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98. VeChain (Published: 20th Apr, 2018)

VeChain(VEN) is a digital currency tied to the blockchain project of its parent company VeChain,a Singapore based company that focuses primarily on the supply-chain management issue in the luxury goods market. Integration of this technology prevents data tampering on the chain, enabling the tracking of luxury goods to confirm that they are not counterfeits. By incorporating RFID tags into branded items, each product on the network is given a unique identity that corresponds to their designated network systems. Once the manufacturing company adds and activates the item on the blockchain, customers can verify the authenticity of the product right back to the production process. This high utility token is the ultimate unit of value transferred between the parties on the VeChain network, and is required for execution of smart contracts. Unlike Bitcoin and major cryptocurrencies, VeChain aims to serve as a platform rather than replace or supplement fiat currency.

The idea of integrating the supply chain with blockchain technology originated from VeChain CEO Sunny Lu who is well known in the blockchain community, having previously founded BitSE(a Chinese software company that has introduced well-known cryptocurrencies such as QTUM into the crypto space).Prior to his work in the field of cryptocurrency, he was the CIO and COO of Louis Vuitton in China.Working alongside him are CTO Gu Jianliang, and COO Kevin Feng, who bring over 12 years of experience in similar technology related fields.

Future Developments
Currently, VeChain is developing its third generation of smart chip technology, updating RFID chips with integrated thermometers. This will facilitate the monitoring of surrounding temperatures while transporting food products, ensuring food quality standards. In February 2018, VeChain rebranded from VEN to VeChain Thor(VET) enabling easier creation of decentralized business apps over its existing blockchain network. It now accepts two tokens, VET(main transaction token) and Thor Power Token(reward for holding VET, and running smart contracts on the platform, like GAS in NEO blockchain). The Foundation allocated 150 million VETS of its own into the Thor Power Reward Pool at the beginning of this year, which will depreciate biannually by 25 million tokens until further notice at the end of 2019.The staking reward for holding 1 VET(currently at $3.63) is 0.00044Thor Power Tokens per day.Thor token prices will not have a ratio pegged to the VET, and are expected to be determined by market forces once the mainnet launches at the end of the second quarter of 2018.By the end of the year, the company plans to integrate the Internet of Things(IOT) as well into its operations.

Risk And Opportunity
The VeChain platform, unlike other blockchain projects, has already been used by multiple businesses like PwC and DNV GL, and has obtained approval from a cryptocurrency hesitant Chinese government, giving it a competitive advantage. Like PIVX and DASH, VET utilizes Masternodes to enhance the network. Currently it uses Authority Masternodes(creating block and keeping ledger records) and Economic Masternodes(providing stability to the entire network). Since authority nodes primarily process transactions, it is difficult for the community to download and cross check the blockchain information. Additionally, the Thor Power Tokens economic system remains unproven. People are hoping to generate passive income via these tokens but are unaware of where the price of Thor will settle. However, the long run use of the VeChain blockchain can indeed make thor power generation rather profitable. Overall, VeChain appears to be a promising long term project compared to more traditional cryptocurrencies, particularly for customers who seek a more transparent and distributed business ecosystem.

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