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Date of Last Update: May 30, 2020
VeChain believes that blockchain technology is one of the foundations for the next generation of information technology, alongside emerging technologies such as AR, VR, AI, IoT, 5G and more. With the technology’s immutable and tamper-proof characteristics, blockchain, as an infrastructural technology, is uniquely positioned to enable unprecedented value and data-transfer among a wide set of users in a trust-less manner, boosting the efficiency and authenticity of information transfer itself.
VeChain’s vision of lowering the barrier and enabling established business with blockchain technology to create value and solve real world economic problems has been clear to us from the very beginning.
To achieve and fully harness this technology that will enable mass public adoption, we have identified the three major phases of blockchain evolvement – Technical Consensus, Business Consensus, and Governance Consensus. These phases will be the foundation and strategy to enable the VeChainThor blockchain to be adopted as the world’s premier choice of blockchain.
1.1 Technical Consensus
In this phase, technical developers are the major force to build up the initial infrastructure protocols based on imaginations and projections. The competition is about programming language, protocol, algorithm and technical developer community.
Applications in this early stage of blockchain adoption are coming from the more obvious use cases that leverage features and functionalities of the blockchain technology, such as ICOs, DAOs, and betting applications (or gaming with betting features),along with infrastructure applications as needed like explorers, wallets, exchanges (centralized or decentralized).
Very few applications for the traditional business world are created in this phase, much less affecting and improving business use cases and activities. Blockchain platforms that focus on use cases such as traceability, anti-counterfeiting, food safety, intellectual property management, product life-cycle management and all kinds of data provenance categories are rarely to be seen. Initial blockchain applications in this stage are primarily motivated by technology enthusiasts, and business applications are mostly in the Proof of Concept (“PoC”) stages by enterprise technical and R&D divisions to better understand the technology.
VeChain, from its inception in 2015 and until now, has successfully moved past this crucial first phase of blockchain technology adoption, and is primed for the next phase to achieve Business Consensus.
1.2 Business Consensus
With Technical Consensus achieved, the initial benefits that were derived from the early experimentation and PoCs would start to positively influence behaviour from business executives and decision makers. Enterprises and businesses who made the judgment to invest in early blockchain R&D in the Technical Consensus phase would gain a lead over competitors.
Business Consensus would be the second major phase in the blockchain evolvement, where we will see business owners and enterprises become the major force to drive blockchain technology development and adoption, based on business needs and demands. This phase is all about understanding business needs, blockchain technology adoption and integration, user friendly interfaces, agile system structure, and business developers community.
In this phase, blockchain applications are built to enable cross enterprise collaborations and new collaborative values would be generated, following the first business moves to blockchain. The first initialization of collaborative ecosystems gets started with common business goals and consent economic motivations among multiple business owners including big corporations, small enterprises and individuals. Blockchain infrastructure applications are introduced to fulfill natural business and enterprise demands, such as custodian services, payment services, Blockchain-as-a-Service (“BaaS”), and privacy protections along with technology evolvements.
We anticipate that large corporations with existing market dominant positions and ecosystem resources are able to exert influence over the adoption of blockchain technology , including but not limited to Internet giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, Alibaba and Tencent, but also traditional players such as Walmart, DNV GL, PwC and so on. Basically, they are able to move their own existing ecosystem to be running on reliable blockchain platforms and look for expansions and interconnections to others. Ecosystem-level applications such as DNV GL’sDigital Low Carbon Emission Initiativegets to unite multiple different stakeholders including governments, enterprises and United Nations in pursuit of a common goal (in this case, reducing the carbon footprint and attaining more United Nations Sustainable Development Goals). At the late stage of the Business Consensus, the increased attention and adoption of blockchain technology in major enterprises and businesses would compel authorities and regulatory bodies to seriously look at the blockchain space. With more and more influential public corporations, entities, organizations, and large global scale of people involved in the development and adoption of blockchain platforms, we can expect governments and countries (especially small and progressive countries) that are aiming for progressive policy, economics and technology advancement to gain strategic advantages.
For VeChain, we are currently at a critical stage of the Business Consensus with the VeChainThor platform being adopted by major enterprises and assurance companies with the right reach, abilities and competences to achieve this consensus, along with reaching out to government partners such as China, Malta, Republic of San Marino, Cyprus and technology partners such as AWS, Deloitte and so on. At this moment, VeChain is moving forward towards the next stage of the current phase of our vision, Governance Consensus.
1.3 Governance Consensus
Regulation and legislation are naturally demanded by citizens regardless of country to protect the people and guide new technology to maximise societal and economic utility. We believe that the ultimate consensus in the blockchain space is the consensus among governments and legal authorities around the world.
In this phase, authorities along with or against big corporations and insightful technical players are the major forces to drive the regulatory development of Blockchain technology and applications. The recent development by the intergovernmental FATF (Financial Action Task Force) has proven that with effort, consensus among nations and financial regulators is possible, but it is still in a very early stage. The race for blockchain adoption in this stage is about merging regulatory requirements with advanced features of blockchain technology. We believe that the key to achieving the requirements of this race is working towards a comprehensive governance consensus for the blockchain protocol with balanced levels of centralization and decentralization.
At this point, more business activities are moving to ecosystems and new collaborative business models creating new values to the world. Besides the regulatory requirements like KYC and AML, more supportive applications are expected to be developed and adopted by governments and financial regulators, including the introduction of new crypto-assets such as stable coins, settlement coins, ecosystem utility tokens within an incentive system and so on.
With blockchain interest in the spotlight as a result of the push by nations and governments,the level and prevalence of global collaborations is reaching to a new maturity. Creativeness and innovations within blockchain ecosystems with a focus on enabling new business values are popping up everywhere. The existing Internet giants are facing their biggest challenges yet in terms of deciding on disrupting their existing offerings in favour of blockchain platforms, while traditional business owners that took the risk to run PoCs and trials in the previous phase of adoption are sitting solid and concrete by focusing on improving the essence of business through means of a mature blockchain platform – quality and scalability of products and services. New giants that focus on providing a reliable and proven blockchain ecosystem would be taking over the place by taking advantage of the technology and bringing together even more stakeholders onto the ecosystem, rallying partners with a common goal to solve business problems.
While blockchain adoption has reached the Governance Consensus stage, it also means that it is running concurrently with the previous phases, progressing forward in parallel with each other. To truly provide a mature and reliable blockchain platform and ecosystem, technology providers such as VeChain need to understand that achieving consensus is a result of mutual effort and understanding the different requirements of all phases mentioned above.
Even at the Governance Consensus stage where blockchain awareness reaches new heights, it will not be a surprise that there would still be a sceptical feeling towards blockchain technology by existing entrepreneurs and even traditional tech enthusiasts. When Amazon and Alibaba first started the E-Commerce business idea and campaign 20 years ago, nobody was confident or believed that E-Commerce is going to be the disruptive new way of doing business, as even the adoption and practice of going online and surfing the web was inconvenient at that time, where internet access was limited. Yet, both Amazon and Alibaba succeeded in their endeavours by focusing on two major factors . Firstly, they have been constantly educating the entire world, and setting up the right motivations in the consumer’s mind by charging minimal fees and providing incentives to sellers to move their business online. Secondly, they have been focused on building up a powerful and reliable infrastructure and all necessary accessibility and ease-of-use services and tools such as one stop service for E-Commerce site, payment tool, logistics service, digital marketing campaigns, arbitration, and shared customer services, to enable people to take advantage of their platform even without any E-Commerce technology and knowledge.
VeChain’s position in the blockchain ecosystem is now an Enabler, which will enable everyone in the world to create valuable transactions as big or small parts of future collaborative ecosystems. By working together with our aligned partners and providing all of the necessary tools and services, VeChain’s mission is to enable the blockchain community, business owners, enterprises, governments or any other individual to move their business activities to blockchain effortlessly, similar to opening an online store in Amazon or Alibaba with just a few clicks without technical knowledge required. VeChain will fulfill our mission and vision of achieving all phases of the consensus mentioned above by working relentlessly.