What Is Horizen (ZEN)?

What Is Horizen (ZEN)?

What Is Horizen (ZEN)

Horizen is a zero-knowledge-enabled blockchain that prioritises privacy, security, and scalability. The network uses zero-knowledge proofs to make transactions on Horizen untraceable and is powered by the largest and most decentralised node infrastructure in the industry. 


The key aim of Horizen is to be a blockchain-of-blockchains that provides a platform where users can conduct private transactions and build decentralised applications on.


How Does Horizen Work

These are some of Horizen’s key features and a breakdown of how it works:


  • Security

Horizen employs Equihash Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, a variation of Proof of Work, to validate transactions, secure, and maintain the integrity of the network. Similar to Proof of Work, miners in the Equihash PoW system compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles to verify transactions.


Consensus mechanisms are crucial components in blockchain networks. They are a process by which multiple participants (nodes) in a network come to a common agreement regarding the order and validity of transactions. Consensus mechanisms ensure that all participants have a consistent view of the blockchain’s history without relying on a central authority. This helps maintain trust, prevent double-spending, and secure the blockchain’s network.


Puzzles in an Equihash system are designed to be memory-hard and require a significant amount of RAM to perform the computations. This encourages the use of general-purpose hardware, like CPUs and GPUs, making mining on Horizen more accessible to a broader range of participants. 


Due to their prohibitive costs, ASICs are typically controlled by a small number of entities, which can centralise mining power. This helps level the playing field for miners by making it less advantageous for miners with specialised hardware, such as ASICs, to dominate the network.


Furthermore, the memory-hard nature makes Horizen computationally expensive and difficult to amass the required resources for 51% attacks. A 51% attack happens when a malicious actor controls more than 50% of the network’s computational power, allowing them to manipulate the blockchain.


  • Privacy

One of Horizen’s key features is that it offers optional privacy. Users can decide whether to make transparent transactions or shielded (private) transactions. 


Transparent transactions on the Horizen blockchain are similar to standard transactions on other public blockchains. Transaction information such as sender and receiver addresses, transaction amounts, and timestamps are fully visible. 


On the other hand, information from shielded transactions is private and confidential. If a user decides to use a shielded transaction, transaction details are hidden from public view. Although the transaction details are hidden, Horizen, with its zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology, can still verify and validate the transactions, ensuring privacy without compromising security. 


Thus, Horizen allows users to communicate privately and securely without any intermediaries. 


  • Scalability

Horizen can operate more than 10,000 independent blockchains simultaneously. Coupled with having the largest node infrastructure in the industry – over 40,000 active nodes which eclipses both Bitcoin and Ethereum -, Horizen can handle up to 10 million transactions per second across all sidechains or an average TPS of 1,000 per chain. For comparison, Bitcoin has a TPS capacity of 7 transactions per second.


This allows Horizen to handle a large volume of transactions without slowing down making it scalable. 


Who Created Horizen

Horizen was founded in 2017 by Rob Viglione and Rolf Versluis. Known initially as ZenCash, the blockchain was later rebranded as Horizen. 


Rob is CEO and co-founder of Horizen Labs and the president and co-founder of the Zen Blockchain Foundation. He has extensive experience in the blockchain industry and has worked for Bitshares, BlockPay, Zclassic, Seasteading, and Bitgate. Rolf is the executive advisor and co-founder of the Zen Blockchain Foundation. He was the VP of Cisco Services and owns a crypto mining operation.


The Horizen team is supported by a number of advisors including David Chaum, the inventor of digital cash, Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, the founder of Zcash, and Paul Brody, the global blockchain lead at EY.


The project had its first funding round in 2019 and counts Kenetic, Digital Currency Group, and Liberty City Ventures among some of its investors.


ZEN Tokenomics

ZEN is the native token of Horizen. These are some of the key roles that ZEN plays in the Horizen network:


  • Mining Rewards

Miners are rewarded with newly minted ZEN tokens for validating transactions and securing the Horizen network.


  • Governance

ZEN token holders can participate in the governance of the Horizen network. The token allows them to vote on proposals and decisions related to network upgrades, changes, and funding allocation. Proposals approved by the community will receive funding from Horizen’s DAO treasury, which is funded by a portion of the block rewards.


  • To build sidechains

In order to build a sidechain, an individual/organization must run a super node. To qualify as a super node, the individual/organization must hold 500 ZEN. Thus, ZEN is necessary to create and operate sidechains.


  • Halving

Horizen, like Bitcoin, undergoes a halving event approximately once every four years. During the halving, the block rewards received by miners are cut in half. Horizen’s halving takes place at regular intervals until its maximum supply of 21 million tokens is reached. This helps control the token’s issuance rate.


ZEN has a total supply of 21,000,000 tokens of which 14,113,238 tokens are in circulation as of September 2023.


The planned allocation of ZEN tokens is as follows:

– Miners – 60%

– Treasury – 20%

– Secure Node Operators – 10%

– Super Node Operators – 10%

– Seed – 6%

– Private Sale – 5%


What Makes Horizen Unique

Horizen differentiates itself from other layer-1 blockchains through its unique sidechain architecture.


The blockchain has two chains: the mainchain and the sidechain. The mainchain is responsible for security and managing the consensus of the Horizen network while the sidechain settles transactions and manages DApps. 


Horizen’s multi-chain architecture allows it to handle a higher number of TPS than that of many other blockchains while also giving the network greater flexibility regarding scaling.


Traders may find value in ZEN should they believe that Horizen’s ability to scale while providing private and secure transactions can position itself as the layer-1 blockchain of choice. 


How To Start Trading Horizen (ZEN)

To trade ZEN on Flipster:


  1. Download the Flipster app and set-up your account
  2. Go to [Trade]
  3. Click on [Search] at the top of the page and type in ZEN
  4. Click on ZEN
  5. In the [Amount] field, type in the amount of ZEN you wish to buy or sell. Alternatively, you can select the percentages below to choose how to use from your available funds.
  6. Click [Preview order] to check your order
  7. Once you have confirmed the details, click on [Buy ZEN – Long] button or [Sell ZEN – Short] respectively.


Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Flipster makes no recommendations or guarantees in respect of any digital asset, product, or service. 


Trading digital assets and digital asset derivatives comes with significant risk of loss due to its high price volatility, and is not suitable for all investors.