All of the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap are down for the year. Except for one, VeChain.

That digital currency has gained more than 28 percent since January 1, which one analyst says is thanks to big-name partnerships and a unique structure that incentivizes investors not to sell. Prices of most cryptocurrencies have suffered this year following regulatory crackdowns and news of hacks.

For the top three by market cap, bitcoin is down more than 44 percent, ethereum has fallen 40 percent, and ripple is down 74 percent this year, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Source: CoinMarketCapLike many digital tokens, VeChain, which trades under the symbol VEN, is tied to a larger blockchain project.

The digital currency backs the actual company VeChain, which among other things, uses a mix of blockchain and a chip technology to track luxury goods and confirm that they’re not counterfeit. The company likens VEN to “the fuel or the blood which supports VeChain’s distributed platform.”

Since launching its coin in August, VeChain has announced relationships with BMW, Michigan State University, Oxford University Math, PwC Asia, and Chinese consulting firm NRCC that’s working with VeChain for China’s tobacco industry. Those corporate ties have attracted more retail investors and boosted prices, according to Derek Kim, head of research at BK Capital Management. Read more from…

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