Throughout 2019, a variety of Neo-based workshops, meetups, conferences, hackathons, and lectures were held across the globe. Spanning more than a dozen countries, Neo Global Development (NGD) and community groups alike co-ordinated on events to promote awareness and education of the Neo platform.
Neo’s second annual DevCon took place at the Hyatt Regency Seattle on February 16th and 17th, 2019. It attracted more than 600 attendees, showcased over 50 speakers, and offered a day-long developer workshop hosted by COZ, O3 Labs, and Neo Economy. Neo News Today conducted 27 interviews with Neo leadership, community developer groups, and ecosystem projects.
At the event, Neo founder and NGD CEO, Da Hongfei, presented on the history of the Neo ecosystem, introduced the concept of “pragmatic idealism,” and touched upon what the community should expect looking forward. Afterward, Neo co-founder and core developer, Erik Zhang, offered some insights into the potential improvements going into the development of Neo3. Zhang primarily outlined infrastructure modules (i.e., NeoID and NeoFS), performance improvements by optimizing the blockchain for Layer 2 solutions, implementing a “manifest and permission system,” and introducing support for internet resource access.
The NGD Seattle office was officially announced, declaring ex-Microsoft executive, John deVadoss, as the head of the office. In his first interview with Neo News Today, deVadoss discussed why he opted to work on the Neo platform, his focus on developers, and offering developer toolsets.
Throughout the two-day event, attendee’s heard presentations from ecosystem developer groups such as NeoSPCC, NewEconoLabs (NEL), NeoResearch, COZ, neow3j, and Red4Sec. Further, ecosystem projects such as Alchemint, Moonlight, Guardian Circle, Jarvis+, Bridge Protocol, Blacat, and Nash gave talks at DevCon. Other notable presenters included representatives from Microsoft, the Government of Washington, and Accenture.
On the second day of the event, a workshop taught participants how to set up a developer environment; write, deploy, and invoke a smart contract; consider dApp architectures and design considerations; and interface with smart contracts in a production environment.
The following month, Neo hosted the inaugural Neo GameCon in Akihabara, Tokyo, on March 9th and 10th, 2019. The conference was Neo’s first gaming-focused event and attracted more than 1,500 attendees. In addition to presentations from Neo leadership, the event hosted celebrities such as pop group 9nine, and TV show hosts from Tsukuriba. Ecosystem projects and partners that gave presentations included O3 Labs, MagicCube, CryptoFast, BlaCat, and NEOLAND.
On the first day, Da delivered a keynote speech discussing his belief that mobile gaming will become more popular than console gaming. In this scenario, he stated his belief that blockchain would be the “backbone” of gaming in the future, mainly due to the enabling of in-game assets ownership, new incentive models to attract new users, and increasing the influence of independent game developers.
Following, NGD director of Ecosystem Growth, John Wang, stated that Neo aimed to “provide a one-stop solution for the game developer.” In addition to support for multiple game engines and development languages, NGD would also provide various distribution channels for its ecosystem projects.
There were names of notoriety that participated at the Neo Game Con. On the first day, the CryptoFast simulation car racing game was demonstrated to the crowd in a live VS race by Japanese pop sensation, 9nine. On the second day of the event, a voice audition battle was held and judged by Matsumoto Rika, the voice of Ash Ketchum (known as “Satoshi” in Japanese) from Pokemon.
Other presentations and panels throughout the two-day event included subjects such as the new generation of games and gaming music, the future of blockchain and games, and utilizing non-fungible tokens (NFT) in games.
Throughout the event, there was an on-going “Game Ideathon,” which asked contestants to come up with creative concepts for next-generation games that integrated Neo blockchain technology. Prior to Neo GameCon, 98 teams submitted game ideas to present at the event, of which 10 were selected. At the end of the first day, four finalists were asked to refine their ideas and return on day two to pitch for a JP¥500,000 prize. The two-day event concluded with many speakers returning to the stage to present the Game Ideathon award to the “Creative Old Gentlemen” team.
The Neo Community Assembly (NCA) took place at NGD headquarters in Shanghai, China, from September 2nd through the 6th. The five-day event offered a forum to gather developers, researchers, and other Neo community members from around the world for a week of discussion on the direction of Neo. Events throughout the week included discussions amongst community developer groups, presentations from various members of the Neo ecosystem, a media event, and an invite-only blockchain and media symposium.
The week began with discussions that spanned over the course of three days, in which ecosystem developers discussed issues surrounding the design and direction of Neo3. Topics included the migration of assets cross-chain, customer-focused support for end-users, oracle support to retrieve data from external sources (i.e., the Internet), security, and governance and voting mechanisms. On the final day of the NCA, many individuals split into small teams to further discuss the issues that were raised in the previous conversations and begin to build solutions.
Ecosystem and community members also delivered presentations to the attendees. Topics of such presentations included Neo3 progress, building local communities, improving customer support for end-users, distributed storage platforms, and identity protocols.
On September 5th, NGD held a press conference where NGD Seattle, NEO-ONE, and NeoSPCC each announced significant product releases. The event began with Da Hongfei discussing his vision of the blockchain industry’s role in the “Next Generation Internet” (NGI) evolution. Da outlined how Neo can provide infrastructure for the NGI through digital asset issuance, and components such as decentralized ID, distributed storage, oracles, state channels, and side/cross-chains.
Following, head of NGD Seattle, John deVadoss, took the stage to share the release of new tooling built by the branch’s chief architect and former Microsoft engineer, Harry Pierson. Founder of NEO-ONE, Alex DiCarlo, addressed the audience to announce NEO-ONE’s launch on MainNet. Lastly, Stanislav Bogatyrev from NeoSPCC announced the launch of the NeoFS proof-of-concept. Lastly, all four presenters returned to stage for an open Q&A session.
The final flagship event of the NCA was a closed round table symposium, focusing on discussion of the state of blockchain in China. Participants included leaders from various Chinese and Asian projects, such as Neo, Ontology, Bytom, PlatON, Conflux, Tomochain, and VeChain. The event was split into three sessions: building towards the future of blockchain in China, how to drive mass adoption in China, and the issue of regulation.
Workshops, Hackathons, & Meetups
Workshops, hackathons, and meetups were also commonplace in 2019, with events being held in Vietnam, the US, Japan, China, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, Jerusalem, Germany, Singapore, and Ukraine. Many of these events were held by, or with the assistance of, community development groups such as Neo St. Petersburg Competence Center (NeoSPCC), NeoResearch, NEO-ONE, COZ, NEXT, and neow3j.
Notable events included NGD hosting its first meetups in Kyiv, Ukraine and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, as well as meetups in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem; Berlin, Germany; Singapore; St. Petersburg, Russia; and, Hanoi, Vietnam.
NGD also provided support for a hackathon at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology University in Nonoichi City, Japan, and participated in the DoraHacks hackathon in Beijing, China.
Neow3j and Swisscom Blockchain hosted workshops and training in consecutive weeks in Zurich, Switzerland, and NeoSPCC hosted three workshops (two of which centered on NeoGo) at the St. Petersburg University, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Other community developer events included a NeoResearch sponsored meetup and workshop in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a workshop conducted by Red4Sec in Barcelona, Spain, and multiple workshops conducted by NEO-ONE in Seattle, Washington, and Denver, Colorado.
Efforts were also made to promote Neo through higher education with representatives from NGD, NeoResearch, NeoSPCC, and neow3j delivering lectures and courses to graduate and undergraduate students at universities in South Korea, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, and Brazil. Neo also launched a “Software Development Using Neo Blockchain Technology” course at the St. Petersburg State University, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
NGD researcher, Wang Yongqiang, visited Brazil and delivered presentations along with Igor Coelho, NeoResearch co-founder, at the Federal University of São João del-Rei and Federal University of Ouro Preto. Guil. Machado, founder of neow3j, delivered presentations to the University of Geneva, University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil, and the University of Basel, all located in Switzerland.
In total, 2019 witnessed more than 50 Neo related events, with a chronological list outlined below.
- 18th: Neo NEXT community college blockchain sharing session at Ningbo University Station in Ningbo, China.
- 25th: Neo NEXT community college blockchain sharing session at Ningbo University Station in Ningbo, China.
- 28th: Neo workshop, delivered by NEO-ONE, in Seattle, Washington – Details.
- 13th: Neo meetup in Seattle, Washington – Details.
- 16th – 17th: DevCon Two in Seattle, Washington – Details.
- 17th: Neo workshop conducted by COZ in Seattle, Washington – Details.
- 4th: Neo workshop conducted by NEO-ONE in Seattle, Washington – Details.
- 6th: Neo NEXT community college blockchain sharing session at Shanghai Jiao Tong Station in Shanghai, China.
- 9th – 10th: Neo Game Conference in Akihabara, Tokyo – Details | Video.
- 13th: Neo NEXT community college blockchain sharing session at Tongji University Station in Shanghai, China.
- 22nd: Neo NEXT sharing conference at Hangzhou Dianzi University Station in Hangzhou, China.
- 26th: Neo NEXT sharing conference at Zhejiang University Station in Zhejiang, China.
- 30th: NEXT global blockchain application development challenge concluded – Details.
- 2nd: Neo workshop conducted by COZ in Vienna, Austria – Details.
- 3rd: Neo meetup in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem – Details.
- 4th: Neo workshop conducted by neow3j and NGD in Zurich, Switzerland – Details.
- 8th – 10th: Neo developer training hosted by Swisscom Blockchain in Zurich, Switzerland – Details.
- 20th: NEOJOY in Beijing, China – Details.
- 23rd: Neo workshop hosted by Neo Colorado and NEO-ONE in Denver, Colorado – Details.
- 23rd: Neo workshop conducted by NEO-ONE in Seattle, Washington – Details.
- 27th: Neo NEXT dApp Global Blockchain Application Development challenge concludes in China – Details.
- 11th: Neo presentation delivered by NGD at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea – Details.
- 14th: NGD Seattle and Shanghai deliver interactive presentation at Consensus 2019 in New York, New York – Details.
- 25th: NEOJOY conference in Shanghai, China – Details.
- 4th: Neo workshop conducted by NEO-ONE in Seattle, Washington – Details.
- 8th – 9th: NeoSPCC participates as experts and judges for “Digital Breakthrough” hackathon in St. Petersburg, Russia – Details.
- 18th: Neo workshop hosted by Neo Colorado and NEO-ONE in Boulder, Colorado – Details.
- 24th: Neo workshop at Crypto Valley Conference in Zug, Switzerland – Details.
- 6th: Neo meetup and workshop conducted by NeoResearch and Neo developer, Ricardo Prado, in Sao Paulo, Brazil – Details.
- 11th: Neo workshop in Barcelona, Spain – Details.
- 25th: Neo hosts meetup in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – Details.
- 2nd – 6th: Neo Community Assembly in Shanghai, China – Details | Video.
- 4th: Neo hackathon in Amsterdam, Netherlands – Details.
- 5th: NGD press conference in Shanghai, China – Details.
- 22nd: NEOJOY 2019 half-day conference in Chengdu, China – Details.
- 27th: Neo presentation delivered by NeoSPCC at St. Petersburg State University in St. Petersburg, Russia – Details.
- 4th: Neo presentation delivered by NGD and neow3j at the University of Basel, in Basel, Switzerland – Details.
- 29th: Neo presentation delivered by neow3j at University of Basel, in Basel, Switzerland – Details.
- 31st: NeoGo workshop conducted by NeoSPCC at St. Petersburg University in St. Petersburg, Russia.
- 1st: Neo presentation delivered by neow3j at University of Geneva, in Geneva, Switzerland – Details.
- 7th: Neo meetup in Kyiv, Ukraine – Details.
- 11th: First Neo meetup in St. Petersburg, Russia – Details.
- 13th: Neo presentation delivered by NeoResearch and NGD at the Universidade Federal São João del-Rei (UFSJ) in São João del-Rei, Brazil – Details.
- 14th – 15th: Neo EcoZone exhibit BlockShow Asia 2019 in Singapore – Details.
- 15th: Neo meetup in Singapore – Details.
- 19th: Neo presentation delivered by NeoResearch and NGD at the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP) in Ouro Preto, Brazil – Details.
- 20th: Neo launched “Software Development Using Neo Blockchain Technology” course at the St. Petersburg State University, in St. Petersburg, Russia – Details.
- 21st: NeoGo workshop conducted by NeoSPCC at St. Petersburg University in St. Petersburg, Russia.