I am Erik Zhang (@neoerikzhang), founder and core developer of NEO. Ask me anything! July 7/02/2019 @7:30 PM PST

Hi Hacker Noon Community,

This is Erik Zhang.

I am the founder and the core developer of NEO, a global blockchain company that is working to realize a “smart economy” for the 21st century. As its core developer, I am leading the development of NEO3 to accelerate this vision.

As one of its core developers, I authored a unique consensus mechanism for NEO called Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) by drawing upon my experience in network security. In addition to blockchain, I’ve worked across several sectors, ranging from gaming to information security.

NEO is committed to realizing a smart economy by supporting our developers and fostering a decentralized ecosystem of blockchain applications. As an open source platform, we work with a wonderful community worldwide.

As we come closer to realizing NEO3, we look to soon enable a blockchain that’s ready for large-scale commercial use.

I can’t wait to answer your questions live on July 2, 2019 at 7:30 PM PST. I’m excited to meet you all.

Please add this to your calendar or ask me any question below. Talk to you soon!


Hey @erikzhang, thanks for joining us for a Hacker Noon AMA. NEO currently has a market cap of a little more than a billion, and is the 17th largest cryptocurrency (coinmarketcap). What breakthroughs would theoretically have to happen for NEO to become a top 5 coin ($7B market cap range) ??

P.S. has been great to read about the NEO growth to date via the HN community.


There was a ton of buzz in the last couple weeks about Facebook’s new currency Libra, but many consider it “fake” blockchain since it’s not decentralized.

What are your thoughts on Libra and the use of blockchain in centralized contexts?


Hi Erik, great to have you doing this AMA.

Just saw this video about China’s wallet-free living and it just blew my mind. About more than half the population (about 700 million people) are using their phone on a daily basis to pay for literally everything: from paying for hospital bills to giving out money to beggars on the street. Each people have their own QR code that can send and receive digital money. In some cases, people don’t even notice they lost their wallet (with cash and cards and stuff in there) because they’ve been using their phones to pay for stuff for so long.

  1. Why do you think it’s been a huge success in China, despite the fact that the two most used apps to pay (Alipay and Wechat) have been reported to collect/sell users’ data (and the fact that the users are aware of it)?
  2. Is there such a thing as “too convenient”?

Can I have your email or another contact.
I need your help to go with my Idea

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Hi Eric, thanks for all the amazing work you’re doing on the NEO platform. My question is related to data integrity for Smart Contracts on the NEO 3.0 blockchain. I saw a new feature is coming (Internet Resource Access) which interested me greatly as it seems to be an Oracle inbuilt into the NEO protocol, but there weren’t many details on it.
1 - Say a smart Contract uses this new functionality to call an outside web API, will each consensus node call the API? Are there extra gas cost implications due to this? Or will the cost be per request?

2 - Say I want to call 3 different APIs to get an aggregated price of NEO/USD for my Smart Contract, would I need to manually do the 3 different calls in my Smart Contract, and aggregate the result? Once again, does the gas cost then triple to do this?

3 - Are there any future plans for NEO to make use of decentralized Oracle networks in conjunction with its own in built Oracle to ensure risk mitigation in regards to outside data integrity for Smart Contracts in NEO 3.0?


Hi @erikzhang,

Thank you for doing this.

With NEO3, you’re looking to target large scale commercial use. Why should a big corporation, like, say Microsoft, use NEO instead of Hyperledger?

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1st off let me say i am a big supporter of your work and i dont think enough people give you the recognition you deserve for dBFT but its amazing.

What are the plans for gas in neo3?

Also where would i go to get techinal info on your new dBFT 2.0 thats a reliable source. Im not a programmer but i was thinking of making a video on how important consensus is to a blockchain and how important finality is to a blockchain but something the everyday joe would be able to understand. Neo is all about… do first and then we might let you in the club…well i want in and i think this is my best chance.

Thanks and super excited for next couple years to see what you come up with.




Hi Erik,

Good Evening. I am a masters student studying CS and have taken a blockchain course. I am very interested in working in the field of Blockchain.
So I wanted to ask, As a graduate student, how should one build portfolio to work NEO.



When moon???


Hey Erik, great to hear from you. I have a few thoughts that I’d appreciate some input on:

  • How many active consensus nodes do you expect the NEO3 network will be able to support before we start noticing scaling limitations (I figure there has to be a sweet spot for balancing node distribution and performance)? Are there any techniques you are interested in that we can use to further increase the number of nodes without affecting throughput, like sharding or selecting groups for consensus (e.g by using VRF like in Algorand)?

  • dBFT is designed to ensure safety, but at the potential cost of some liveness (due to view changes). What kind of research looks the most promising for minimizing/removing view changes? Can we expect to see this kind of update in a future dBFT version, or would it be better to explore new consensus mechanisms?

  • Do you have any thoughts on a mechanism for NEO that removes the need for end users to deal with private keys, or is this the kind of thing that only zero knowledge custodial services can solve? It seems to be a significant barrier to blockchain adoption as most people do not intuitively understand keypairs, it would be very powerful for NEO to clear this hurdle first, especially if the solution is on the protocol level.

  • Do you think there would be a benefit to the development of a domain-specific language for writing NEO contracts that mirrors the functionality provided by available NeoVM opcodes? I’m thinking that it would use very simple language and syntax, designed to onboard potential blockchain entrepreneurs without any prior programming experience. Could be as simple as Scratch to tell NeoVM what you need it to do.

Thanks for your time, keep up the excellent work! I want a lightsaber duel one day :wink:

Is NEO named after THE NEO ??


What was the largest bug bounty you’ve ever paid?

A long long time ago Neo was all the rage and rocketed in price and was supposed to be a competitor to Ethereum.

Today the price is hovering around 17 bucks and change and no one really seems to care about it.

What happened and how do you expect to compete in such an over crowded alt market?

Which exchanges would you suggest for security? Which ones to avoid? How to tell a good one from a bad one?

Hi Erik,

Thank you so much for doing this AMA!

How would you say is the difference in terms of Chinese market in terms of open source project ?

Hi Erik,

What are for your the main differences between marketing to a Chinese market and a western market?
Thank you so much for your time!

Hi Erik,
What motivated you to start NEO? Did you think it would take off?

Looking forward to see your reply!!

Hey, important question here: How would you compare the Star Wars universe to the cryptocurrency market?