Recently VeChain has driven a lot of hype and excitement, leading to it becoming the fastest growing large-cap cryptocurrency in January.
In this review, I take a look at VeChain to see if it lives up to the hype, and to help you decide if it’s something worth investing in.
Watch the review here:
Don’t want to watch?
Here’s a write-up of everything said in the video:
What Is VeChain?
Currently, VeChain is an Ethereum-based currency that is best known for its use as a supply-chain management and anti-counterfeiting solution.
However, VeChain is about to undergo a major transformation to become VeChain Thor.
This is going to be much more than a simple rebranding: the VeChain team will launch their own blockchain, one containing two native tokens (VET and THOR), which will allow users to build and run decentralised apps (DAPPs).
To understand the value that this could bring to VeChain, it’s important to understand the significance of this.
Platforms are among the biggest hype areas for cryptocurrencies — the last bull run saw many of these types of currencies (like EOS, NEO, QTUM…) growing in value significantly.
Additionally, the change will allow VeChain to fulfil a far greater range of business needs, making it more attractive for industrial usage.
Developers will be able to build DAPPs on VeChain to do just about anything, meaning VeChain Thor could one day be the foundation of an ecosystem supporting every major requirement a business has.
How It Works
Supply Chain Management and Anti-Counterfeiting
In its current form, VeChain is all about allowing manufacturers to easily collect and manage data about a product throughout its life, and share this with vendors and customers.
This can help improve the way businesses manage their supply chains, and reduces the possibility of customers be scammed into buying something counterfeit.
It does this by digitising physical items and storing the information about them in the blockchain, updating this information as the product moves through different stages of the supply chain.
So, at any point, someone could look up an item and see exactly where its been and what’s happened to it.
Businesses using VeChain assign their items unique IDs and write this into VeChain’s blockchain and into some sort of tag attached to the item. This could be done using an RFID chip, a QR code, or an NFC chip, depending on the specifics of the item in question.
The tags are placed in such a way that tampering with or destroying the tag will also ruin the object.
Each party involved in the products life is assigned a private key for the item, allowing them to update its details as they handle it.
Then, when the product reaches a consumer, they can scan the tag using VeChain’s app and see its entire history.
Now they can verify it’s real, and gain other details about the item.
For example, luxury goods targeting the emotional side of a customer could show the personalised history of the item, highlighting how unique that product is.
So, that’s how VeChain works at present, but what will the upcoming changes to VeChain entail?
VeChain will be launching their own blockchain, one based on Ethereum but with heavy modifications.
They say that these changes will allow for a transaction throughput of up to 10,000tps, though it’ll be launching with around 50tps and scaling over time.
This new blockchain will allow for DAPPs to be built and run, much like Ethereum.
As mentioned before, it will require two tokens:
VeChain Tokens (VET):
These are used to transfer value between accounts, are used to determine the importance of an account on VeChain (those with larger holdings are given priority), and they generate THOR Power.
THOR Power is generated at a rate of 0.00042 THOR per VET per day, meaning about 2,381 VET are required to generate 1 THOR per day.
Thor power is required to pay for smart contract execution and to run DAPPs on the blockchain.
Whenever these payments are made, 70% of the THOR is destroyed, and the the rest is given to the nodes operating the network.
VeChain Thor will be run by 101 Authority Nodes, called Thrudheim Nodes.
These nodes that receive data to be incorporated into blocks and generate the blockchain.
To become a Thrudheim Node will be incredibly difficult, requiring 250,000 VET to even be considered.
Accounts with enough VET will be vetted by the VeChain Foundation to ensure they meet their criteria before being permitted the status of a Thrudheim Node.
But, there are significant rewards available for authority nodes, such as an enhanced voting right in important decisions, a share of the VeChain Foundation Thor Power Rewards Pool, and access to the 30% of unburned THOR tokens.
Of course, most people won’t ever be Thrudheim Nodes.
But, there are still several opportunities available to maximising passive earnings from VeChain through their ‘Economic Masternodes’.
There are three economic nodes available, none of which are crucial to the operation of the network but help to decrease the volatility of the VET price by locking up significant quantities of tokens. They also encourage long-term commitment to VeChain.
- Mjolnir Nodes: 150,000+ VET required
- Thunder Nodes: 50,000–149,999 VET required
- Strength Nodes: 10,000–149,999 VET required
The larger nodes receive greater rewards than smaller ones, and all three receive far better rewards than any accounts holding less than 10,000VET.
All nodes (Economic and Authority) are entitled to one vote each in key decisions, such as electing members to the board running VeChain, or deciding on changes to consensus, for example.
VeChain has already picked up a number of impressive partnerships.
Here’s a few of them:
National Level Partnership in China
VeChain is acting as the official blockchain technology partner of in the development of Gui’an, a region set to be a testbed for innovative technology designed to improve administrative efficiency.
If the governors here like what they see, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they chose to roll out the technology across the rest of the country as well.
An E-Government system based on VeChain Thor’s blockchain technology has already been developed, designed to store business registration documents with the intention of eventually allowing for rapid and simple auditing.
Additionally, they’re working to build a blockchain-powered exchange for physical goods in the region, and VeChain believe they are nearing the ability to power an entire smart town in the Gui’an region.
VeChain is part of PwC’s incubator program, giving VeChain access to significant resources and contacts.
PwC is one of the world’s largest auditing companies, and they could greatly benefit from VeChain’s technology.
As a result, it’s easy to imagine them extending their relationship out of the incubator program in the future.
VeChain is working with DNV GL to assist with cold chain logistics, which is all about the transport of chilled goods that must be maintained within certain temperature parameters.
VeChain will integrate smart sensors into products, allowing for the temperature, humidity, and location of items to be recorded and monitored at all times.
Now, once goods reach a retailer, for example, they can easily look over its journey and be confident the items are safe to eat, improving customer safety and satisfaction.
There are several more partnerships already announced, with more likely held back by NDAs.
I highly recommend looking into some of these partnerships yourself, it makes for some impressive reading, and there’s really no other cryptocurrencies boasting the same level of connections.
Of course, many of these partnerships are still in the ‘proof of concept’ and development stages, with companies looking to see how VeChain could help them in the future. So, there’s no guarantee that the people they’re working with now will continue with them in the future.
However, it’s still very encouraging to see such high interest in the project, and VeChain has its foot in the door with many powerful and important companies. If they can impress them now, VeChain could be set for great things in the future.
VeChain uses an interesting governance model where they’ve attempted to find a balance between decentralisation and a more effective centralised leadership.
VeChain is primarily run by the VeChain Foundation, who are governed by the Board of Steering Committee.
The members of this are voted in by VeChain’s stakeholders, which includes the different nodes on the network.
The Board of Steering Committee will oversee functional committees focusing on different aspects of VeChain, such as the Technical Committee who work on R&D and Technical support, or Public Relation Committee who focus on marketing, public relations, and business collaborations.
The board currently in place is quite impressive, with all members appearing very qualified with significant work experience in relevant areas.
Additionally, the fact that several team members work, or previously worked, at places like PwC and Deloitte (massive accountancy firms that could benefit from VeChain’s technology) is great, meaning they may have many connections in place to sustain VeChian’s growth. And, it means they really understand the wants and needs of the industries they’re targeting.
Of course, the leading team is important, but there are far more people involved in any project than the managers, and at VeChain their team is pretty sizeable for a cryptocurrency. According to their LinkedIn, 43 people work there — though I’ve read that as many as 60 people are currently employed by the VeChain Foundation.
These people are spread across a number of areas, from blockchain development to R&D of IoT devices.
VeChain has a pretty strong social media presence, with a lot of followers on each of their platforms.
A lot of the followers are incredibly supportive of the project, and it seems that there’s strong belief in VeChain for the long term — which is aways a great thing to see for any investment. It means that people are far less likely to sell during dips, hopefully decreasing volatility.
I also like that they’re engaging with their community in interesting ways, they’ve recently closed a competition requiring users to explain VeChain in a video.
Not only does this keep fans engaged, but it provides them with pretty low-cost marketing and helps spread word about the platform.
One downside I have seen here (this isn’t strictly social media related, but still) is the lack of material they’ve released explaining how anything works. Currently they don’t have an official white paper, and you have to do quite a bit of digging around to really understand VeChain.
They say that this should be fixed soon, with plans to release a VeChain Thor white paper in the near future, however.
It’s difficult to find any stand-out issues with VeChain.
As I previously mentioned, they haven’t been the best at sharing their technical workings, and I always prefer teams to be as transparent as possible when it comes to these kinds of things.
They are operating in a fairly competitive area already, with several other cryptocurrencies acting to improve supply chain management and product authentication. And, with the release of VeChain Thor, they’ll be entering an even more competitive and crowded space.
However, VeChain has a great team and numerous impressive partnerships, which few other come close to competing with. At the end of the day, it’s partnerships like these that will make or break a currency, not the technology that underpins it. As a result, I’m hopeful for VeChain’s future despite this tough competition.
I have seen people concerned about the potential for manipulation of VeChain Token value, with VeChain Foundation able to adjust the rate of supply of THOR Power in the future. Changing production rate could significantly influence the price of both tokens.
However, I’m not too concerned about this issue. I imagine changes to THOR production rate would require nodes to vote, limiting the chance for a small group to alter things for personal gain.
Still, the potential for this is a risk you may want to keep in mind when deciding whether you want to invest in VeChain or not.
VeChain is an impressive project, with strong use cases already.
It’s set to grow into something even greater as it transforms into an Ethereum-esque platform, a change that could (potentially) position it as one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies on the market.
They have incredibly impressive connections and partnerships, even if they are occasionally overstated.
But, they have a foot in the door with incredibly powerful multinational companies like PwC, which could bring them to a vast audience in the future, so long as they keep working hard and impress their clients in these early days.
Additionally, those capable and willing to make a significant long-term contribution to the network could experience massive rewards with the upcoming masternodes, making VeChain even more interesting to some.
VeChain is, in my opinion, one of the strongest currencies on the market right now, and I certainly recommend looking into it further, as it could be a brilliant long term pick with a lot of room to grow.
But, of course, this is all just my opinion and not financial advice.
Thank you for reading / watching