Select Neo users are now receiving free crypto money.
Beginning this weekend, those who held tokens on the Neo blockchain, the 11th largest in the world, began to receive 10 million ONT tokens (worth $42,100,000 at press time) designed to power an entirely new crypto technology platform called Ontology. Recipients must have held Neo on March 1.
Part of the "ONT token distribution," the move effectively rewards all users of the Neo blockchain for providing the technology necessary for the project's fundraising.
If that sounds confusing, the move has been in the works for some time.
In February, the Neo Council, a body set up to oversee the Neo blockchain protocol, announced that it would freely distribute 20 million ONT tokens – the main assets on the Ontology blockchain network – to eligible NEO token holders through a two-stage "airdrop." Ontology's creators granted 100 million ONT, or 10 percent of the maximum supply, to the Neo Council "for relevant cooperation and to support NEO community feedback," the Ontology team wrote in March.
As well as the deadline for completing the Neo Council airdrop, Monday marks the beginning of Ontology's token migration, in which holders of Neo-based ONT must move their tokens over to Ontology's "mainnet" – its own, freestanding blockchain.
Ontology is one of several projects to embark on token migrations – also known as token swaps – in recent months. Some of the most prominent include EOS and Tron, both of which moved from ERC-20 tokens to native tokens on their own dedicated blockchains. (Ontology, as noted above, is moving from an NEP-5 token to its own blockchain.)
For users of certain exchanges, this process will be automatic, but others will need to manually complete the transfer. The Ontology team has posted an explainer, but the process will be more complicated for some users than others. Ledger wallet users will need to transfer their NEP-5 tokens to another wallet, for example.
Adding a layer of complexity, ONT tokens on Ontology's mainnet are indivisible. In other words, users cannot migrate 1.2 NEP-5 tokens to mainnet – they have to top up to 2 ONT, sell down to 1 ONT, or accept that 0.2 ONT will simply disappear.
Fortunately, ONT investors have until October 1 to complete the migration.
Stepping back, Ontology, which launched at the end of June, and Neo are public blockchain protocols with teams primarily based out of China. Both emerged from Onchain, a Shanghai-based technology firm.
While separate entities, Neo and Ontology are closely aligned and engage in "technical cooperation," according to Ontology founder Li Jun.
The Neo Council's ONT token distribution was divided into two equal halves. Anyone who held NEO at a certain point on March 1 is entitled to receive 0.2 ONT per NEO. The first half (0.1 ONT per NEO) was distributed to Neo addresses as an NEP-5 token – a Neo-based token standard similar to ethereum's ERC-20.
The second half of the airdrop began over the weekend, except that this time, ONT tokens were distributed as native tokens on the newly launched Ontology blockchain, rather than as NEP-5 tokens. As the Ontology team explained in an announcement, recipients' Ontology addresses, WIFs (wallet import formats), and private keys will be identical to their counterparts on Neo.
Social media posts indicate that at least some users have successfully received their ONT at the time of writing. The Ontology team's announcement gave Monday, July 9 as a deadline for completing the airdrop.
The Ontology community has another airdrop of ONT to look forward to, according to Jun, but details have yet to be revealed.
The Ontology team previously gave away 1000 ONT to people who signed up for its newsletter and completed a know-your-customer (KYC) check; it also gave 500 ONT to attendees of a Neo developers' conference who gave their email.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.