On Friday, June 6th, NEO Global Development (NGD) hosted a live Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the official NEO English Telegram channel. Songping Que, NGD marketing specialist, moderated the live AMA, which primarily focused on the recently launched NEO EcoBoost program. NEO representatives included John Wang, NGD head of ecosystem growth, Yuan Gao, NGD head of marketing, and Longfei Wang, NGD blockchain developer.
In addition to participants from the public, Mark Jeffrey, CEO of Guardian Circle, Christoph Klocker, CTO of Novem, and Matt Luczynksi, CEO of Travala contributed questions to the AMA.
The NEO EcoBoost program was announced by Da Hongfei in May at Consensus 2019 in New York. The EcoBoost program is designed to encourage the growth of the NEO ecosystem and is backed by an equivalent of US $100 million in NEO tokens. The program intends to offer avenues of support to ecosystem projects such tech training, project collaboration, liquidity channel recommendations, and joint marketing efforts. Ultimately, the EcoBoost program aims to focus on seed project activation, dApp growth support, infrastructure development, and institutional collaboration.
The EcoBoost program has been broken down into three phases: Partner Recruitment, NEO Project Recruitment, and Acceleration. Partner Recruitment is focused on developing long-term partnerships with various entities in the blockchain industry, such as media outlets, wallet providers, dApp discovery platforms, and larger-scale organizations such as universities or exchanges. The NEO Project Recruitment phase will focus on the recruitment of teams that are building projects within the NEO ecosystem. Lastly, the Acceleration phase will see NGD match the needs of ecosystem projects with the resources made available by the EcoBoost partners recruited in Phase One.
Phase One of EcoBoost
The AMA began by NGD reporting that more than 50 partners have applied to the first phase of the NEO EcoBoost program. NGD tentatively plans to release the list of EcoBoost partners in July 2019. Examples of partners for Phase One include media platforms, distribution channels (i.e., dapps.com), exchanges, and wallets.
A portion of the AMA focused on engagement efforts with exchanges and its potential impact on NEO and NEP-5 projects. Though the final number was not confirmed, NGD said up to six or seven of the EcoBoost partners might be exchanges, touted as essential to the EcoBoost plan. J. Wang said, “in the last quarter, we added 10+ exchanges, and we are talking to more exchanges.”
A potential goal for exchange partnerships is assisting NEO-based NEP-5 projects in getting on a “fast listing track” with exchanges.
Phase Two of EcoBoost
Phase Two of the EcoBoost program will engage project applicants, which can be a team utilizing NEO’s technology at any stage of their development (i.e., seed stage, growth stage). Before applying for the EcoBoost program, NGD suggests a project has at least an MVP and a stable team in place. For this phase, NGD seeks a variety of projects such as those that improve infrastructure, create dApps, or incorporate decentralized finance products. J. Wang iterated, “we welcome all kinds of projects to join us.”
In the AMA, Jeffrey asked if the EcoBoost Fund might consider an application from a multi-chain wallet (i.e., LYNX). NGD iterated the EcoBoost program is interested in adding more wallets and welcomes applicants.
During the conversation, Klocker inquired about projects that may build a product around NEO, such as improved developer tools. J. Wang said, “NEO is aiming to provide the best infrastructure, so, we welcome more dev kits.”
Phase Two of the NEO EcoBoost program is tentatively scheduled to begin in July 2019. NGD anticipates this phase to last about a month, and Phase Three – Acceleration Phase to start later in the Summer.
However, as the EcoBoost program is an ongoing process, projects are encouraged to apply by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transparency of Funding
NGD purports it will make “rigorous consideration” on the distribution of grant funding to applicants. Funding is also dependent on the condition and status of the project, as well as consensus amongst EcoBoost partners. According to J.Wang, “the use of all the funds will be announced at the appropriate time based on the overall usage.” At this point, there is no long-term plan for the fund distribution rate.
One AMA participant asked about measures to ensure distributed funds are used responsibly and that recipients have the NEO ecosystem in their best interest. Gao responded, “there will be a series of measures implemented in the process of contract requirement, and post-investment monitoring to make sure funds are spent in meaningful way.”
However, Gao went on to say, “[the] EcoBoost Initiative is not just about financial support, but an overall support package for the whole life cycle of projects. [This includes] marketing, seed user recruitment, and dApp distribution channels support.”
At one point during the AMA, NGD claimed that NEO tokens will be divisible in NEO3. However, NGD contacted NEO News Today following the AMA to retract the statement and corrected themselves by saying a final decision has not been made.
The discussion surrounding divisibility of NEO tokens in NEO3 has been ongoing since June 2018, when the idea was first floated in the PR #285 – Adjusting the economic model discussion. Following discussions have been held in PR #319 – Allow divisible GAS fees without making NEO divisible (higher unit supply) and PR #692 – An implementation for fraction GAS on system fees. Users can expect an official announcement if NEO’s divisibility model ever changes.
The full AMA can be found in the NEO Telegram group at the link below: