What is Horizen?
Horizen, formerly called ZenCash, is a zk-SNARKs, blockchain-based platform that was forked from Zclassic, which is itself a fork of Zcash, a BTC clone. There are several unique features in the Horizen network. These include decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), a private messenger called ZenChat, a publishing platform called ZenPub and a TOR-like endpoint masking platform called ZenHide. The native currency of the Horizen network is ZEN.
In May, 2017, Horizen was launched by Rob Viglione and Rolf Verslius as a Zclassic fork with all Zclassic owned before block 110,000 receiving a 1:1 ratio of Horizen.
What this means is that anyone that had 100 Zclassic, will receive 100 Horizen. This approach mimicked an airdrop, preserving Zclassic while at the same time bringing community support to Horizen.
In the first four years of Zcash, 20% of Zcash’s Founder’s Reward began to be removed amid slow start to the money supply. The reason for the expansion into a new fork was due to a need to solve the problems of security by improving on functionality as a fully encrypted network along with implementing new economic and governance models.
How Does Horizen Work?
Horizen incorporates secure messaging along with shielded transactions that protect user identities. Three main systems are behind this:
- ZenChat — Although there is already a messaging feature with Zcash, up to now, no wallet has taken advantage of it. ZenChat utilizes a secure communications network to enable use of its features. ZenChat messages are encrypted with some of the industry’s most recognized and trusted algorithms, such as AES-256. With the use of 512 character limit text field of a transaction, messages can be tagged and sent to users. This encourages secure commerce and communication.
- ZenPub — This is an anonymous publishing platform that uses IPFS that is being planned as ZenCash development progresses. However, the IPFS system can extend to other distributed archives.
- ZenHide — ZenHide offers the ability to bypass crypto-commerce blocking through domain fronting. Users and crypto data can be protected from regulator bans in countries hostile to cryptocurrencies.
ZEN Token Summary
Horizen’s token is designated as ZEN and has a total supply of 21,000,000. The peak price of ZEN was $65.16 on January 9, 2018. No ICO was held. Instead, Horizen was forked from Zclassic (ZCL) on May, 2017 at block 110,000. ZEN was issued to ZCL holders at a 1:1 ratio. ZEN is mined using an algorithm known as the Equihash Proof-of-Work (POW) consensus.
The block reward is 12.5 ZEN, with a block mined approximately every 2 and a half minutes. Every four years, rewards are halved and distributed with 20% split evenly between secure nodes and super nodes, while 10% will go to the Horizen/ZenCash team treasury, and the miners being rewarded 70%.
Secure nodes act as master nodes and are required to stake 42 ZEN. Unlike similar projects, it can secure the node through the use of end-to-end encryption, just like you’d find in popular messengers.
Many cryptocurrency exchange markets trade ZenCash, including Binance, Bittrex, Upbit, DragonEX, OKEx, COSS and Sistemkoin. ZEN is traded in pairs with BTC, ETH and USDT.
ZenCash secures transfers using commercial content distribution networks (CDN) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) as well as zero-knowledge Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge (zk-SNARKS) cryptography. This means that ZEN provides the highest levels of privacy and security by being both anonymous and pseudonymous.
Rob Viglione (Team Lead)
Rob is Horizen’s team leader. He is a former physicist and mathematician whose experience with cryptocurrencies cuts across platforms such as Bitshares, Zclassic, Blockpay, Bitgate and Seasteading. Currently, he is a PhD Candidate in finance, researching cryptofinance.
Rolf Versluis (Executive Advisor)
Rolf has a wealth of experience in the IT industry and owns a mid-size mining operation. He has worked at Cisco systems, is experienced in the semiconductor industry, and is a trained officer in nuclear systems as an officer of the US Submarine force.
Alberto Garoffolo (Director of R&D)
Alberto has more than 15 years of experience and knowledge in software design and development in several application fields with a strong expertise in languages such as Java, C and C++. He has been a CTO in a startup company in the last several years, helping with software architecture design and forming the team that created one of the best video engagement solutions on the market.
Rosario Pabst (Director Product & Engineering)
Rosario comes in to Horizen with about 12 years experience as a technology project manager for satellite, aircraft and software systems. She has expertise in all areas of project management, as a leader of cross-functional teams and the implementation of both Agile and Lean methods.
Other members of the team are:
Pier Stabilini — Software Manager
Pierre Schiro — Sr Software Developer
Franck De Girolami — Sr Software Developer
Nicola Onassis — Sr Software Developer
Allan Dumaine — Sr Software Developer
Cronic — Infrastructure Manager
James McCourt Cordingley (Mac) — Infrastructure
Johncarlo Maddalena — Testing
Sergii Makukha — Sr Software Engineer
Vadym Fedyukovych — Applied Cryptographer
Oleksandr Iozhytsia — Sr Software Engineer
Andrey Sobol — Consensus Protocol Expert
Oleg Aleksandrov — Sr Software Engineer
Daniele Di Benedetto — Software Engineer
Marcelo Kaihara, PhD Sr Software Engineer
Alberto Sala — Sr Software Engineer
Giuseppe Fusco — Software Engineer
Jonas Rubel Horizen — Developer Environment Support
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Where to Buy and Store ZEN
ZEN can be traded on multiple exchanges like Bittrex, UPbit, Coss.Io, Cryptopia, etc. Several wallet storages are available for storing ZEN coins. Some of these wallets include Arizen and Swing wallets, Web wallet, Android and Paper wallets.
Unique / Key Features Against its Competitors
Voting System. ZEN collaborates with IOHK to develop a secure voting system that is stakeweighted, and allows delegation of stake to other voters, rewards voters for participation and uses zk-SNARKs to impose secret balloting.
Novel approach. Horizen offers a unique blockchain-based platform, several blockchains with decoupled consensus that are linked through common CCTP, scalability, it is completely configurable to meet heterogeneous needs, and includes embedded incentives for endogenous growth.
Sidechain SDK. It offers application developers an array of tools for deploying blockchains that leverage a large compensated node network as well as a suite of textit zero knowledge privacy tools.
Unique synchronization. The Horizen sidechains use a special method of synchronization that lets sidechain networks follow the history of the Horizen mainchain in a way that it is able to extract information for that particular sidechain.
Secure Node operations: Internode communications encrypts ZenCash node communication in a way so that it looks like other encrypted internet traffic which secures the activities on Zencash platform and prevents blockage of the network’s nodes and users.
Privacy: ZEN coins can be sent via off-the-grid transactions through the use of private and anonymous messages to include context to payments with the end-user’s identity hidden.