VeChain Technical AMA — Software Questions Part 2



  • Originally published on February 26th, 2018.

    Thank you for submitting your questions! VeChain Chief Technology Officer, Gu Jianliang, has taken the time to answer your questions throughout Chinese New Year and is excited to see the curiosity and dedication shown by the community.

    Given the abundance of questions and length of Gu’s answers, we will be breaking this AMA into multiple parts. The order the AMA will be released is as follows:

    1. Hardware related questions (Part 1 | Part 2)
    2. Software related questions (Part 1 | Part 2)
    3. Business related questions
    4. Addressing the concerns of the community on perceived competitors and so-called competing projects.

    Below are the links for Part 1 of the Software section, and both parts of the Hardware section Hareware Questions Part 1 and Hardware Questions Part 2.

    Q11: How do you plan to implement interoperability with so many companies that appear to be on board with using your technology?

    A11: VeChain has been in discussion with hundreds of enterprises in various industries over the last few years and each company has different pain points or needs. Even within the same industry’s business needs are not always the same and our solution needs to handle the flexible use cases these businesses desire. Some of the loudest pain points seem to be:

    • Factory Production and Supplier Management
    • Brand manufacturers look at logistics, to solve the problem on the road
    • Brand manufacturers analytics such as to see warehouse stores, inventory management, precision marketing and other issues
    • Brand manufacturers touch C-side

    It is precisely because of the communication with vendors that, we have accumulated a variety of docking solutions for existing systems in different industries. These systems are largely ERP / CRM systems. VeChain Ecology also has a large number of professionals engaged in enterprise application development partnerships. Having a wide range of enterprise applications brings a wealth of understanding and experience as new pain points are addressed. Therefore, in response to different business applications, VeChain has enough strength to conduct a full range of docking on VeChainThor.

    Q12: What is the time frame on VeChain building their own platform for DApps?

    A12: VeChain is already working on multiple DApps and so have our partners. VeVID is one of the ones we have announced this far.

    Q13: What technical measures have been done in order to achieve transaction throughput of 10.000tx/s? Considering the fact, that your blockchain is a forked Ethereum.

    A13: Throughput depends on several aspects, consensus mechanism, block size, block time and other blockchain parameters such as difficulty and network bandwidth, computing power, storage bandwidth and other hardware capabilities.
    We use the consensus Proof of Authority (PoA) mechanism that lacks many of the attributes of a PoW or PoS public blockchain that slows it down and set both the block size and the block-out time. It is a breeze to achieve a performance of 10,000tx using PoA.
    For VeChain Authority Nodes, we will propose a server softening extensive hardware specification assurance test prior to acceptance to ensure that hardware capabilities are not a bottleneck.
    The real business environment will be more complex, so the VeChain team has made some limitations on the performance of the backbones, such as 500tx, for sub-chain and cross-chain technologies for throughput and storage for our high-throughput commercial applications.

    Q14: What is your integration strategy or architecture ? Is there a set of comprehensive APIs that can be used to easily integrate with the VeChainThor Blockchain ?

    A14: Yes, VeChain offers a complete API to adapt to a variety of complex business environment applications. The issues are robust and broad and we have developed a system to combat the breadth of issues without losing the uniqueness of VeChainThor or their business models.

    You can find more information on this topic in answer #12

    Q15: As a software developer I would like to know more about utilities and resources that will be made available for us. For example, command line explorers, command line utilities to view stats such as total nodes, transaction distribution, network traffic, master node vote selection, usage etc, as well as info on SDK and general dev guidelines.

    A15: In addition to the VeChainThor backbone, we also offer some of the following facilities:

    • Browser, you can view the block, transaction and other information
    • Dashboard, used to view the status of the blockchain, such as the total number of nodes, node status and so on
      Solutions will provide command line tools to help developers access and develop blockchain / smart contracts.

    Q16: “What is the added value of making the VeChain it’s own blockchain? Why was it not possible to build the same application on existing blockchain’s?

    Since VeChain is mostly working with data, what is the added value of a cryptocurrency to the system? What can I as a user expect to do with VeChain tokens in the future?”

    A16: We realized that as more and more business activities are running on the blockchain, traditional financial infrastructures will not be able to support it. Cryptocurrencies can ensure the instant payment and settlement as defined by the smart contract in many unique ways that traditional models cannot. As users, VET presents the privileges of using the VeChainThor blockchain. And because it’s smart money, users can also purchase goods or services with VET and be rewarded with it under certain circumstances.

    Q17: Some of your customers will likely want to maintain privacy for commercially sensitive data. Do you plan to integrate any solutions to enhance customer privacy? For example, have you considered using zk-SNARKs?

    A17: Yes, business data is sensitive to the business, for the privacy of sensitive data, we have two directions:

    • We’ve united with well-known universities to research encryption algorithms to address sensitive transactions and data on the public domain. zk-SNARK is also a subject of our study.

    • We are also working on a cross-chain sub-chain program to address privacy issues while addressing throughput and storage issues.

    Q18: I work in Traceability projects and know that a big hassle is input mistakes. For example a worker key in wrong customer id for a shipment or a wrong SKU ID is tied to a product and need to be corrected. How do you handle those use cases ?

    A18: This is a good question. It is impossible to avoid human mistakes. So the less people get involved, the less mistakes. This is why we focus on empowering and assuring the use of IoT solutions.
    Let’s take a look at the logistic management within VeChain’s digitization methodology for example.

    • RFID is bound to the product in the factory, one product one RFID, which makes each product unique.
    • Each type of a product has a SKU, whose format is a qr-code or also a RFID which likens to a SKU in the blockchain.
    • At the lowest levels, operator can use a PDA to scan the RFID in the product and the SKU’s QR code/RFID to make them bind together.
    • When the product is transported from warehouse to warehouse, the operator can use a PDA to check the RFIDs in the products and upload to the blockchain together with its pre-defined operation instructions automatically.
    • The above process is designed to avoid human intervention as far as possible and the ways in which the process can be achieved can be configured and adapted to enterprise needs. I.e. Drones, stations, etc.
    • And the above example is what we have put into our existing solutions for customers using our consortium chain.

    Q19: You mentioned how smart contracts would be a part of your platform. With these how do you visualize them being created with VeThor? Will there be a fixed cost in VeThor to launch a smart-contract?

    A19: VeThor is used to pay for the transaction that creates a smart contract on VeChain. The cost of launching a smart-contract in Thor would depends on the actual resources required for the smart contract and the THOR price set by the user.

    Q20: What is VeThor used for? Is VeThor used to write data to the blockchain?

    A20: Yes, but VeThor is used to pay for any transactions executed on VeChain not just limited to sensor data.


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