explode in such a big way, everyone wants to know what companies, apps, and protocols are going to capture much of this value.
Ethereum (ETH) popularized the idea of “Blockchain 2.0”, or using blockchain for more than just payments (Blockchain 1.0). By using smart contracts, or self-executing contracts made of computer code, users can not only send money to each other in a decentralized way, but also build decentralized applications (Dapps), including decentralized financial services.
Because of this new blockchain paradigm, Ethereum and its cryptocurrency ETH exploded to the forefront of blockchain technology within a very short period of time.
In light of Ethereum’s explosion onto the blockchain scene, other competitors quickly emerged. One of these was NEO, also known as “The Chinese Ethereum” due to its origins in China.
In this NEO vs. Ethereum comparison, we’ll compare NEO and Ethereum in terms of their smart contracts, Dapps, transactions per second, fees, price, and future outlook. At the end, we’ll also give our thoughts on Ethereum vs. NEO going forward as well as other places you can learn more about the similarities and differences between these two blockchain titans.
NEO vs. Ethereum Smart Contracts
One of the main differences between NEO and Ethereum is their smart contracts. While both support smart contracts that can do various things, NEO smart contracts have the upper hand on Ethereum smart contracts for one simple reason. Developers can create NEO smart contracts using familiar programming languages.
Ease of development is important since smart contracts can hold lots of money in the form of cryptocurrency. Building complex applications using unfamiliar languages were proven to be dangerous with The DAO hack.
The DAO was an Ethereum-based, “decentralized venture capital fund”, which raised $120m worth of ETH, the largest crowdfunding campaign at the time. However, an individual or group exploited vulnerabilities in the underlying smart contract code, which led to the loss of $50m worth of ETH.
Ethereum ended up hard-forking, or splitting the blockchain into Ethereum and Ethereum Classic (ETC), to return the lost funds. Nevertheless, this hack in ETH’s early days showed the dangers of building valuable smart contracts with unfamiliar tools.
Though it will probably become less and less important that Ethereum uses a new programming language, as developers get more used to Solidity, for now the use of Solidity makes the barrier to entry for building Ethereum smart contracts that much higher for Ethereum vs. NEO.
Ethereum vs. NEO dApps
Now that we know a little bit about how smart contracts are made on NEO vs. Ethereum, what about the actual Dapps that the smart contracts power on both platforms?
NEO’s Head of Development John deVadoss has said that NEO is focusing on making the platform more developer-friendly first in response to NEO’s current lack of popular Dapps.
Regardless, the fact remains that Ethereum Dapp usage is currently exponentially higher than that of NEO’s. NEO is going to have catch up - and fast - if it wants to close the gap on NEO vs. Ethereum development.
NEO vs. Ethereum Transactions per Second
Another important thing to consider when comparing NEO and Ethereum is how many transactions per second each platform can handle.
If either platform wants to capture a good chunk of the projected $60 billion blockchain market by 2024, transactions per second is important since some of the most popular Dapps will have high usage demands and can’t be slowed down by a slow transaction capacity.
While NEO does have the slight edge here, both blockchains are inadequate to handle heavy mainstream usage. For example, Visa, the popular payments processor of credit and debit card payments, processes ~1,700 transactions per second.
Related to each network’s transaction capacity is the Ethereum vs. NEO speed, or how long it takes for a transaction to go through on either network. Both Ethereum and NEO transactions take about 15 seconds.
However, NEO transactions are considered final after 1 block (group of transactions added to the blockchain, or record of all transactions, every 15 seconds). Ethereum transactions on the other hand, are considered final after 12 blocks (~3 minutes).
Therefore, NEO is a faster blockchain than Ethereum; nevertheless, both still have a long ways to go if they want to service mass amounts of users and Dapps.
NEO Fees vs. Ethereum Fees
Fees are also important to think about when comparing Ethereum vs. NEO. Nobody wants to pay a ton of fees for every little transaction that they make on either platform.
Most NEO transactions are free, with the exception of certain types of transactions and big transactions. You can also include a transaction fee to have your transaction processed faster during times of high network congestion. However, for basic transactions, transaction fees are optional.
(Note: unlike Ethereum, where you pay transaction fees with ETH, NEO requires you to pay transaction fees in GAS).
Ethereum transactions, on the other hand, aren’t free:
NEO has the edge when it comes to transaction fees since no one will want to pay a transaction fee everytime they make a transaction, especially small ones where the transaction fee costs more than the transaction itself.
NEO vs. Ethereum Price
So how do some of the comparisons we’ve made play out when it comes to the NEO vs. Ethereum price?
The current prices of NEO and Ethereum are $12.52 and $250.19 respectively. ETH is much more valuable, which makes sense for now since Ethereum has much higher usage in the form of popular Dapps like MakerDAO.
NEO vs. Ethereum Future
Ethereum is more valuable than NEO right now, but will this trend continue into the future?
On paper, NEO does seem like the better platform in some respects. For example, it’s easier to create NEO smart contracts due to the support of popular programming languages. In addition, it’s able to handle slightly more transactions per second, and transactions themselves are mostly free.
Another interesting aspect of NEO is that you can earn passive crypto income with NEO via NEO staking. Ethereum doesn’t offer any similar way to earn money on your ETH (other than holding it and hoping the price goes up). Though this will change if and when Ethereum transitions to Proof of Stake.
Nevertheless, Ethereum has one key edge over NEO: (lots) more people use it, as evidenced by the popularity of Ethereum Dapps.
Therefore, while NEO and Ethereum are both popular blockchain projects, Ethereum’s future looks brighter for now. However, we’re excited to see what happens moving forward since blockchain is fast-moving, and NEO has opened an office headed by ex-Microsoft executive John deVadoss in Seattle, Washington, USA, one of the world’s big tech hubs.
More NEO vs. Ethereum Discussion
Want to learn more about Ethereum vs. NEO? Here are some additional resources.
NEO vs. Ethereum Reddit
- I'm an Ether guy. Please tell me how NEO is BETTER, rather than just being an alternative.
- NEO 3.0 vs Ethereum 2.0
- neo vs ethereum
NEO vs. Ethereum Bitcointalk
NEO vs. Ethereum Quora
NEO vs. Ethereum YouTube
NEO vs. Ethereum Medium
Another place to continue the NEO vs. Ethereum discussion is the Exodus public slack!
This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.