In less than four years, NEO has become one of the largest and most recognized blockchain projects on the planet. Now, the development team has adopted an ambitious plan to transform the NEO community in less than a year.
Earlier in 2018, the team announced a new strategy to make the platform as decentralized as possible. They also published a document called ‘How to Become a NEO Consensus Node’, that would help organizations understand how to become consensus nodes on the network. If successful, this will eliminate one of the biggest criticisms of the NEO protocol.
In July 2018, the NEO team surprised the community by launching an election of a new consensus node operated by a group of independent open source NEO developers known as the City of Zion (CoZ). Alongside CoZ, one other NEO consensus node is managed by KPN, a large telecom company based in the Netherlands.
The two consensus nodes run by CoZ and KPN are unlikely to stay the only two independent nodes on the NEO platform for too long. By the end of this year, the team hopes to add other independent consensus nodes operated by independent organizations from across the world.
By the end of next year, the team hopes to have ten nodes, including these three independent ones. The schedule for approving consensus nodes from the NEO community have recently been released:
30th Nov 2018 – 28th Feb 2019
28th Feb 2019 – 31st May 2019
31st May 2019 – 31st Aug 2019
31st Aug 2019 – 30th Nov 2019
The process of decentralization is highly controlled to ensure the network remains as robust and usable as ever during the transition. The NEO foundation team will approve each applicant for the consensus nodes. Every successful applicant in 2019 will join the testnet first for a period of six months before facing a vote to join the mainnet. According to the NEO team, this preserves the integrity of the protocol as it completes this complex transition.
With an open ecosystem that allows any organization to apply to launch and operate an independent node, NEO can accelerate its mission of creating a “smart economy” powered by blockchain technology.