VeChain Introduces Michigan State University As First VeResearch Participant and Pioneering the MEC Development of EdgeChain

5 min readJan 31, 2018

TL;DR — VeChain welcomes Michigan State University as the first VeResearch partner. Michigan State has worked with VeChain for a while and introduced a technology entitled “EdgeChain” that combines MEC and VeChain Thor to enable new data marketplace opportunities for the VeChain Ecosystem. Michigan State University is ranked #1 in the world for Supply Chain Management six years in a row by U.S News & World Report.

After introducing our VeChain Global Innovative Research Grant Program, VeResearch, we are pleased to announce that Michigan State University is collaborating with VeChain to further the cause of the VeChain Ecosystem.

We have worked with Michigan State University previously, alongside our partner PwC, and we are thoroughly impressed by the understanding and the finesse of this top research university and Prof. Zhou Jiayu. Therefore, MSU will be the first to receive the VeChain Global Innovative Research Grant and work in partnership with VeChain Labs to tackle technological integration solutions that are extremely influential in shaping new industries being created by their technological advancements in Mobile Edge Computing (MEC).

Michigan State has produced intensive research and documentation on its continued development of Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) integration into VeChain Thor. The results of this research has led to a major technological breakthrough, EdgeChain. In the proposition summary, project lead Professor Zhou Jiayu wrote:

“The state-of-the-art mobile edge applications are generating intense traffic and posing rigorous latency requirements to service providers. While resource sharing across multiple service providers can be a way to maximize the utilization of limited resources at the network edge, it requires a centralized repository maintained by all parties for service providers to share status. Moreover, service providers have to trust each other for resource allocation fairness, which is difficult because of potential conflicts of interest. We propose EdgeChain, a blockchain-based architecture to make mobile edge application placement decisions for multiple service providers. We first formulate a stochastic programming problem minimizing the placement cost for mobile edge application placement scenarios. Based on our model, we present a heuristic mobile edge application placement algorithm. As a decentralized public ledger, the blockchain then takes the logic of our algorithm as the smart contract, with the consideration of resources from all mobile edge hosts participating in the system. The algorithm is agreed by all parties and the results will only be accepted by majority of the mining nodes on the blockchain. When a placement decision is made, an edge host meeting the consumer’s latency and budget requirements will be selected at the lowest cost. All placement transactions are stored on the blockchain and are traceable by every mobile edge service provider and application vendor who consumes resources at the mobile edge.”

What is Mobile Edge Computing (MEC)?

Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) is a powerful new technology that will revolutionize and decentralize the way our cell phone networks currently function. The goal of Mobile Edge Computing is to push the computational resources out to the very edges of the cell network (and closest to its users). This is done by physically placing servers (MEC base stations) as close to the cell tower as possible, often housed at the tower itself. These MEC base stations create the possibility of near zero latency but also add significant computing power right at the point of connection to the network.

This computing power will be available to any connected device at remarkable speeds. This enables real time video processing for Augmented Reality, Gaming and Image Based Sensing. Communication between Connected Vehicles will take place within milliseconds allowing virtually instantaneous response times. Putting this much computing power at the edges of the network allows for connecting technology to be simpler and cheaper, making widespread IoT deployments much more likely. MEC will play a big role in the development of Smart Cities, government-scale IoT solutions and our interconnected future.

Why MEC on VeChain Thor?

This new technology is decentralizing the cellular industry and the number of vendors in the space is about to rapidly expand with Edge Application Vendors, MEC Service Providers, Network Service Providers and others. These vendors are all part of a new marketplace that is forming around MEC data. Data will soon be entering the marketplaces from cell phones, cars, governments, business and industrial applications at an unprecedented rate.

Every new bit of data that enters the marketplace will need to be placed with a vendor. Now that there is no central authority, there needs to be a neutral and trusted mechanism to allocate data across the resources and vendors available. It must be done in a way that produces the best outcome for the users, is fair to the vendors and it doesn’t require trust in a third party. That is why it makes sense to develop solutions utilizing MEC on VeChain Thor.

What can VeChain do with EdgeChain?

EdgeChain is being built on the VeChain Thor enterprise blockchain platform. All EdgeChain services and functions will be available to any VeChain application that needs MEC interoperability, essentially creating a MEC extension library on the VeChain platform. EdgeChain is both the algorithm for deciding how to place data with different vendors and also the public ledger that provides the trusted recordset of all transactions. All aspects of EdgeChain are transparent easily auditable by anyone.

Mobile Edge Computing is a major step forward in the creation of an interconnected smart world. This will be the marketplace for exchanging data and services in a highly connected 5G network. The use of EdgeChain opens up VeChain to a vast amount of DApss, use cases, and services that any other technology at the moment fails to offer.

Based on previous results we are glad to be working with Michigan State University to pioneer the standard for VeResearch. Michigan State has produced ample results in fields outside of EdgeChain as well which we will clarify more shortly that will allow VeChain Thor to handle much needed solutions in other industries. EdgeChain is a brilliant addition to the VeChain Thor ecosystem and is something we believe we can utilize to its fullest potential within the VeChain Ecosystem.

We are happy with the progress that VeResearch has already shown and are excited to continue conversations with the world’s top universities and labs. We truly believe in a world built on collaboration and the innovation that follows. VeChain Thor will continue to be built to empower the people and inspire the deepest of partnerships, collaboration, and technology for the new age of business ecosystems.

If you would like to learn more about VeResearch and how to collaborate alongside VeChain please view the VeResearch Announcement.




Vechain, based in San Marino, Europe built VechainThor, a powerful blockchain enabling a sustainability revolution