Horizen is an incentive-driven application platform which aims to expand beyond the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It is a scalable general purpose blockchain that powers an unbounded and fully decentralized sidechain ecosystem. Horizen is also a Brave (web browser) publisher.[1]


Horizen launched in 2017 by American company Zen Blockchain foundation. Horizen Labs was formed in 2019 and Horizen was released under that entity. Horizen Labs is a blockchain company, founded by Puerto Rican PhD Candidate (Finance) at the University of South Carolina, Robert Viglione and Investor at Winklevoss Capital Management, Jane Lippencott. The company is situated at Delaware City, Delaware, United States and has around 50 employees.[2]


Horizen is a proof-of-work blockchain platform with a leading-edge privacy technology that provides everyone with privacy and complete control of their digital footprint. They have a sustainable funding model with protocol-level solutions.

The Horizen platform enables real-life uses beyond the currency, including the ability to privately chat with other people. It enables businesses and developers to create their own public or private blockchains on the largest node network in the industry. It will enable users to publish information and go anywhere on the web, all with complete privacy. Horizen’s Sidechain SDK provides all necessary components for easy and fast deployment of a fully customizable blockchain.[3]


The future goal of the company is to get to a day where anyone will be able to build privacy-based applications on the Horizen platform and generate income from them. This will allow Horizen to bring thousands of real-life services to people. Services that provide them with freedom and everyday utility unlike anything ever available to them before. [2]

Features and Products

Horizen has seen great development since its launch in 2017. They developed the sidechain protocol, Node network, and also focused on key parameters like a decentralized governance model, Community involvement, Sustainable Economics and R&D. [1]

Zendoo - Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol

Sidechain enables blockchain scalability and extensibility. Horizen developed a novel Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol, which enables an unbounded and fully decentralized sidechain ecosystem. CCTP determines how assets can be transferred between mainchain and sidechain. All sidechains employ the same unified CCTP, which is known by the mainchain. It is the first completely decentralized and a fully customizable sidechain protocol on the market. It powers businesses and developers to create affordable and quick real-world blockchain applications on Horizen’s fully distributed, secure, and privacy-preserving architecture.

The Zendoo framework allows any type of rules to be deployed as a sidechain – whether it’s a blockchain or other types of computing systems. The Horizen mainchain function is purely to check whether such rules have been followed and to provide a common token of value. This type of modularization permits large scalability, application design freedom, and flexibility such that any component can be changed over time so long as the interfaces conform to standards.[3]

DApps platform

Horizen is a distributed blockchain platform which powers truly decentralized applications. The Horizon ecosystem is composed of the main Horizen blockchain native token ZEN, a core protocol that behaves as a simple ”truth engine”, and decoupled sidechains that are fully generalizable in consensus and any other design characteristics. This gives developers great opportunity to develop applications faster and at cheaper cost.[1]

A Multi-tiered Node System

Horizen Secure Node system is developed to decentralize the blockchain network to provide unparalleled censorship resistance, net capacity and to lay the infrastructure for a high-performing privacy-oriented platform. It provides enhanced client-to-node and node-to-node encryption. Nodes are divided into two category Super Node and Secure Node. Each layer has its own characteristics and requirements as followers

RequirementSecure NodeSuper Node
Stake42 ZEN500 ZEN
Challenge Response Time200 sec100 sec
Computational Requirement8GB RAM
Storage Requirement100 GB

Sphere by Horizen

It is a multi functional app that allows users to take control of their privacy and finances. It is a launching point for most Horizen services. It is currently available on Mac, Windows and Linux. The App currently supports wallet and messaging functions like restoration, Send/ Receive token, Withdrawal etc. Nodes Tracking feature ,support for other currencies etc will be added in future.[2]


Horizon blockchain has its native currency ZEN. As Horizen is Proof of Work blockchain employed on Equihash (200-9) algorithm, Zen can be mined using Equihash mining software. It has block time of 2.5 minutes, Block size of 2mb and the halving period of 4 years like bitcoin. Block rewards are distributed between miners (60%), treasury (20%), nodes(20%). Zen has a total supply of 21,000,000 ZEN and circulating supply of 9,759,563 ZEN at the time of writing. As of August 20th, 2020, Zen has a market cap of $88,797,415 USD and is ranked 104th on CoinMarketCap.[1]

As Zen is privacy based coin, it offers two types of addresses to maintain a digital footprint privacy of ZEN transactions.

  • T-Addresses - Regular addresses for making transactions similar to bitcoin. These transactions are public and transparent on the blockchain.
  • Z-Addresses - These are also known as shielded addresses, transactions between Z-Addresses are completely private and anonymous. They leverage zero knowledge cryptography to obscure sender and recipient addresses, as well as amount sent.

Balances in shielded addresses are private, however, any regular addresses on the receiving end will deshield the token and reveal the value received on the blockchain.[2]

Horizen Academy

Horizen has created an online academy to share knowledge of blockchain and cryptocurrency for anyone who is interested. There is no prerequisite skill level require to join the academy and it currently has good information starting from The Cypherpunk Movement, Satoshi Nakamoto to the modern day blockchain project like Horizen.[1]


Horizen has partnered and collaborated with well know Corporate companies and Universities across the globe.[2]

Corporate Partners

InfopulseSoftware Development Company
NTT DATASoftware Development Company
Code ParticleSoftware Development Company
IOHKSoftware Development Company, Cardano
Deep Dive TechnologySoftware Development
Digital Currency GroupInvestment company
Grayscale InvestmentsInvestment Trust Managers
Genesis TradingInstitutional Crypto Trading
InterfacturaDigital Invoicing
Hero Engine WorldGaming, Smart Cities
Atlas BankBanking
Watchsman PRPublic Relations

Academic Partners

Universit`a degli Studi di SalernoCryptography R&D
Politecnico di MilanoBlockchain Observatory
Tecnol´ogico de MonterreyBlockchain R&D
Duke UniversityEngineering / FinTech
NC StateCryptography R&D
Northumbria UniversityUI/UX Testing
MCI Management Center InnsbruckBlockchain R&D


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August 21, 2022

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