The first block of the VeChain Thor blockchain was officially mined in June 2018, kickstarting a public blockchain tailored towards business services. VeChain represents an intriguing compromise between the pure decentralization of public blockchains and a more conventional hierarchical governance structure that includes participating enterprises.
As a result, VeChain has already attracted the attention, and partnerships, of prominent global businesses such as BMW and DNV GL.
Another unique prospect of VeChain is its economic model. The platform utilizes a dual token system, VET and VTHO, with VET primarily a store of value and ‘smart money’ on the network while VTHO is consumed as the ‘energy’ for transactions in the network -- somewhat similar to GAS in Ethereum or Neo.
VTHO are generated by addresses that hold VET corresponding to their overall holdings.
Design and Application
VeChain Thor is a smart contracts platform where enterprise-focused functionality such as controllable transaction lifecycles, transaction dependency, and multi-party payments are all possible.
When evaluating the VeChain Thor blockchain, it is prudent to separate the network into two overarching design considerations:
1. Governance Model
2. Economic Model (i.e., enterprise and business ecosystem)
At a high level, VeChain Thor is a proof-of-authority (PoA) Masternode network where the validation of blocks is performed by 101 entities approved by the Foundation. Masternode operators currently include enterprises, blockchain developers, academic research organizations, and community contributors.
The concept is to provide a fast, low-energy, and upgradeable consensus system that appeals to businesses in the VeChain ecosystem.
Stakeholders in the network (i.e., community holders, businesses, etc.) vote on proposals and issues via an on-chain governance mechanism that is then filtered into subcommittees, elected by stakeholders, and finally extends upwards to the Steering Committee -- the executive body of the community governance model.
The economic design of VeChain also draws from the governance structure. VTHO prices for transaction costs are modulated by the Foundation.
Additionally, partnerships with outside entities are funneled through the Foundation, enabling participating enterprises in VeChain to purchase services from the Foundation’s partner network and appeal to research and financial institutions for building applications on the network.
Products, Services, and Solutions
VeChain recently announced the launch of its ToolChain, a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform built on top of the VeChain Thor blockchain. The concept strives to onboard more businesses and contributors by providing general interfaces that lower the barrier to entry of leveraging the network.
Businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), can consequently tap into the various products, services, and solutions of the VeChain ecosystem.
One of the primary value propositions of VeChain is its role in the supply chain industry. For example, VeChain’s retail solutions include smart tags (i.e., NFC or RFID) for tracing the entire lifecycle management of products -- ensuring authenticity and reduced fraud/counterfeit. VeChain uses its proprietary ‘VeChain ID’ technology to encode lifecycle data into its blockchain for verification by third-parties.
VeChain also addresses numerous other markets, including automobiles, the digital carbon ecosystem, document management, agriculture, IoT production and scalability, and more.
VeChain Thor is developing a public blockchain that reconciles the fundamental differences between the conventional business world and the innovative capacity of blockchain technology.