Swisscom Blockchain, a subsidiary of Switzerland’s largest telecom company, became part of an exclusive club earlier this year. The team set up one of only a handful of independent consensus nodes on the NEO blockchain platform. The company is currently running its node on the testnet, but it is expected to transition to the mainnet within a few months.
Swisscom isn’t the only company getting more deeply involved with NEO, which is now one of the largest blockchain projects in the world. Recently, O3 Labs, developer of the O3 Wallet, also applied to host a consensus node on the NEO mainnet.
“With an open ecosystem that allows organizations to launch and operate an independent node, NEO can accelerate its mission of creating a “smart economy” powered by blockchain technology,” said Peter Lin, Director of Research and Development at NEO Global Development.. “By the end of this year, the team will add other independent consensus nodes, demonstrating NEO’s commitment to becoming more decentralized and open.”
After the NEO foundation allowed a group of independent open source developers known as the City of Zion set up the world’s first independent NEO consensus node in July, 2018, the floodgates to further decentralization were opened. Now, companies from across the world are lining up to set up consensus nodes on the blockchain. The NEO team published ‘How to Become a NEO Consensus Node’, which outlines how organizations can help govern the platform.
It’s part of the NEO team’s mission to transition away from its current off-chain governance structure to an on-chain solution that provides the NEO community an expanded role on the blockchain. Operating a consensus node allows the user to be rewarded with network fees, according to NEO’s economic model.
It’s an interesting turn for one of the most fascinating projects in the crypto space. In less than four years, founder Da Hongfei have helped create one of the most successful and well recognized projects in the emerging blockchain industry. According to data collected by NewEconoLabs, a Chinese community of open source developers, there are over 1.8 million NEO wallet addresses and the blockchain has processed over 22 million transactions since its inception. The NEO token ecosystem is currently the 18th largest by market capitalization.
Shifting the underlying governance structure is part of NEO’s promise to build a decentralized world computer within a few years. Although the process of setting up a consensus node is likely to be closely monitored and tightly controlled over the next year to ensure the safety and integrity of the blockchain.
Throughout 2019, organizations will be able to become consensus nodes by applying to the NEO Foundation, deploying on the testnet for six months, and ultimately getting voted to the mainnet. Successful applicants will be chosen at the end of the four voting cycles listed below:
30th Nov, 2018 – 28th Feb, 2019
28th Feb, 2019 – 31st May, 2019
31st May, 2019 – 31st Aug, 2019
31st Aug, 2019 – 30th Nov, 2019
The NEO team has already published all the necessary documents users will need to become a consensus node. Meanwhile, the team continues to seek out partners, developer groups, and institutions who want to participate in the emerging ecosystem.