Horizen (formerly Zencash) was created after a split from Zclassic. This new network was not funded by an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Holders of ZCL, the cryptocurrency of Zclassic, were able to obtain ZEN, the new coins created after the rollout of the Horizen network. In this article we explain more about what Horizen is, how it works and where you can buy the token of the same name. You will then be up to date after reading this article and understand Horizen’s project from head to toe.
- 1 What is Horizen?
- 2 The Horizen Team
- 3 Horizen’s partners
- 4 How does Horizen work?
- 5 Some technical specifications
- 6 Classic masternodes vs. the nodes of Horizen
- 7 Current and Future Applications of Horizen
- 8 Benefits of Horizen
- 9 How can I buy ZEN tokens?
- 10 How can I store my ZEN tokens?
- 11 Horizen Chart
- 12 Conclusion
What is Horizen?
Horizen is a blockchain platform with breakthrough privacy technology that allows individuals to maintain complete privacy and control over their digital identity. The system enables completely anonymous exchanges (or not if the user wishes) thanks to cryptographic processes and advanced Zero-knowledge proof technology.
This project was born with the intention of filling in the weaknesses of some existing cryptocurrencies, which do not guarantee the anonymity of their transactions. The Horizen platform allows for real-world applications in addition to exchanging ZEN coins, including the ability to chat privately with others.
The team is working towards the day when everyone will be able to create and monetize privacy-based applications on the Horizen platform. Horizen currently offers a unique masternode ecosystem of “securenodes” and “supernodes” to decentralize its network as much as possible, while paying the operators of these nodes. See below what Horizen means.
The Horizen Team
The team behind the Horizen project consists of 37 people. Here are some of the team members:
- Rob Viglione (Team Director): Rob has an MBA in finance and marketing and a PMP certificate. He is a former physicist and mathematician and has worked at Bitshares, BlockPay, Zclassic, Seasteading and Bitgate. He is currently doing a PhD in crypto financing and teaching courses on cryptocurrencies.
- Rolf Versluis (co-founder): As a nuclear engineer for the US Navy, he co-founded and advises Horizen. He has also founded and led numerous companies in the IT sector.
- Alberto Garoffolo (Director of Research and Development): Alberto has 15 years of experience in programming with Java, C and C++ languages. In recent years, he was CTO at a startup, programming the infrastructure and building a team to create video engagement solutions.
- Rosaria Pabst (Operations and Marketing Manager): Rosario has 12 years of experience as a project manager for satellites, aircraft and computer systems. She has successfully demonstrated expertise in all aspects of project management by combining the benefits of each team member.
- Luca Cermelli ( Project Manager): Luca has a master’s degree in economics and is passionate about mathematics and new technologies. He has worked as a Community Manager for a video game company with 5,000 employees and as a Marketing Manager for an IT company.
- Rowan Stone (Business Development Director): Rowan owns a medium-sized company that mines cryptocurrencies in Scotland. He also has experience as a mechanical engineer, in IT and as a manager.
In addition, the Horizen team also consists of 32 other members. It is best to check the Horizen website for an up-to-date list of all team members. The team is constantly changing. As a result, the above list may already be dated at the time of reading.
The project has also succeeded in establishing interesting partnerships:
- Code Particle : a company that develops computer programs.
- Infopulse : a company that develops computer programs.
- Iohk Contract : a company specialized in research and development.
- Xeeda : a company that makes wallets for mobile phones.
How does Horizen work?
Horizen pursues the goals it inherited from Zcash , and is committed to protecting the privacy of its users. For example, Horizen includes features for secure messaging and secure transactions. These enhanced features fully protect users’ identities and ensure the security of their data.
As with exchanges, anonymizing message traffic is a matter for the user. To use this messaging it is necessary to use either the wallet Swing or wallet Sphere By Horizen which is the recommended option.
The entire system is based on zk-SNARKs technology, coupled with a decentralized infrastructure. If you want to learn more about this technology, the Zcash website has a very detailed article on the subject.
Horizen also uses a network of securenodes and supernodes, independent of each other and with different objectives. These nodes have full copies of the blockchain stored in their memory, but each of them allows a different part of the network to function.
Simply put, the securenodes, or safe nodes, only focus on “classic” transactions, ie money transfers. The supernodes, on the other hand, not only perform this function of validating classical transactions, but also validate transactions related to smart contracts and other applications on the network. The supernode system thus allows Horizen to position itself as a platform for applications, rather than just a cryptocurrency.
However, the downside of supernodes is that the deployment requirements are more stringent: while a secure node requires only 42 ZEN and 92% availability (among others), a super node requires 500 ZEN and 96% server availability. Super nodes are therefore clearly less easy to set up and cost more.
Some technical specifications
Horizen uses a hashing algorithm called Equihash, which is also used by Zcash. The maximum number of coins in circulation will be 21 million, just like Bitcoin .
The duration of a block is 150 seconds and gives a reward of 12.5 ZEN. Early in the project, 88% of the rewards went to miners, 8.5% to the team’s cash reserves, and 3.5% to securenodes and supernodes.
Now 20% will go to the people running the supernodes and securenodes (10% for each), the treasury will get 20% and the miners 60%. This change was made to encourage people to run more supernodes and secure nodes, thereby increasing network security.
Classic masternodes vs. the nodes of Horizen
The main difference between classical masternodes and the Horizen nodes is the blocking of a minimum of tokens outside the network to create an artificial inflation of the price. But also to keep a barrier to entry accessible to the largest possible number and to guarantee maximum network security.
Horizen nodes are rewarded when they participate in the following actions:
- Ensure that all network communication between nodes and wallets is encrypted.
- Running the Horizen blockchain.
- Provide encryption-based trust certificates for connections to the storage wallet.
Horizen nodes maintain a certain level of security and performance. This allows the system to remain distributed and resistant to cyber-attacks such as DDoS.
A Horizen node requires 42 ZEN or 500 ZEN. This will allow a large number of people to own a secure node, if not a supernode. For example, the DASH project needs a total of 1,000 coins to run a core node. So that’s quite a big difference with Horizen. In this way, Horizen wants to be more accessible to a large and wide audience.
Current and Future Applications of Horizen
Several projects are currently being studied and developed. Horizen will offer several applications around its blockchain to ensure the privacy of its users:
- ZenDAO : Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) as a voting mechanism to allocate cash funds to further develop the Horizen platform.
- ZenHide : domain fronting to bypass censorship and ensure free access to information. In other words, the camouflage of the receiver of the communication, when the receiver is censored by any authority.
- ZenPub : Allows users to anonymously publish data, documents and media in general in a way that is resistant to censorship.
- Zenchat : Enables conversations with messages of up to 512 characters, which are encrypted using well-known and trusted algorithms such as AES-256.
- Governance as a Service (GaaS): Opens up its governance model and platform to enable other individuals to develop their projects.
- Decentralized Exchange (DEX): Allows tokens to be exchanged without intermediaries.
- Decentralized Banking : The ability to borrow and lend using the blockchain.
- Peer-to-peer insurance: pooling the resources of different individuals to close better deals with insurers.
Benefits of Horizen
- Horizen has one of the most decentralized networks. In June 2020, more than 36,000 secure nodes and 4,000 super nodes are participating in its operation.
- Excellent team, spread over different countries around the world.
- A very active community.
- Great partners.
Disadvantages of Horizen
- The implementation of Securenode and Supernode is more complicated than for a classic masternode, as the criteria to be met are stricter.
- The future of anonymous cryptocurrencies is uncertain as some governments have clearly spoken out against these types of crypto assets.
How can I buy ZEN tokens?
It is possible to buy ZEN tokens from the major and traditional crypto exchanges. However, we advise you not to do this at any exchange. We recommend that you choose Bitvavo or Binance , because these exchanges are much safer than other crypto exchanges. In addition, they always offer high liquidity, allowing you to buy and sell ZEN tokens at the best price.
Of course it is also possible to opt for a decentralized crypto exchange , such as Uniswap , Sushiswap or Pancakeswap . However, there is always a big disadvantage to a DEX. And that is that you have to go through many steps before you actually own your tokens. As a result, the chance that things will go wrong is much greater than with a central crypto exchange. That is why we also recommend that you choose Binance or Bitvavo.
How can I store my ZEN tokens?
Since Horizen is a fairly well-known project by now, you can keep the coins pretty much anywhere. You can easily and quickly store your coins in the hot wallet of your crypto exchange. However, this is not always the best and safest choice. It is much more sensible to store your ZEN tokens in a cold wallet, also called a hardware wallet .
A hardware wallet is a USB stick where you can store crypto coins. Because you can disconnect a hardware wallet from the internet, it is much more secure than a hot wallet . When the wallet is not connected to a device, no internet connection is possible with the wallet. This makes it impossible for hackers to gain access to the hardware wallet. Of course you should then keep the hardware wallet at home. When you lose this, you also lose all tokens and coins that you have stored on it.
Now that the article is coming to an end, it’s good to recap what Horizen is and how it works.
The team behind Horizen is large and capable of handling a project of this magnitude and comes from all over the world. The user community behind Horizen is also large and members are strong supporters of the project.
The 36,000 nodes and 4,000 supernodes guarantee the security of the network by making any attempt at a cyber attack quite difficult. In addition, this number should continue to grow as the revenue for maintaining these nodes and supernodes has increased from 3.5% to 20% of the rewards offered when a block is validated.
Ensuring user privacy by making transactions anonymous is a noble pursuit. However, this is not really the view of many governments, who (wrongly) see this anonymity as a way to launder money and finance terrorism. Moreover, there are other anonymous cryptocurrencies with higher capitalization than ZEN and they also have a large community behind the project.
If you want to invest and buy ZEN tokens, you need to do good research about the project first. This can be done by means of a fundamental analysis, in which you read this article carefully, for example. It is also possible to perform a technical analysis , where you mainly look at the price of Horizen. This way you can determine when the right time has come for buying and selling the coins.
Thanh Lanh Tran(1989) is Chief Editor from BitcoinUSD.com