November has been an exciting month for the NEO community, full of significant growth: we now have 40,000 subscribers on Reddit (+40% traffic compared to October), 140,000 Twitter followers, and 11,000 Facebook group members. Our Slack has hit every membership limit, and we are looking for solutions with support from City of Zion (CoZ). We want to give a warm welcome to all our new community members; feel free to reach out on Slack and Reddit to ask any questions you may have.
We also want to officially welcome four new NEO core team members; Caterina, Hebe, Kris, and Melody.
Caterina Zhang joined NEO on November 22nd as Global Marketing Manager. In her role, she will focus on enhancing communication with NEO's overseas communities; interfacing with overseas media; increasing NEO's global brand name recognition through multiple marketing channels; facilitating our overseas communities' activities through meetups and conferences; and handling other marketing-related matters. Hebe is joining our New Media Operations, bringing much added value to our team with his extensive experience in digital marketing and brand strategy. Kris is a much needed and welcome addition to our overseas community operations, and will help manage our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Melody is our new intern and will help us out with documentation and translations.
During November, our tech team has mainly focused on decentralization and the reward claim system for our seed round contributors. Alongside the decentralization preparations, we have implemented consensus node improvements that have resulted in shorter and more stable block times. Those of you that have paid attention should have noticed higher gas generation. We have identified other improvements which will further decrease block time, and we aim to implement them in December.
We will soon be ready to start the initial phase of the decentralization process. We want to have at least 3 nodes run by external parties by the end of December. The initial phase of decentralization is planned as follow:
- 2 nodes will be run by City of Zion
- 1 node will be run by the community and will be community funded (independent of CoZ)
- 2 nodes will be run by institutional for-profit companies with blockchain interest
- 2 nodes will be run by the NEO Council
The first new consensus nodes will be voted in manually by the NEO Council. A system for open voting is expected to be ready in February.
Regarding the seed round contributor reward claim, we are progressing as planned. We already have a complete list of all contributors and their claimable reward amounts. We are in the process of developing a site to streamline the claim process and will make an announcement when it is ready to be released.
Among other smaller tasks, the tech team has also added documentation for how to implement NEO support in exchanges (http://docs.neo.org/en-us/exchange_en.html), updated the dApps page on our website (https://neo.org/dapps), and added German language on www.neo.org (big thank you to community member Badeindi for providing us with translation).
Together with the development competition reveal, we also announced our first ever DevCon, to be held in San Francisco in the second half of January. Outstanding participants in the development competition will be invited to join us, together with some of the winners from the CoZ dApp competition!
We would also like to take the opportunity to give a few honorary mentions to community development progress:
- Ledger officially announced NEO support. You can now use the NEON wallet to store your NEO and GAS tokens securely on Ledger’s hardware wallet. A big thank you to Ledger CTO Nicolas for reaching out to us and to community member Coranos for managing the necessary development.
- City of Zion concluded the results of their first dApp competition, selecting 10 winners to each receive 1,350 GAS. We want to thank CoZ for taking the initiative to run this competition, and are grateful that their competition rules required participants to develop open source. We hope that the open sourced contributions will be a great resource for new developers who want to learn how to develop dApps on NEO. Links to all the winners' Githubs can be found on the CoZ competition page: https://cityofzion.io/dapps/1
- Community member Dean van Dugteren has developed a dApp Starter Kit for developers who would like to have a small framework as a starting point when developing their dApp. You can find it here: https://github.com/deanpress/neo-dapp-starter-kit
The CoZ competition revealed that there may be a number of useful dApps that are non-profit but still greatly beneficial to the ecosystem. If you have such a dApp in mind and feel that the Smart Contract deployment fee is a barrier, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The NEO Council can sponsor the deployment of such Smart Contracts, with the only requirements being that they are non-profit, beneficial to the ecosystem, and released open source. We will make the judgement on a case-by-case basis and only after the Smart Contract has been successfully tested on TestNet and is ready for deployment.
As we do every month, the NEO Council has also hosted and attended many events:
- NEO JOY Hangzhou
- China Open Source Conference 2017
- Swissnex China – Blockchain in Fintech "Future of Money" Series
- Ontology Project Launch with NEO Ecosystem Sharing in New York
- Meetup New York
- Consensus Conference New York
- Meetup San Francisco
We are not going to slow down now; quite the opposite. We kick off December with a Guangzhou NEO workshop and a 3-day Shanghai Blockchain Training Camp hosted jointly by SCTA and NEO. Shortly thereafter, we will visit Japan again. Europeans, please do not feel left out; we will soon visit you as well. Stay tuned.