Neo is not undervalued — it is unpolished.

Mar 12, 2024 5:00:39 PM

It’s common to see people defending their crypto choices like soccer teams. This is not different on . A few people say that $NEO is undervalued. Is it?

Is $NEO Undervalued?

Despite Neo’s comprehensive technology stack, its market value doesn’t mirror this.

The short answer is no, it’s not. The prices reflect the performance of the network. And the current performance is disappointing.

As a developer working with Neo for the last 5 or 6 years, it has become very clear that the problem with the network has never been code, but usability. Many features on Neo aren’t used.

The TestNet itself has almost no activity. One or another contract is deployed, but it’s common to have full days without a single new contract being deployed.

Wasted potential?

Since many of the features were already built, we seem to be dealing with a problem of wasted potential. It’s as if Neo is a mountain of gold, but some rocks prevent it from being used. And, if nobody comes and drills it, the value will just stay there — unseen and unused.

For those who are not developers, this may be hard to understand. How can these features work, but developers cannot use them?

The answer is simple: it’s too hard to use and non-intuitive. To make it work, you must go through several manual and undocumented steps. The humans interacting with it just give up.

“But I’ve seen people using it!”

If you have seen anyone building on Neo, I can assure you that they were getting paid to do it. Either through a hackathon or another funding program or partnership.

Neo invested heavily in hackathons, but there were no lasting results. The last hackathon ended many months ago. How many of the developers remained? You may want to check that number by yourself.

Also, if you talk to these people — or even Neo developers OGs, they will tell you how agonizing it is to build on Neo.

You use C#, Python, or whatever, but you must do so many tweaks and steps that it becomes frustrating. For every new function you want to test in your code, you must manually change the configuration files and recompile the code.

Neo Customer Acquisition Costs

There is no evidence that a single developer from the hackathon remained. However, let’s imagine that at least 10 stayed (in practice, the number is probably 0).

Considering that the hackathon costs at least U$200.000, we end up with a staggering U$20.000 per developer. That number is unsustainable, and we are being optimistic.

What could be the problem with $NEO?

The problem is onboarding and retention. It has always been. Due to issues and complexities in the tools setup, most developers can’t even try Neo. And when they do and face difficulties — quite common due to the poor user experience and lack of SDK standards — they try to search for a solution and fail. That is making Neo lose to all of the developers who decide to try it.

The onboarding and retention rates must be improved to reduce Neo customer acquisition costs. Without working on these specific goals, marketing efforts will be fruitless and extremely expensive.

Neo Untapped Potential

We can say Neo had a lot of untapped potential, but that doesn’t mean it’s undervalued. If the network can improve its onboarding and retention rates, we could start dreaming of a broader network adoption.

The Value Chain

The reason that it fails to generate value is that blockchains depend on a multi-layer value chain. The network will only benefit from its technologies if dApps are developed on the platform. Without developers, there is no value being created. And it’s not being created because these people can’t or don’t want to use Neo features.

Why can’t they use these features?

The main reason is the general user experience. Not only do developers struggle to use the existing tools, but they also fail miserably when looking for documentation.

Neo has decided to support the development of smart contracts using C#, Java, Go, and Python, but developers from these languages can’t even start their projects on Neo. This is because the setup and overall development experience are not good. The code was built by experts, making it suitable for… experts, not new developers.

The result was that for the existing, advanced developers, everything looked ‘ok’ (saying ‘good’ would be too much). For them, manually configuring the tools and using blockchain-specific terminology is fine.

But what about other devs? For them, it was and still is impossible to use it. And if new developers can’t use it, how can we expect them to become experts? They don’t. This means that despite the tools offering a wide range of features, they are never used by developers, not generating value for the network.

The problems were being ignored

The Linkd Academy project was created to provide courses on the Neo Blockchain. During the course development, it was discovered that Neo tools had bugs and usability problems during the project.

These problems were reported to the teams, but most were ignored. Many of the issues were years old. The team responsible for the Neo developer experience disappeared, leaving their tools unusable. Even bugs reported before it were ignored, showing an overall lack of empathy with users.

If people were using these tools, the bugs would have been reported before. This is also a prove that nobody was building on Neo. It also showed how little the overall community cared about the usability of their own platform.

Will it ever be fixed?

Despite not being Linkd Academy’s responsibility, reworking the tools was necessary. It wasn’t possible to teach Neo, and that was the project goal.

We almost decided to release a broken course. Since nobody uses Neo and nobody cares if things are working, making a course that doesn’t work would be fine. If someone complained, we could just ignore them.

However, the decision was to create new development tools, reusing the existing ones. Something completely out of the scope of the project.

Linkd Dev Tools

Linkd Dev Tools is a development tool that combines existing tools and SDKs inside the user IDE. Instead of focusing on advanced use cases, the goal is to ensure a smooth user onboarding.

The tool is compatible with C#, Go, Java, and Python — the most used programming languages on Neo. This enabled Linkd to have a global vision of the platform, and not focus only on the things it was building for itself.

As a consequence of building using existing tools, we also discovered other systemic issues on the Neo platform: The lack of a standard SDK interface and poor documentation — which is very hard to find and use (often outdated)

Linkd Library

Another initiative is to rewrite and unify existing docs. We may not be able to interfere with how each community makes their SDKs, but we can create a unified documentation portal. Currently, all docs are scattered around multiple websites and domains. There isn’t a place to look for all of them. Now, these docs should all be on Linkd Library.

Both Linkd Dev Tools and Linkd Library are already being tested by users.

Initial Results

The initial results are very promising: It used to take more than one hour to finish the initial setup. Now it’s fully automatic and takes only a few seconds. And it’s not only that.

Previously, users were unable to run a simple hello world without agonizing. Now, they can finish a full example in less than 15 minutes. The main goal is to increase Testnet deployments — we are almost there.

Our current goal is to ensure that users can easily onboard the platform. We are testing it with the existing SDKs, and once we are certain that it’s creating value, it will be released to the global audience.

Not Enough Resources — We need your vote

We are working on these projects, but they are being funded by our own resources. If it’s clear that even by improving the existing metrics, we won’t be able to generate revenue, the project will be discontinued.

It’s important for $NEO Holders to vote for the Linkd Academy. Without your vote, the developer tools and documentation will remain broken. And the courses themselves won’t work either. Voting for Linkd will allow us to try to expose the hidden gems on Neo.