Remember that word "modified" emphasized above? Just about time to explain it. The NEO's PoS algorithm is modified in a one particularly interesting way - it handles the entirety of the power to a small group of nodes called the
Communist Party members. Just kidding. They are called Bookkeepers.
Ideally, this works much like any parliamentary system
does. Nodes sort of choose their public (known, checked and certified) representatives and then relax while Bookkeepers do all the work. Such a partition definitely has its pros - the decision-making process gets much faster and the ordinary nodes don't need to spend time and energy directly participating in that process. But the obvious cons are available, too.
How significant they are depends mainly on who and how can become Bookkeepers. Curiously, NEO don't tell a lot on the topic
On the Internet, the "How-to-become-a-NEO-Bookkeeper" guides look like this:
- Set up a full NEO node.
- Obtain the identification certificate from the Certificate Authority.
- Be approved by NEO holders.
Everything is fine with the first point - get yourself a computer, pump in some code and you're good to go.
However, in terms of the certification, things get much trickier. The process is more or less described
for the Chinese citizens only and it's not clear whether one even in theory can become a Bookkeeper if he or she doesn't speak the Mandarin dialect.
But even if you succeed in this, you've got to be liked by the NEO holders whose vast majority now are the citizens of guess which country. None of these seems particularly democratic, does it? Add in some rumors that the project was initially sponsored by the Chinese government and take a minute thinking.