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NEO Global Development (NGD) issued its November monthly report on December 1st, 2018. The NGD monthly report is designed to keep the broader NEO community up-to-date about the NEO blockchain’s development, progress, and community events.

Core and Consensus Development

November was a busy month for NEO’s core developers, who worked to update the code to improve the blockchain’s stability and its performance under heavy usage.

NEO’s full node program, NEO-CLI, was updated to version 2.9.2 and a host of updates were implemented, including network performance improvement, the addition of a new plugin type, and better support for managing and troubleshooting existing plugins. NEO’s virtual machine NeoVM, the software computer responsible for executing smart contract and application code on NEO, also received bug fixes in the NEO-CLI update.

NEO’s consensus mechanism has also undergone development that is designed to eliminate the possibility of an accidental blockchain fork due to a rare issue in consensus where two valid blocks are simultaneously proposed. This problem has caused outages in the past for commonly used blockchain utilities such as the Neon light wallet and the Neotracker block explorer.

Vitor Coelho, co-founder of NeoResearch, has proposed a series of optimizations that include the addition of a ‘commit phase’ to the consensus mechanism, which was first proposed by City of Zion’s Shargon before being ported to the Akka implementation. A recovery mechanism to bring lost/failed consensus nodes back to the current block is also included in the proposal. The pull request, which is awaiting completion of the review and has yet to be merged, represents part one of Vitor Coelho’s four-part plan to optimize NEO’s delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance consensus mechanism.

Community Highlights

NEO’s European Hackathon Tour spanning the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland concluded on November 4th. Over 200 people participated in the tour and submitted over 20 projects. 1,500 NEO and 4,050 GAS were awarded to the winners.

NEO News Today editor Dylan Grabowski held the first meetup of the NEO Colorado community group on November 6th, in Denver, Colorado. Dylan’s meetup was attended by the general public, as well as representatives from NEO’s City of Zion community development group, the Aphelion wallet/decentralized exchange, and the NeoTracker block explorer/NEO-ONE smart contract development platform.

NEO’s St. Petersburg, Russia meetup on November 30th was the site of the NEO St. Petersburg Competence Center (NSPCC) introduction and its flagship initiative, a distributed file storage system for the NEO blockchain. NSPCC’s file distribution protocol is the first candidate to be considered for the title of NeoFS, NEO’s upcoming distributed storage protocol. NGD general manager Johnson Zhao commented, “We are very excited about the promising developments by NSPCC and look forward to expand our relationship with the Russian ecosystem.”

NSPCC’s roadmap shows plans for continuous development, culminating with a beta release in the third quarter of 2019.

Publicity Tour

NGD employees attended seven conferences in Estonia, Switzerland, China, Indonesia, and Lisbon, Portugal, where founder Da Hongfei participated in a “fireside chat” with the Wall Street Journal’s Neanda Salvaterra.

New NGD Hires

NGD filled two open positions: Songping Que, a graduate of Germany’s Kiel University, joins NGD in the position of marketing specialist, and Zhou Qian, who holds a degree from the USA’s Arizona State University, has joined NEO as a software developer.

Financial Transparency

NGD has acknowledged the delay in releasing financial reports, originally planned for the third quarter of 2018. NGD says that “We are aware that this is something the community is eager to see and is disappointed we did not deliver. The NEO Foundation is actively hiring a financial controller to improve financial transparency through the routine issuance of financial reports.” Da Hongfei also apologized on Reddit for the delay.

NEO Global Development’s full November report can be viewed at the following link: https://neo.org/blog/details/4123