Neo achieved a significant milestone this year with the launch of N3, but 2021 still carried the scars of the global pandemic that took hold in 2020. While the blockchain industry witnessed the cancellation of almost all in-person events in 2020, 2021 saw the slow return of conferences, meet-ups, and international travel. However, offline events were still much less frequent than pre-pandemic times.
Just as the year before, circumstances did not allow for Neo-led in-person community events in 2021, such as DevCon or the community assembly. It was not until November that contributors from the Neo ecosystem were able to finally share a stage again. Flamingo Finance maintainer Odd Røland and NGD Zürich lead Lili Zhao joined a panel at Coin Telegraph Epicenter, where Zhao also delivered a talk on N3. It marked the first time in nearly two years that members from different groups within Neo were able to gather.
Despite the lack of in-person events, the community remained connected. The focus for the first half of 2021 was squarely on shipping Neo N3. Once this milestone was achieved in August, the level of community engagement sharply increased as Neo began work to attract new developers, projects, and users. In the months that followed, Neo held dozens of AMAs, interviews, podcasts, video appearances, DevLog sessions, and competitions.
Neo Frontier Launchpad and Technical Workshops
The launch of the Neo Frontier Launchpad event was a major initiative by Neo Global Development, executed with the support of the community. The Launchpad hackathon competition was designed to encourage developers to start new projects on Neo N3, and gave birth to up-and-coming projects such as Rentfuse, Humswap, TOTHEMOON, Lyrebird, and NekoHit.
NGD offered more than $100,000 in prizes, with three major prizes awarded to the best NFT, DeFi, and General projects. Major prize winners also received incubation support through the Neo EcoBoost program.
There were two phases of the Launchpad: Planathon and Development. The Planathon phase of the event ran from May 24 through June 7 and allowed teams to submit their project plan and receive feedback. Participants who submitted the best plans were granted “multipliers” between 1.1x and 1.5x, applied to the team’s final prize.
The month-long Development phase of the Launchpad event kicked off on June 12. While participants were building their projects, the Neo developer community was readily available to provide technical support. NGD hosted a series of workshops throughout the month, including introductions to Python contract development, DeFi, NeoFS, NFTs, and governance on N3.
Following the Launchpad event, NGD showcased the top 13 projects, with each giving live online demonstrations of their work over the span of a week. Of these top projects, many were accepted into the Early Adoption Program, which offers US $10 million in grants for qualified teams and individuals. The program’s goal is to increase overall participation in the Neo ecosystem.
Another major community engagement initiative was the Neoverse campaign. Launched to celebrate the release of Neo N3, Neoverse is an NFT collectible project where participants can open blind boxes, find random fragments, and then combine them to mint special edition Neoverse art NFTs.
27,000 blind boxes were made available, with 9,000 distributed through airdrops and collaboration with community projects. The remaining 18,000 were sold on the Neoverse website for 2 GAS each.
A total of nine fragments could be collected, each representing a different aspect of Neo N3, such as distributed storage, smart contracts, and oracles. Upon collecting all nine, a user could burn them to mint a Neoverse collectable art NFT. Three rarities of Neoverse collectibles were available – N, E, and O, each with three different designs. Holders of these NFTs are granted special VIP privileges within the Neo ecosystem, such as access to special drops and events.
Neo Live is an AMA series hosted by NGD on the official Neo Telegram channel. The series began in 2019 and serves to connect the community with subject matter experts, developers, and dApps in the Neo ecosystem. The community is invited to submit questions for guests, and the best questions are rewarded with tokens. A short quiz is also held at the end of every session, giving the community further opportunities to win prizes by answering questions fastest and most correctly.
The Neo Live series had a slow start at the beginning of 2021, but by September had picked up frequency with 19 Neo Live sessions held over the last 16 weeks of the year. Guests included projects who were new to the ecosystem, such as members of the N3 Early Adoption program and Frontier Launchpad winners, and existing sponsored community members. Many of the transcripts are located at www.neonewstoday.com.
Neo News Today podcast
Alongside NGD’s efforts to keep the community involved, the Neo News Today Podcast showcased contributors to the Neo ecosystem throughout 2021, releasing 13 episodes.
Guests included NGD and Neo Foundation employees, NGD Enterprise, community developers, project founders, and industry consortia.
A timeline of events can be found below:
- 11: Alexander diGirolamo, O3 Labs communications manager, joined the NNT pod – Episode 48.
- 8: Steven Liu, Neo Foundation tech lead, joined the NNT pod – Episode 49.
- 22: Kevin Owocki, GitCoin founder, joined the NNT pod – Episode 50.
- 31: Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang participated in Reddit AMA – Transcript.
- 5: Harry Pierson, NGD Enterprise chief architect, joined the NNT pod – Episode 51.
- 3: Xena Kash, NOWPayments CEO, joined the NNT pod – Episode 52.
- 17: Vishnu Korde, StackOS CEO, joined the NNT pod – Episode 53.
- 18: O3 Labs participated in Neo Live Telegram event – Details.
- 24: Neo Frontier Launchpad Planathon kicked off – Details.
- 31: Vladimir Tomko, Blockchain Cuties co-founder and CEO, joined the NNT pod – Episode 54.
- 14: Joe Stewart (Hal0x2328), COZ special projects engineer, joined the NNT pod – Episode 55.
- 19: Frontier Launchpad technical workshop: Intro to N3 Smart Contracts – Video.
- 21: Frontier Launchpad technical workshop: DeFi on N3 and Flamingo – Video.
- 22: Frontier Launchpad technical workshop: Intro to NeoFS – Video.
- 23: Da Hongfei interviewed on Data Dash YouTube channel – Video.
- 25: Frontier Launchpad technical workshop: NFT Development on N3 – Video.
- 28: Stanislav Bogatyrev, Neo SPCC CIO, joined the NNT pod – Episode 56.
- 28: Frontier Launchpad technical workshop: Building dApps with Governance – Video.
- 29: Frontier Launchpad technical workshop: Office Hours – Video.
- 8: NGD delivered technical smart contract workshops for hackathon event – Video.
- 12: Claude Müller and Guil Machado, AxLabs engineers, joined the NNT pod – Episode 57.
- 26: Vincent Geneste, GhostMarket founder, joined NNTpod – Episode 58.
- 26: Neo Frontier Launchpad Demo Day One – Video.
- 27: Da Hongfei interviewed by CoinTelegraph China – Video.
- 27: Neo Frontier Launchpad Demo Day Two – Video.
- 28: Neo Frontier Launchpad Demo Day Three – Video.
- 29: Neo Frontier Launchpad Demo Day Four – Video.
- 30: Neo Frontier Launchpad Demo Day Five – Video.
- 2: Neo Foundation announced Mass Migration plan – Details.
- 9: Jason Tezanos and Mario Lopez, Humswap co-founders, joined the NNT pod – Episode 59.
- 23: Thomas Geyer, Chain.Game project lead, joined the NNT pod – Episode 60.
- 6: Michael Fabozzi, Rentfuse Labs founder, joined the NNT pod – Episode 61.
- 14: TOTHEMOON participated in Neo Live Telegram event – Details.
- 21: Keith Hudnall, Elemental Computing Inc. CTO, joined the NNT pod – Episode 62.
- 22: NGD launched the Neoverse NFT mint event – Details.
- 23: NEXT participated in Neo Live Telegram event – Details.
- 28: Humswap participated in Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 28: Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang participated in Reddit AMA – Transcript.
- 5: GhostMarket joined Neo Live Telegram event – Details.
- 13: Defina Finance participated in Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 17: 5 Year MainNet message from Da Hongfei – Video.
- 18: 5 Year MainNet Anniversary Special w/ 11 prominent community members – Episode 63.
- 19: Rentfuse participated in Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 21: O3 Labs participated in Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 26: Flamingo participated in Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 2: 5 Year MainNet Anniversary, full comments – Bonus Episode.
- 2: TranslateMe joined Neo Live voice chat event – Details.
- 6: Da Hongfei, and NGD Zürich and Flamingo representatives spoke at CoinTelegraph Epicenter – Details.
- 8: Odd Jørgen Røland and Adrian Fjellberg, Flamingo maintainers, joined the NNT pod – Episode 64.
- 9: NeoBurger joined Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 10: Saffron Finance joined Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 11: NekoHit joined Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 17: Alchemy Pay joined Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 17: Harry Pierson, NGD Enterprise chief architect, joined DevLog series – Details.
- 18: Everstake joined Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 22: Tyler Adams, COZ co-founder and CEO, joined the NNT pod – Episode 65.
- 25: Polychain Monsters joined Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 29: iMe Smart Platform joined Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 30: Alexey Vanin, Neo SPCC engineer, joined DevLog series – Video.
- 2: Neo News Today joined Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 7: vEmpire joined Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 13: NGD hosted Metaverse Alliance on a Discord event – Video.
- 15: COZ joined Neo Live Telegram event – Transcript.
- 16: Claude Müller, AxLabs engineer, joined DevLog – Video.
About The Author: Dylan Grabowski
Dylan is a reformed urban planner with a passion for covering the Neo ecosystem. His objective as a writer for Neo News Today is to report news in an objective, fact-based, non-sensational manner. When not behind a computer screen, he can be found in the mountains rock climbing. Find Dylan on Twitter (@GrabowskiDylan).
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