The world’s 18th largest blockchain protocol has kicked off a year of transformation. Earlier this year, NEO announced a twelve-month strategy to transition from a centralized to a decentralized governance framework.
The team has already managed to integrate an independent team of developers as a consensus node. The City of Zion (CoZ) is the first such node that is not directly controlled by the core development team at the NEO Foundation. By the end of 2018, the team will add two more consensus node partners, including a major telecom company and a blockchain venture capital firm.
Earlier in 2018, NEO founder Da Hongfei addressed concerns that the protocol was too centralized. Hardcore Bitcoin and blockchain evangelists tend to regard decentralization as a core principle of blockchain technology. Hongfei said the transition from centralized to decentralized would be anything but easy. It’s a complex transition which will require the team to implement a special security monitoring system on the network. However, he said the challenges of implementing this difficult transition were a source of happiness for “enterprising people.”
The NEO team has already updated the documentation users will need to become consensus nodes on the network. Users trying to become nodes will have to go through a rigorous approval and pre-screening process. Applications are emailed in to the NEO foundation, where the team approves the user based on experience and qualifications. After 6 months on the testnet, the user can finally become a candidate for consensus node on the main net. The dates for these approvals are as follows:
- 30th Nov, 2018 – 28th Feb, 2019
- 28th Feb 2019 – 31st May, 2019
- 31st May, 2019 – 31st Aug, 2019
- 31st Aug, 2019 – 30th Nov, 2019
According to the team’s plan, NEO will move from its current off-chain governance to a fully decentralized on-chain governance protocol by the end of 2019. It’s a year of transformation that could spur the NEO developer community and bring new users to this thriving crypto protocol. 2019 is likely to be an interesting year for NEO token holders and developers.