NOTE: The VeChain blockchain is currently being rebranded to VeChain Thor. You can find out more information here. VeChain Thor and its accompanying technological features will be addressed in a separate article.
What is VeChain (VEN)?
VeChain is a blockchain-enabled platform that is designed to enhance supply chain management processes. By utilizing tamper-proof and distributed ledger technology, VeChain provides retailers and consumers with the ability to determine the quality and authenticity of products that are bought. From product source materials, to servicing history, and spare part replacements, every single piece of information about the supply chain movement of a product can be recorded and verified to bring about a supply chain management ecosystem that is secure for all participants.
VeChain plans to achieve this secure supply chain management ecosystem via the method of asset digitization. VeChain enables manufactures to assign products with unique identities to the platform. This will allow manufacturers, supply chain partners, and even consumers, to track the movement of products through their supply chain. VeChain makes use of its VeChain Identity (VID) technology, to mark and track a product. VIDs are produced using a SHA256 hash function, which generates a random hash value that corresponds to a VID. That VID can then be written into a Near Field Communication (NFC) tag, Quick Response (QR) code, or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag, to be used for each product. This method allows for the tagged product and all corresponding information, such as the supply chain activities of the product, to be translated from the real business world into the platform.
For example, the platform and its accompanying technologies can be utilized in the winery industry. A bottle of wine can be fitted with a VID, that allows both the wine manufacturer and the consumer to track the movement of the wine from the point of manufacture, all the way to the end consumer. Any attempts to defraud the consumer will be detected, as the authenticity of the wine can be determined at each stage of the supply chain process.
As well as allowing for the asset digitization of products, VeChain also supports authorization based digital ownership management. This means that ownership of products can be represented digitally on the platform. This is done through the use of smart contract technology, which allows a digital asset to be linked to an account that possesses both a public key and private key. The public key is made public and is show as an alias email address, which can be recognized and accessed by other users. The private key gives a user authorization and access to the corresponding digital asset.
Nodes & Tokens
Security is maintained on the platform by the use of network nodes. These network nodes can be controlled by businesses and organizations that are directly participating in the ecosystem. Network nodes may provide services such as: quality inspection, wallet services, and may even act as a private key management service provider. The platform will also make use of its own native token asset known as the VeChain tokens (VEN). These tokens will be used as GAS that is needed for smart contract execution. As well as this, VENs will also be used as an incentive mechanism, in that they will be awarded to network nodes that help facilitate the ecosystem via their operation.
There is also the VeChain Foundation. The Foundation is responsible for the construction of the network, and technological research and development. The Foundation also plays an important role in business development. The Foundation encourages and supports partnerships with enterprises that may be interested in utilizing blockchain technology as a service. This includes payment services, private key management, smart contract development, and wallet development.
VeChain (at the time of writing), is currently in partnership with:
- China Unicorn
- Directed Imported Goods
- DNV GL
- Healthcare Co Ltd
- Jiangsu Printed Electronics Co Ltd
- Kuehne & Nagel
- Xiamen Innov Information Technology Co Ltd
The Future of VeChain
There is no doubt that blockchain technology can be an important innovation to supply chain management. With a growing list of business partnerships and technological developments, VeChain is positioning itself to be THE disruptive, and innovative force that reshapes the way we think about supply chain management.
Where to Buy VeChain (VEN)
A list of popular cryptocurrency exchanges that currently list VEN include: