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New Economy Labs (NEL) is a community development group founded in China, created to attract community development talent and accelerate the growth of the NEO ecosystem. Much like City of Zion, NEL builds open source development tools, utilities and software that aim to make the experience of interacting with NEO smoother for developers and users alike.

The first major project to come out of NEL is the NEO Name Service (NNS), which will allow users to replace difficult to remember strings (such as a wallet address) with simple ‘name’.neo domains.

NEL released the English version of the NNS white paper today, available on the NNS website. We caught up with NEL and NNS founder Jason Liu to learn a little bit more about the project.

Dean: Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Firstly, could you introduce yourself and explain how you first began developing for Antshares / NEO?

Jason: Thank you Dean. It’s my honor to be interviewed. My name is Liu Yongxin. You can call me Jason. I am the founder of New Economy Labs (NEL) and the founder of NEO Name Service.

I joined Onchain in 2016 as a senior product manager. I was in charge of building consortium blockchains, business promotion and solution consulting. In the process of doing consortium blockchains, I had been thinking about how blockchain can be applied. Finally, I came to a conclusion: public blockchains are the future trend of blockchain.

Dean: It is very difficult for fans of NEO in the West to get a sense of how developers and investors view NEO within China, so I think everyone was pleased when New Economy Labs was announced. Can you give us a little bit of background on how NEL was formed and how the community is structured?

Jason: NEL is positioned to be the Chinese NEO development volunteer community. Because NEO’s market positioning and promotion are more tilted towards markets out of China, its promotion and other marketing are comparatively weak in China. We hope to turn this around, and that’s our initial purpose of building NEL. We hope NEL not only provides training but also some real projects for community members to develop. For example, for NEO Name Service, we are currently developing a block scanner, wallet and so on. All the projects are open-sourced. As we run this community, we offer NEO blockchain development training and get developers involved in real open-source projects. NEL has an incentive system which means those who preach NEO blockchain technology, submit source code or initiate any non-profit projects will be rewarded with our token, NNC.

Dean: Do you have much contact with the City of Zion, and how often do you share resources and ideas?

Jason: Yes, absolutely. We have a lot of contact with CoZ. We share a lot of resources with each other and exchange ideas even on a daily basis. For example, we agreed to provide CoZ code needed for its Chrome extension wallet, NeoLink, to support our hardware wallet, NEODUN. NEL also translated CoZ’s  neon-js documentation into Chinese. We will have more and more partnerships in the future.

Dean: You’ve just announced the English white paper for the NEO Name Service, which will allow users to register a .neo domain, similar to how someone would register a .com (e.g. you could register jonsnow.neo). Can you tell us a little bit about how NNS will work and how you see this application being adopted?

Jason: NNS is the NEO Name Service, a distributed, open, and extensible naming system based on the NEO blockchain. Our primary goal is to replace irregular strings such as wallet addresses and smart contract hashes, which are hard to memorize, with words and phrases. We will offer a name service ending in “.neo” first.

Through our name service, people don’t need to remember addresses and hashes they don’t understand anymore. You could make a transfer or use contracts by just knowing a word or phrase.

We drew on a lot of experience from ENS (Ethereum Name Service) when we designed NNS. We really appreciate that. We also included a lot of innovations. For example, we split the owner contract from registry module to achieve more flexible ownership control. We have two types of resolutions: quick resolution and complete resolution. ENS has only quick resolution which we think has some security problems. Complete resolution is much more secure because there are more security checks when a complete resolution is done. We have also introduced a smart token in our economic model to achieve redistribution of system costs.

I am very confident that NNS will be adopted more and more, because it will be very convenient to NEO blockchain users.

Dean: What is the token utility and economic model for NNS?

Jason: NNS system will issue a built-in token called NNC (NEO Name Credit).

NNC has three functions:

  1. NNC can be used as the collateral asset in an auction. .neo domain names will be handed out via an auction process. Whoever bids the most NNC during an auction wins the ownership of the domain name. NNC used during auctions will be locked temporarily. The ownership of locked NNC belongs to the owner of domain names, which means that the ownership of NNC will be transferred as the ownership of domain names is transferred.
  2. NNC can be used to pay domain name rent. NNC is just locked in the auction, causing no other losses except losing NNC liquidity. So in order to prevent speculators from maliciously bidding to drive up domain name prices, we needed to introduce a rent mechanism for price adjustments: every year (or other fixed time) owners are charged rent as the cost of using the domain name. We will first open up second-level domain names of more than 5 characters without charging rent. We will consider introducing a rent mechanism on those domains when less-than-5 character high value domain names are fully open.
  3. System income redistribution. During the bidding process, the system will charge fees to prevent malicious bidding and will also have rental revenue. These revenues will eventually be returned to NNC holders in proportion to their NNC holdings. In order to facilitate the redistribution of system revenue, we added the concept of ‘coin days’ for NEP-5 tokens, and NNC token holders only need to manually collect a bonus at intervals. Lock-free, cyclical redistribution of NNC tokens is achieved in this way.

The NNS economic system requires that the total assets remain unchanged, and the auction proceeds and rental costs are considered as destroyed, so the assets we design can be consumed and the consumed assets will be redistributed. Since destruction and redistribution will be cyclical, we call it a cyclically redistributed token. Lock-free refers to the fact that users’ assets are not locked in the redistribution process. So NNC is a lock-free, cyclically redistributed token.

Dean: You have already announced a partnership with O3 Labs to have NNS integrated into the O3 wallet. Do you have any other partnerships in the works to support NNS?

Jason: Yes. Our goal is to have the NNS integrated into all of the mainstream wallets in the NEO ecosystem. We will announce partnerships one after another in the future.

Dean: NNS is the first big project to come out of NEL. How many people do you have working on NNS, and is this something you hope will bring more attention to your development efforts both in Asia and the West?

Jason: We currently have 6 people and a couple of part-time developers working on NNS. Yes. We hope NNS will bring more attention to our development efforts both in Asia and the west.

Dean: What can you tell us about the NNS token sale? Can you reveal any dates or information on how you plan to structure the sale?

Jason: NNC sale begins in June according to our plan. We don’t have an exact date for that yet. As to how we plan to structure the sale, we are still working on it. We will announce the details for the NNC sale at an appropriate time.

Dean: The other big project you have in progress is the NEODUN hardware wallet. How far along is development, and when could we expect that project to be ready?

Jason: As we have finished NeoLink support for the NEODUN hardware wallet, the first batch of NEODUN are in pilot production in the factory now. Some of its software is still under development. We expect to have a business edition in April.

Dean: If people want to find out more information on New Economy Labs, NEO Name Service or NEODUN, where should they go?

Jason: People can follow the following media accounts to find more information on New Economy Labs, NEO Name Service or NEODUN:

NNS Website: https://neons.name/
NNS Telegram: https://t.me/joinchat/IESfVEkjE8iSVKfBnaOhTQ

NNS Twitter: https://twitter.com/NeoNameService
NNS GitHub: https://github.com/NewEconoLab/neo-ns
NEL Twitter: https://twitter.com/NewEconoLab
NEL GitHub: https://github.com/NewEconoLab
NEL Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/neweconolab
NEL Medium: https://medium.com/neweconolab

Dean: Thank you very much for your time!