The Validity technology suite has 2 main components: The Validity blockchain and the Validity Smartchain.
The Validity blockchain is a decentralized network that uses a proof of stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. People can stake their VAL coins in the Validity wallet and receive VAL coins as a reward for helping secure the network.
The Validity Smartchain is a second layer built on top of the Validity blockchain. It helps with scaling and provides advanced utilities. VAL is used to pay for these utilities which include: Decentralized Identities (DID), Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Social and Reputation Tokens, File Signing and Verification, Decentralized Elections and Voting, etc.