Wednesday the 4th of July – Independence Day in the U.S. – saw the NEO Foundation announce that its blockchain network had entered into an era of decentralization, after they elected City of Zion (CoZ) – an independent group of open-source developers contributing to the NEO infrastructure – to serve as its new consensus node; more than six months after CoZ began running their node on the NEO testnet so as to prove its operability.

According to NEO’s uploaded blog post, there are several other independent consensus nodes currently running on the testnet, each hoping to soon be elected and join CoZ on the mainnet. NEO unveiled a webpage had been established for monitoring both the status of the NEO blockchain and the vote tallies of each consensus node candidate.

Hosting these testnet consensus nodes are some big names indeed. One such entity is KPN, a leading landline and mobile telecommunications company in the Netherlands who provide for tens of millions of Western Europeans.

Another currently operating a consensus node on NEO’s testnet is Fenbushi Capital, one of the crypto and blockchain industry’s most prominent venture capital (VC) firms. Being Chinese-based, the fund is unfamiliar to most in the West, but for those who are aware of Fenbushi, it is probably because of their connection to Vitalik Buterin. Up until the new year, the Ethereum co-founder had served as a general partner of the VC firm, before distancing himself in order to focus more on Ethereum and its programming language, Solidity. He remains an advisor to Fenbushi.

In an interview covered by CryptoCoinSpy earlier this week, NEO (formerly Antshares) co-founder and CEO, Da Hongfei, spoke of some upcoming developments to be expected from NEO in its new, soon-to-be-released whitepaper, including that its virtual token will become divisible.

Market Approval Sends NEO Soaring

The price of NEO rocketed during Thursday’s trading, hitting a short-lived peak of $48.43 (NEO/USD), according to TradingView. Whilst having since corrected down to the $42-$43 price range, it is still representative of an 18 percent spike over the past 24 hours – at the time of writing.

Over the past 7 days, NEO has soared by over 40 percent, which is the most of any cryptocurrency whose market cap is ranked in the top twenty-five. Adding some context, Bitcoin (BTC) is currently up 8.4 percent for the same period.