NEO Foundation has issued a notice regarding newly unlocked NEO tokens, where it noted the movement of 5,538,832 NEO from the locked supply to its unlocked address. These funds, released in line with the distribution process outlined in the NEO whitepaper, are to be used for the long-term support of the NEO ecosystem.

The funds were moved on May 23rd, with a two-step process. The first transaction moved 5.5M tokens to the unlocked address and the remainder of locked funds to a secondary change address. The second transaction moved these funds back to the locked supply. This was done to “differentiate the transactions for the community’s reference.”

NF notes that it does not hold more than 15M tokens in the unlocked address, denoting the quantity available for use each year as is planned in the whitepaper. This ‘top-up’ process is why the initial 5.5M funds were moved, increasing the balance of the unlocked account to match the amount available for expenditure. As a result, 29,461,169 NEO are left in the locked address and are outside the circulating supply.

While these unlocked funds can now be considered part of circulating supply, NF has reaffirmed that they will not be sold on exchanges. Funds are reserved to support the development of the NEO ecosystem and the growth of the community, as is exemplified by its support of development communities such as COZ, NewEconoLabs, and O3 Labs over the last few years.

The unlocked funds will be distributed via the EcoBoost program, recently announced at Consensus 2019 by NEO co-founder Da Hongfei. According to the notice, more details on the usage of these funds under the EcoBoost program will be released in the near future.