VeChain proposes to use the immutability of blockchains to store non-financial data through a tokenized system. Specifically, its Thor Core client was designed to store supply chain data and execute relevant applications based on smart contracts. This client is largely based on Geth, the Go implementation of the Ethereum protocol, but with changes to support an alternative consensus algorithm called “Proof-of-Authority,” which relies on a validator’s public identity and reputation. If a validator misbehaves, it is excluded from the network and its public reputation is tarnished. However, there is no collateral forfeiture or “punishment” other than loss of reputation, which we view as a key risk of the project. Like Ethereum, it uses the Ethereum Virtual Machine for the computation of smart contracts. While this design choice makes it easier to bootstrap the network, we note that, like Ethereum, Thor Core is unable to perform API calls, which may limit some of its advertised use cases.
VeChain (VEN) began as a Blockchain-as-a-Service company primarily focused on supply chain tracking. Initially launched in China in August 2017, the VeChain platform attempts to combine blockchain technology with an in-house smart chip (which can be implemented in NFC chips, RFID trackers, or QR codes) to track items through the entire supply chain lifecycle. VeChain is working on implementing several industry specific tracking platforms including solutions for tracking luxury goods as well as liquor and wine. In late 2017, VeChain announced plans to rebrand as “VeChain Thor.” VeChain Thor is a DApp platform (like Ethereum, Cardano, and NEO) focused on producing enterprise level DApps. VeChain Thor will incorporate two new tokens: VeChainToken (VET) and VeThor (VTHO). VET will be used to secure VeChain’s new public blockchain, and VTHO tokens will be generated by holding VET, like NEO’s GAS tokens. Despite the rebranding, VeChain Thor is still a work in progress, and does not currently have a public alpha or beta. Its new mainnet is scheduled to launch in June 2018. As of March 2018, VEN’s trade volume is relatively concentrated: about 65% of VEN trading takes place on Lbank, which is a Chinese based exchange, and another 25% takes place on Binance.