If the recent dip in Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies has taught us anything, it is that we should be looking beyond whitepapers and vaporware for applications of blockchain technology that can solve actual problems. VeChain (VEN) seeks to be one of the first cryptocurrencies with solid real-world applications, by establishing itself as a BaaS (blockchain as a service) platform. They have already begun using blockchain technology in logistics to tackle important issues like counterfeiting of luxury goods, tracking of supply chain items, and quality control of food and other perishables. Beyond this, they are seeking to establish an entire business ecosystem with blockchain as its backbone. While this may sound like a lofty goal, they are already well on their way, by emphasizing collaboration with established companies and the Chinese government.
VeChain’s CEO, Sunny Lu, was the former CIO of Louis Vuitton China. He is, of course, very familiar with luxury goods, which is where VeChain’s first real-world applications materialized. VeChain has been used to verify the authenticity of wine imports into China, as well as luxury handbags, through scanning of RFID tags and storing and retrieving data from the blockchain.
(VeChain already has a working app that has been used to verify high-end wines. (source: Google Play App Store)
Even though counterfeiting is a huge issue in China, the team at VeChain has even bigger goals in mind. Recent partnerships have seen VeChain team up with DNV GL, a $20 Billion Dollar Norweigian shipping company, as well as the giant transport company Kuehne + Nagel. If that wasn’t enough, VeChain has also partnered with the National Research Consulting Company to work with the China National Tobacco Company, a state-owned monopoly.
These partnerships show the potential of VeChain’s reach, as not just a cryptocurrency, but an enterprise solutions provider.
(A non-exhaustive list of VeChain’s partnerships. Source: cryptoslate.com)
Re-Branding and Publicity
It seems like VeChain has had a parade of publicity, but is still somehow largely unknown to the average crypto investor. Smart money has begun to take note, though. It was recently discovered that VeChain is one of two cryptocurrencies (the other being Ethereum) held by legendary venture capitalist and China expert Jim Breyer in Breyer Capital’s portfolio. Even more exciting is the fact that Breyer has agreed to be an advisor to VeChain.
(VeChain is featured in Breyer Capital’s portfolio. Source: Fortune.com)
VeChain was also recently featured on CCTV, China Central Television, a network that reaches over a billion people. This, along with the government partnerships, shows the trust that China’s government places in VeChain, which is absolutely crucial at a time of uncertainty for cryptocurrencies in China.
To top it off, DNV and VeChain will be having a joint announcement on January 24. This is huge news that could add to VeChain’s following and spur growth in the price of VEN.
VeChain was originally scheduled to have a re-branding event on January 15, but had to push it back, due to the volume of partnerships that were being inked. The new re-branding date is set for February 26th, where VeChain will celebrate its transformation from a cryptocurrency into a business ecosystem, re-branding itself as VeChain Thor (VEN will become VET). This event could be a catalyst for a large price movement, similar to what was seen when Antshares re-branded as NEO in August of last year.
(The price of NEO absolutely exploded after they completed re-branding. Source: Coinmarketcap.com)
This re-branding is not just symbolic in nature. VeChain Thor will mean that VeChain is going to migrate from the Ethereum network, as it is a fork of Ethereum now, to its own blockchain mainnet. It will adopt a two-coin economy (similar to NEO), with the primary token being VET and the token used to power transactions being known as Thor.
For investors, this has two big benefits. Firstly, it will allow VeChain to distance itself from the volatility of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the cryptocurrency market, because it will have its own enterprise network. Secondly, all VET tokens (redeemed 1-1 with the current VEN tokens) will generate Thor tokens every day. These Thor tokens will be tradeable on exchanges and could be a lucrative source of passive income for long-term investors.
As Thor will be used to power transactions on VeChain’s blockchain, expect there to be a huge demand for Thor from companies using the network for their needs, which should, in turn, drive up demand for the Thor-generating VET. Finally, there will be extra Thor allocated to investors as a bonus for holding significant amounts of VET, which is incentivizing investors to accumulate and hold VET ‘nodes’, thereby creating immense buying volume.
We are bullish on VeChain in both the short and long-term investment horizons. In the short-term, the upcoming re-branding event and increased awareness stemming from it should help VeChain gain more investors who will bid up the price of VEN. In the long-term, its partnerships and concrete applications could make it a top 10 coin. The passive Thor token dividend is also not to be overlooked, as it could become very valuable if adoption of VeChain’s enterprise blockchain takes off.
Compare VeChain’s impressive list of partnerships and working product at a market cap of around $2 billion, with the multi-billion market caps of some coins that are merely conceptual, and you will see that VeChain is an attractive investment for 2018 and beyond.