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NEO, an open-source smart contracts platform and the world’s 17th largest cryptocurrency project is following its roadmap to greater decentralization. In a step to achieve its goal, NEO is allowing organizations to run consensus nodes on its network. NEO Global Development (NGD) announced their plans recently, calling for better public participation in the network.

Moving One Step Ahead

NEO’s smart contract platform currently hosts over 100 dApps on its mainnet and is backed by a global community of developers. NGD now wants better representation of organizations in the network to achieve more decentralization. Director of R&D at NEO Global Development Peter Lin, commented on their plan saying:

“NEO is embarking on its next phase, which will see far more public involvement in efforts of greater decentralization.”

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Consensus nodes will be given the task to work as block validators on the network. These validators will be responsible for generating new blocks, verifying transactions and maintaining a copy of the blockchain. They will also be useful in enforcing decisions made collectively by the network.

Is NEO Not Decentralized?

NEO mainnet has seven live consensus nodes on the network, but the NEO Foundation manages five of them. The remaining two nodes are run by KPN, a Dutch telecom company, and City of Zion, an open-source community group.

NEO wants to replace four of its nodes with the nodes of other entities in 2019. These new validators should have passed a screening process and completed a six-month testnet trial. NEO has also decided four voting cycles after which the successful applicants will be chosen.

The voting cycles are listed below:

November 30, 2018, to February 28, 2019

March 1, 2019, to May 31, 2019

June 1, 2019, to August 31, 2019

September 1, 2019, to November 30, 2019.

If the plan is implemented as suggested, then each of the seven nodes on the network will be run by a separate organization by the end of 2019.

Lin noted:

“With an open ecosystem that allows organizations to launch and operate an independent node, NEO can accelerate its mission of creating a “smart economy” powered by blockchain technology.”

As more NEO is released and comes into circulation, more people will want to become consensus nodes, says Lin.

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