Chinese blockchain NEO will have one less decentralized application (dapp) on its blockchain come April. Effect.AI, the startup behind one of NEO’s top dapps announced today that it’s jumping ship and migrating to rival EOS.

Effect.AI, a project that provides artificial intelligence services on a decentralized network, said today that it was “disappointed in the performance of NEO’s technology” and concerned about NEO's lack of direction. In a Telegram AMA, on January 12 (reproduced on Reddit), Effect.AI CEO and cofounder Chris Dawe went so far as to say “the NEO blockchain sucks.”

For the blockchain dubbed the Chinese Ethereum, losing a valued dapp is bad enough, but it also sends a strong signal that development is not in good shape and plays into the hands of NEO's younger—and, some would say—nimbler, rival. Effect.AI claims to have the most-used dapp on NEO and one that also has the potential to transform EOS—from a platform that hosts, largely, gaming dapps into something more diverse, as well as opening up new user terrain.  

Mechanical Turk

With over 2,000 active registered users in 91 countries, Effect.AI’s dapp offering, Effect Force works in a similar way to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Users are paid in tokens to tag and structure data, which is provided to businesses for AI development. Effect.AI’s clients include Dutch financial services provider, ING and the Singapore government. It’s also working with the UN to create social impact hubs in developing countries, a user-segment EOS has yet to penetrate. The first of these initiatives is in Georgia. Effect.AI hopes to have four in operation by the end of the year.

The Amsterdam-based startup has Bitcoin pioneer, Charlie Shrem among its advisors and big ambitions: it wants to host over a million daily transactions by the end of 2019. According to its statement, when Effect Force launched in June 2018, the NEO blockchain was unable to cope with even the first day’s 200,000 transactions. This failure, combined with the upcoming mainnet release for NEO 3.0, was decisive in cementing the Effect.AI move.

The exact nature of the rollout of NEO 3.0 is still unclear. The upgrade is meant to address outstanding platform issues that include stability and scalability. In an interview earlier this month, NEO founder Da Hongfei said that it would most likely involve a hard fork, adding that they might even need to “start from the genesis block” and migrate current dapps over to an entirely new blockchain. Evidently, this was a move in the wrong direction for Effect.AI.

“The Effect Network cannot be built on a blockchain of uncertainty,” said Chris Dawe, elaborating on the decision. “Our entire team sees that EOS is well ahead of most other projects in the space, on a technological, mass adoption, and community level. These are the three main aspects we or anyone else should look for when looking at a blockchain.”

Confident

EOS, like NEO, provides a decentralized platform capable of creating dapps and smart contracts. But, despite its name, NEO is the senior of the two, one of the first cryptocurrencies to emerge from China, its platform is now four-years-old. EOS would hope to offer newer, more stable technology and a more robust alternative.

EOS proponents are confident that their tech can easily handle over a million transactions a day on behalf of Effect.AI. They point out that EOS has more traffic than any other blockchain, with around 55k daily users and $21 million in transactions. But much will also depend on the degree of Effect.AI’s success. According to one Redditor, the platform's contributors can expect to earn the equivalent of $5-10 per hour (Effect.AI didn’t respond to a request for verification.) That’s a lot of money in many countries in the developing world. The dapp may prove very popular. And if it is, can EOS take the heat?