Neo is standing at the dawn of a new era as it edges closer to the launch of Neo3. October 17th marked the fourth anniversary of the Neo MainNet launch, with perhaps no year seeing more progress than 2020.

To celebrate the milestone, the Neo Foundation released an open letter to the community. The address reflected upon Neo’s recent achievements and its vision for the future.

Building the future

2020 has been the stage for several “groundbreaking” milestones. Neo made headway on various technology fronts and positioned itself strategically to promote digital asset adoption.

One of the most significant achievements was the launch of Poly Network, developed in partnership with Ontology and Switcheo. Poly Network is an interoperability protocol that enables cross-chain asset transfers and contract invocations. It is an embodiment of the NeoX vision outlined in the Neo white paper first published in 2017, and will play a key role in Neo3.

It was quickly followed by the launch of Flamingo Finance, Neo’s interoperable full-stack DeFi protocol. At its peak, Flamingo had a Total Value Locked at over US $1.6 billion – $500 million of which was cross-chain.

In parallel, Neo3’s core development continued to progress with TestNet scheduled for release by the end of the year.

Close to finalization are NeoFS and NeoID – both community-developed solutions – along with built-in Oracles. These features provide native functionality for most dApp development needs, such as storage, identity, and the ability to access off-chain data.

A new governance and economic model is also in the final stages of development. Critical tools and infrastructures are being readied for use on the upgraded chain.

Together, these updates represent the culmination of over two years of work, following Erik Zhang’s proposal of Neo3 in July 2018.

As these finishing touches are applied, Neo is busy preparing early adopter and migration plans to “facilitate a smooth and seamless transition for our current ecosystem.” A hackathon and developer grants program are also in the planning stages to incentivize new development.

Neo3 MainNet is scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2021.

Driving adoption

Neo describes Neo3 as a “future-proof full-stack blockchain solution.” However, it notes that innovation is outpacing adoption.

“There have been many great innovations around various layers of the blockchain universe, especially the tremendous development of DeFi in the past year. And yet, we are also facing numerous challenges: We are still slow in mass adoption and industry regulation, while scalability and usability are yet to be improved for many platforms.”

Neo has taken a proactive approach to these issues in 2020, joining several initiatives to drive digital asset protocol adoption.

In June, Neo became a founding sponsor member of the InterWork Alliance, along with other launch members such as IBM, Nasdaq, UBS, Hedera Hashgraph, DID Alliance, Hyperledger, and more.

The IWA was formed to accelerate mainstream adoption at the business level by establishing a series of frameworks that create standardized token definitions and contracts in non-technical, business terms. Put simply, the IWA is trying to reduce the complexity of building systems that work with tokens.

In July, Neo also became one of the first public blockchains to join China’s Blockchain-based Service Network. While the IWA focuses on definitions and standards, the BSN focuses on infrustructure.

The BSN is a cross-cloud, cross-portal, cross-framework global public network, designed to reduce costs of deployment, maintenance, connectivity, and supervision of blockchain applications.

Comprised of cloud resources and data centers using a set of blockchain protocols, the BSN is boosted by the support of entities such as Chinese State Information Center, China UnionPay, and China Mobile.

Through different means, the IWA and BSN both aim to bring blockchain-based solutions to the traditional business sector. Neo’s involvement gives it a seat at the table in fostering the adoption of tokens in the new digital frontier.

Neo believes that it has “built a strong foundation for our future success and growth” over the last four years and credits the community for being central to its progress.

“With our community at our core, we are confident that together, we can build a more open, connected, and efficient world and realize the smart economy of tomorrow. The future is here, and it is brighter than ever.”

The full open letter can be found at the link below: