The battle for smart contract platform supremacy rages on as Ethereum struggles to deliver scalability protocol improvements. As a result, many disgruntled high potential projects are ready to jump ship for more a scalable smart contract platform. EOSIO and NEO are two of the most formidable contenders to claim Ethereum’s position. With each claiming to offer superior smart contract implementations. Let us size up the two leading challengers in this full EOS vs NEO comparison guide and determine who between them is the no.1 contender.
EOS vs NEO: Tale of the Tape
What is EOS?
In one corner is EOS. A relatively new smart contract platform which started with a $4.1 Billion ICO in 2017. Its unique architectural design allows it to scale vertically and horizontally. Allegedly achieving millions of transactions per second.
Additionally, It features fee-less transactions via a decentralized operating system-like resource environment. EOS coin holders get a portion of EOSIO’s resources pro-rata. This one-two combination enables it to run enterprise decentralized applications.
What are the EOS Coins?
EOS coins power the EOSIO blockchain. This digital asset is one of the top ten cryptocurrencies in the world in terms of market capitalization. The coin’s market cap rank is #7. Apart from this, 9 out of the 10 most influential cryptocurrency exchanges in the world list it on their exchanges. Available in over 637 crypto markets worldwide.
, NETWORK, and RAM. Staking some EOS coins gives us CPU and Network regenerative resources. Creating EOS accounts with EOS coins gives a non-regenerative RAM resource.CPU
Moreover, we can think of the CPU and Network as strength and stamina. It gradually decreases with more activities (transactions). However, they replenish over time. They enable fee-less transactions in the EOSIO blockchain.
On the other hand, You can think of RAM as food or water. They do not regenerate and users need to buy them from time to time.
Where you can buy EOS crypto?
There are several ways to get a hold of EOS coins. The cheapest and fastest way is to buy them from your favorite crypto exchange. Most exchanges allow the purchase of EOS using Bitcoin (BTC) or (ETH). In addition to this, they allow fiat bank transfers and credit/debit card purchases.
EOS Centralized Exchanges
The top-rated exchanges that support EOS coins include— Binance, Coinbase Pro, Huobi Global, Kraken, OKEx, Kucoin, Bitfinex, Bittrex, and Poloniex. In addition to this here are the exchanges with the highest trading volumes are Fcoin, Biki, CBX, BigOne, and Catex. The aforementioned exchanges are the most liquid for EOS and may present the best price discovery opportunities.
EOS Instant Exchange
Instant cryptocurrency exchanges such as Changelly, Coinswitch, and ChangeHero, offer an easy and convenient way to buy EOS coin. Furthermore, instant cryptocurrency exchanges do not have order books and the platform determines the exact exchange rates.
EOS Decentralized Exchange (DEX)
DEX requires “Proper” crypto wallets. Smart contracts govern all DEX transactions and executed on-chain. Traded digital assets on DEX never leaves the custody of the wallet owner. Not until the execution of an order.
Newdex, WhaleEX, and Bancor are some of the most prominent EOS-based decentralized exchanges or the ones supporting EOS. Those who plan to buy EOS using Newdex can do so using the EOS-based variant of Tether (USDT) and exchanging it with EOS in the exchange. EOS-base USDT is available in Bitfinex and soon in other major exchanges.
Alternatively, those who want to buy EOS using Bitcoin (BTC) or even Ether (ETH), can use Whaleex. The combination of having an online BTC wallet and a non-custodial EOS wallet makes Whaleex a hybrid-exchange. You can only install the Whaleex mobile using the site supplied APK.
Lastly is Bancor, We can consider Bancor a decentralized “Instant” exchange since it has the features of instant exchange combined with some decentralization features such as a decentralized liquidity pool.
What EOS wallets to use?
A “proper” wallet is a wallet where the owner solely knows the “Private Keys.” These are wallets that ask you to remember a secret group of words that consists of 12 or more words. A mnemonic phrase, mnemonic seed or seed phrase are its common names. They usually come with another secret alphanumeric string called a “Private key.”
A private key becomes useless when someone knows them. This the reason why centralized exchange EOS wallets are not proper EOS wallets. First, users do not have access to the private keys of these wallets. Second, you will not be able to move EOS-based tokens received using these wallets, not unless the exchange supports withdrawals of these tokens.
Airgrabs is a new mass distribution model in the EOS ecosystem that allows users to partake on free EOS-based tokens giveaways. Without a proper wallet, you cannot partake in such activities.
Proper EOS wallets or accounts are generally NOT FREE. A usable EOS wallet requires staking some EOS to get CPU and NETWORK resources. Moreover, EOS Account creation is closely tied to RAM cost. A new EOS account cost 1 EOS coin.
There are many types of EOS wallets, you can categorize them as cold wallets, hot wallets, hardware wallets, mobile wallets, web wallets, web browser extension wallets, desktop wallets, paper wallets, and exchange wallets. All have the same basic function to store, receive, and send EOS coins and other EOS-based tokens. We have compiled some of the best EOS wallets available currently in the next following paragraphs.
Cold EOS wallets are EOS cryptocurrency wallets that do not require an internet connection to explore, not until the moment there is a need to interact with EOS’s blockchain. All wallets that you own the private keys are cold wallets including hardware wallets and paper wallets.
Hot wallets are online wallets and wallet service providers usually manage them. Coinbase.com is a hot wallet. Centralized exchange wallets are also hot wallets since you need to connect to the internet to be able to access them. Hot wallets do not allow access to your private keys. Most Web wallets that require you to connect to the internet are Hot wallets.
EOS Mobile Wallet
EOS mobile wallets are those wallets that you install on your smartphone. It can be a hot or cold wallet depending on where the private key’s location. There are many EOS mobile wallets available online and later we will present some of the best available options.
EOS Web Wallet
EOS Web wallets are simply those we access using a website. Internet connection requirement makes web wallets mostly hot wallets. Some, however, are user-facing interfaces to interact with EOS’s blockchain and execute commands.
Web browser extension wallets are similar to Web wallets as they both need a web browser to operate. However, extension wallets run in the background of the browser. They interact automatically with dApps accessed by the browser. Most of these wallets are compatible with leading web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Brave.
EOS Desktop Wallet
Desktop EOS wallets are stand-alone software used in computer systems. They usually offer more advanced features not found in other types of wallets such as full node operation. Like web extension wallets they can run in the background and interact with EOS-based dApps. Aside from token transactions, some of its functions include logging in, signing, authenticating and authorizing activities.
EOS Paper Wallet
EOS paper wallet is the most low-tech wallet solution among the wallet types. However, it is the most secure. It provides an offline mechanism for storing EOS and EOS-based digital assets. Account creation requires Online Paper wallet generators. This wallet only requires a medium where we can write and store the private keys or mnemonic seeds. We can stamp the private keys and seed unto aluminum sheets, acrylic plastic or other more durable material.
Finally, there are the Exchange wallets are the easiest way to get instant and free EOS wallets. Just register in an exchange that lists EOS and creates your wallet there. It usually consists of a generic EOS account name and a unique identifying number called a Deposit MEMO.
The table below shows our curated list of EOS wallets.
Among the wallets listed above, we particularly liked Scatter and Lumi. Scatter is one of the most widely supported EOS wallets in the EOS dApps space. However, Scatter does not have mobile support. On the other hand, Lumi provides a clean and simple wallet design. Sadly, Lumi does not have a desktop version of its wallet. Currently, Lumi running a promo, giving out free EOS accounts to new registrants.
Having to pay for EOS wallet accounts is a major barrier to entry for new users. Why would they pay for something they are just trying out. You can compare it to asking someone to pay for a movie trailer. Lumi’s onboarding initiative is a great way of getting new users into its wallet service and EOS platform.
For those who want to get some quick EOS wallet account just register in the many online EOS wallets provider like Coinbase. Crypto exchanges also offer free wallets that users can receive, store and withdraw EOS coins.
Now let’s turn our heads to the other smart contract contender NEO.
What is NEO?
Fighting out of the other corner is NEO. It is currently ranked #22 in terms of market capitalization and founded back in 2014 as AntShares by Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang. Subsequently re-branding to NEO in 2017 and is the first public blockchain coming from China. NEO aims to build a “smart economy” that can cater to industrial, commercial and enterprise use.
It raised $4.5M from its 2016 ICO, considered as one of the most successful ICO ever in terms of return-of-investments (ROI). Its Initial token offering price of $0.032 made investors more than 28,000% returns at current prices.
It uses the Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (DBFT) that can achieve 10K-100K TPS when optimized. The integration of digital identity technology with consensus protocol makes consensus participants identifiable. This serves as a deterrent for bad behavior and to facilitate regulatory compliance.
Its NeoVM is portable to any blockchain or non-blockchain system, enabling cross-chain interoperability. It also has a distributed storage protocol comparable to Filecoin and Storj and an Anti-Quantum Mechanism. It has been dubbed as the Chinese Ethereum.
What are NEO and NeoGas?
NEO ecosystem has a dual-token system, NEO, and NEOGas (GAS). The first token, NEO functions as governance tokens used to select node participants. It also serves as voting rights to approve or reject proposed changes in the network. The token also serves as a staking mechanism which enables holders to earn NEOGas or GAS.
NeoGas is the second token in the NEO ecosystem. It serves as the fuel token for the NEO Network. The network charges Gas for resources needed to execute smart contract transactions. There is a threshold for exempting a certain amount of transactions making a vast majority of transactions feeless.
Where to buy NEO and Gas Crypto?
Now we look into where we can get NEO and NeoGas. Like in EOS there are several ways we can purchase these two tokens.
NEO Centralized Exchanges
NEO is available in different cryptocurrency exchanges that support it. The top 5 crypto exchanges in terms of NEO trading volume are CoinEgg, Coinbene, EXX, Vindax, and IDCM. They are the most liquid markets for NEO and may present great price discovery opportunities. It is NEO is also listed in 6 out of the 10 most popular and reputable exchanges in the world. They are Binance, Huobi Global, OKEx, Kucoin, Liquid, and Bittrex.
On the other hand, NeoGas is available in the following exchanges P2PB2B, CoinEx, BitMax, Exrates, and Bkex. They have the highest trading volumes for NeoGas. NeoGas is also listed in 5 out of 10 highest rated crypto exchanges in the world— Binance, Huobi Global, OKEx, Kucoin, and Poloniex.
NEO Decentralized Exchange (DEX)
These tokens are also available in Nash and Switcheo, both DEXs requiring a non-custodial wallet to trade. This means you are totally in control and responsible for your wallet. Nash requires us to create a new non-custodial wallet using their tool. We can also do this in Switcheo but offers several other logs in options.
NEO Instant Exchange
NEO and GAS are also available in the following instant exchanges— O3Swap, Changelly, Stealthex, Changenow, Coinswitch, and Simpleswap. Most of them allow credit and debit cards to purchases.
What NEO wallets to use?
There different types of wallets for NEO and NeoGas. The wallets included in the table below are among the best of them.
To begin with, we particularly like the O3 and Guardia wallets for their simple yet functional designs. They both have all the relevant features to make a great wallet across different types of interfaces.
Teemo is a browser extension wallet that partnered with O3 to develop dApp and wallet docking standards for the NEO platform. On the other hand, NeoWallet is our no-frills wallet that allows users to basic functionalities such as account creation, account restoration, and account importation.
Math Wallet and Atomic Wallet are what we call universal wallets that support many different blockchains. Math wallets may have more features than Atomic wallet but the latter has Atomic Swaps functionality.
The simplest way to get a Neo and NeoGas wallet is to just use an exchange wallet. While we don’t recommend this it is the easiest way to get one.
Binance has recently started a staking program that allows NEO holders to earn NeoGas (Gas) passively. All NEO deposits will receive their Gas rewards. You can still trade using the same funds. Other top rated exchanges Huobi Global, OKEx, and Kucoin have the same program you might want to checkout.
EOS vs NEO: The main event
Let’s get ready to rumble! We will now take you to 10 rounds of an epic battle between these two blockchain behemoths to determine who will reign supreme. The winner will be the Top Contender for Smart Contract Platform. The 10 rounds represent 10 attributes of the two projects that we have determined essential for their success.
Round 1: Team
The match starts with a comparison of each team. A history of successful endeavors is a good indicator they are likely to succeed with their current project.
Daniel Larimer and Brendan Blumer are co-founders of EOSIO. Dan is the inventor of the Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS). He is also the co-founder of Bitshares and Steem. Brendan, on the other hand, has been building successful disruptive technology companies since 2001.
Whereas, Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang are co-founders of NEO. Da is a serial blockchain entrepreneur who founded a highly successful blockchain technology company in China, Onchain. Erik is a certified information systems auditor who authored the dBFT (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance).
There is no clear winner in this round. Both of the project’s teams have the talent, know-how, and history of accomplishments. With that, we are giving them both a score of 10 each.
Round 2: Technology
Both teams position their projects as better implementation of a smart contracting platform than Ethereum. They offer the same value proposition— Faster transaction throughputs that are feeless, Ethereum’s primary weaknesses.
EOSIO’s scales vertically and horizontally allowing to process millions of transactions per second (theoretically). Fee-less transaction by introducing an operating system-like resource
NEO, on the other hand, offers its innovative solutions allowing it to scale to 10,000 transactions per second. Transaction fees are also removed so long as it is within the indicated threshold that has been set by the community.
Either way, TPS claims of both projects are debatable but we can say confidently that both of them scale much better than Ethereum. Both also have no transaction fees. However, we found EOSIO’s implementation problematic. It introduces indirect transaction costs in the form of consumable RAM.
With that we gave EOS a score of 7 and while giving NEO a score of 8.
We deducted 1 point from each project for centralization issues. Consumable RAM and having to pay for new EOS Accounts resulted in another 2 points deduction for EOS. Another 1 point deduction for not having a human-readable wallet address.
Round 3: Targets
NEO and EOS came from two opposite sides of the world. Cultural differences and different values introduced an interesting dynamic in their respective projects. EOS will lean towards western markets while NEO on eastern markets. They have higher chances of getting support from developers and communities that share the same culture and values. It is not surprising that initial traction and momentum will start from their dominant markets.
Western-based developers and investors, such as in the US, would likely support EOS. Considered a melting-pot for blockchain technology talent and most liquid economy in the world. However, the U.S. government has not yet reach regulatory clarity in the crypto space.
NEO, on the other hand, will most likely lean towards eastern markets particularly China, the second-largest economy in the world. It has the utmost support of the Chinese government due to its more centralized approach. However, the Chinese government is no fan of cryptocurrencies.
We gave a score of 10 for EOS and an 8 for NEO. 2 points deductions for NEO because of the following reasons.
First, due to China’s hostile stance against cryptocurrencies, which is a vital part of NEO’s ecosystem. Second, EOS beats NEO in terms of dApps users and developers even in China.
Round 4: Tokenomics
Each project’s token has clear and definite utility within its ecosystem. EOS coins represent ownership of resources of an operating-system like computing environment. It also enables account creation and approval of protocol changes.
NEO tokens represent ownership of the NEO blockchain. It represents a share of NEO’s network and used to create blocks and manage the network resources. It also represents a stake in the distribution of Gas.
We gave EOS a score of 9 and NEO a score of 10. The dependency of RAM on the price of EOS coin resulted in a 1 point deduction. Sudden spikes in EOS prices affect RAM drastically. The Dual-token implementation of NEO is much better.
Round 5: Threats
All projects in the crypto space have their unique challenges and threats that serve as barriers for them to overcome. Threats may originate from design flaws, regulatory environment or shifting priorities of the organization.
The reliance on account creation and RAM acquisition on EOS coins is a major barrier to entry for both new users and developers. The ongoing uncertainty of the regulatory stance of the U.S. also poses an undue risk to EOS which conducted a $4.1 Billion ICO in 2017.
Centralization is a major issue for NEO. NEO foundation manages 5 out of the 7 nodes. The close relationship between the Chinese government and NEO is also another source of concern.
With that being said both projects scored 8 in this round. 2 points deductions due to the above-mentioned reasons.
Round 6: Triggers
Triggers are events that can result in significant price movements. It can stem from new regulations, major partnerships, updates, product releases, or general market cycles.
Three major events may trigger a major price movement for EOS. First, the release of its protocol update EOSIO 2.0. Second, its $24 mln USD settlement with U.S SEC for its alleged unregistered securities offering. Finally, the release of its killer app Voice which might launch soon after the U.S. SEC deal.
In contrast, NEO has two major events on the horizon. First is the major upgrade of its network dubbed as NEO 3.0. Second its partnership with Ontology for the development of an efficient and inclusive interoperability cross-chain protocol.
We gave EOS a higher score of 10 since it has more positive triggers going for it. NEO got a score of 9 in this round.
Round 7: Traction
Traction is the project’s social media presence, community size, business partnerships, and user count. These metrics should give us a fair estimate which among the two has more traction.
EOS has more YouTube subscribers and Telegram community members than NEO. On the other hand, NEO has more followers on both Reddit and Twitter accounts.
We believe that both projects have the same potential in terms of partnerships as both have been actively partnering with other blockchain projects, allied industries, and relevant partners.
Finally, EOS has more dApps and more active users leading us to give EOS a score of 10 and NEO a score of 9.
Round 8: Token Price Performance and Prediction
The whole cryptocurrency space has turned bearish. Despite the entry of traditional financial institutions into the market, it did not have any positive impact on the price of Bitcoin (BTC). EOS and NEO experience similar price movements.
The announcement of EOSIO 2.0 and NEO 3.0 upgrades saw little to no effect on each token’s performance. This confirms the long-standing belief that prices of altcoins remain dependent on the price performance of bitcoin.
With this, we gave both EOS and NEO a score of 9. Both have traded steadily compared to other Altcoins which have seen a double-digit decline for the past few weeks.
Round 9: Trilemma
Undoubtedly, the “layer of trust” is blockchain’s main value proposition. There could be a layer of trust without decentralization. However, achieving scalable, secure and decentralized blockchain is hard. This is the Blockchain Trilemma. No blockchain project has ever achieved this. EOS and NEO are the same.
As a matter of fact, the current Iteration of both EOS and NEO tends to focus more on scalability, not decentralization. However, this centralization issues remained in the minds of the wider cryptocurrency community. This the primary reason why they can’t catch up with Ethereum. This is especially true with NEO which has expressed intent to give lesser focus to decentralization on its next iteration.
Due to these observations, we gave a score of 8 to EOS and 7 to NEO. The apparent lack of less centralized solutions and lack of initiatives resulted in a 2 points deduction for each project. The severity of NEO’s centralization resulted in an additional 1 point deduction.
Round 10: Thoughts and Sentiments
We believe that the best way to approach this round is to compare both the projects to Ethereum. It may not be scalable but it is superior in terms of decentralization and security. There is a reason why there is a “d” in front of dApps. Removal of the d essentially diminishes the value proposition of a blockchain-based application.
With this, we believe that EOS is the “lesser evil” between the two giving it a score of 8 and NEO a score of 7.
1 point deduction for both projects for remaining complacent in decentralization efforts. Another 1 point for not attracting more relevant projects into their platforms. The pivot of NEO towards an even more centralized form resulted in another point deduction.
EOS vs NEO: Tally of scorecards
EOS vs NEO: Conclusion
Without a doubt, Ethereum remains the king in the smart contract platform. It is still the most widely used smart contract platform despite its weaknesses. However, this might change when it finally migrates to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism and incorporate Sharding technology.
NEO is fast becoming more centralized with its intense focus on scaling and compliance. Its lack of decentralization efforts diminishes its value of being a blockchain project which we feel should be a “layer of trust” and not a “layer of scalability.”
EOS has more dApps developers and users in China. Where NEO purportedly has a huge following. Many of the top block producers in the EOS ecosystem comes from the said country. An indication of the confidence of Chinese investors to EOS. Moreover, it also ranked no. 1 in all blockchain projects in China according to a Chinese blockchain research institute. NEO, with all its support from the Chinese government, did not even reach the top 5 rankings.
With all things considered, we can easily say that EOS comes out of this match as the better contender to challenge Ethereum. We hope this EOS vs NEO comparison was helpful. Leave any comments below!
Jesus Cedeño is a certified doctor turned cryptocurrency expert, writer, and investor who lives in New York City. Jesús specializes in cryptocurrency product reviews, tutorials & technical analysis. Follow him on LinkedIn to stay up to date on his latest work on blockchain, decentralization and crypto investments.