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24 May 2018
On May 14th, a ‘Memorandum Of Understanding‘ (MOU) was signed between two prolific blockchain projects. While many had envisioned future cooperation, the Ontology Foundation and the NEO foundation did not wait for it and announced their mutual intentions of cooperation ahead of my own personal expectations. ‘Neontology’ is born?’ Today May, 24th, only ten days after the memorable accord was inked, we are witnessing the first practical implications of the agreement. The Ontology Foundation and NEO Foundation, just announced that they have ‘co-funded’ the ‘Joint Task Force’.
The task force will be consisting of 10 people, including senior blockchain developers, Weng Junjie, Tan Yuan and Peter Lin. Junjie Weng participated in developing the core DNA blockchain Architecture of Onchain. For those unfamiliar with Onchain, this is the private company which was founded by Da Hongfei, among others. Yuan Tan is a DNA Smart Contract Core Developer, specialized in the fundamental structures and principles of EVM and NeoVM and Peter Lin is ‘Research & Development’ director at Neo Global Development.
Most of the selected members are core developers, either with NEO Global Development (NGD) or with Ontology. Some, however, are community members that were hand-picked to help achieve the goals of the ‘Force’. The team is co-financed to the tune of RMB 4 million, which roughly converts to some $625,000 USD.
In line with the core statements of the MOU, the team is set out to work on ‘API Standardization’ and ‘Cross-chain Protocols’. It will also be working towards creating ‘Open Standards’ for smart contracts and build a ‘Smart Contract sharing ecosystem’.
We have seen the early steps in this direction with the announcement of Ontology’s SmartX. SmartX is a recently announced ‘Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which is intended to make it easier for application builders to get started with coding Ontology Smart Contracts. It hosts a number of code templates, debugger tools, and more. Ontology mentioned that it would seek to promote a marketplace where ‘Smart Contract’ buyers and sellers can find each other.
It seems obvious from recent developments that NEO and ONT want to create this ‘developers’ environment together in order to make sure that they are compatible. The team will work to standardize the data API’s and create the necessary network protocols on top of the existing NEO and Ontology protocol layers with the idea of building a ‘MEGA Ecosystem’.
As mentioned before, Ontology and NEO will try to streamline their efforts with respect to designing the SDKs and development tools, which are conceived for application developers. This also includes the initiative to adopt NeoVM as the only platform to run smart contracts. A standardized SYSCALL rule for namespace will be proposed which should enable cross-chain smart contract deployment. Furthermore, the Task Force will be exploring use cases for blockchain algorithms, do research on Native contract mechanisms and standardize address encoding to further stimulate easy of use and user adoption.
Today’s announcement further emboldens the importance of the ‘MOU’ and other recent confirmed changes in organizational structure. It seems that the NEO restructuring plan was not only focused on the internal organizational structures but that the MOU with Ontology is part of a broader adjusted strategy that is being executed as we speak. Whether the future will bring us NEONTOLOGY or if both entities will remain independent, the least that can be said is that they are pursuing entanglement. There’s nothing more left I want to say, other than wishing the Task Force all the best in their daunting task. May the force be with you and don’t hesitate to leave us a comment if you enjoyed the article.
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