What is Horizen

What is Horizen (ZEN) and How Does it Work?

Blockchain networks are dedicated to providing a higher level of security and scalability to the users. But the users often complain about privacy because each transaction is updated on the public ledger. Similarly, blockchain networks start getting slow as more users join the network.

Horizen is trying to solve these problems with its unique network of nodes, privacy tools, and sidechains.

Key Takeaways: –

  • Horizen offers shielded transactions with zero-knowledge encryption technology and zk-SNARK to provide an additional layer of privacy and achieve mass adoption by adding new payment providers.
  • The project was initially called ZenCash but was later rebranded to Horizen in August 2018 to avoid confusion with Zcash. It was launched to build a sustainable funding model, zero-knowledge-proof technologies, and incentivize stakeholders.
  • The network uses zero-knowledge proof technology and two types of addresses (T-Addresses and Z-Addresses) to protect user information and provide privacy during transactions.

What is Horizen?

Horizen is a privacy-focused blockchain network that believes in providing ultimate security and privacy to users. The developers and companies can build public and private blockchains on this network. These blockchains can be used to exchange messages, conduct daily transactions, and release decentralized applications.

The unique thing about Horizen is that it provides shielded transactions to offer an additional layer of privacy. Horizen is dedicated to achieving mass adoption by consistently adding new payment providers. Horizon offers secure transmission and storage of data with its zero-knowledge encryption technology and zk-SNARK.

Horizon Brief History

Horizen was introduced by Rolf Versluis and Robert Viglione in May 2017. Initially, the project was launched as ZenCash because it was a fork of ZClassic (that was itself a fork of Zcash). ZenCash was later rebranded to Horizen in August 2018 because it was often confused with Zcash.

The project was launched with the goal of building a sustainable funding model, zero-knowledge-proof technologies, and properly incentivizing the stakeholders. Zencash experienced an attempted 51% attack in June 2018. The team then introduced the delayed block reporting penalty to prevent such issues in the future.

Advantages of Horizen (ZEN)

  • Extensive Node Network – Horizen network has more than 45,000 active nodes operating in 56 countries around the world. It has a strong team of experienced professionals who consistently add new features to enhance the scalability and integrity of the project.
  • Horizon Academy – Horizon team has introduced the Horizen Academy to educate a vast majority of people about crypto and blockchain.
  • Useful Instruments for Horizen – ZenChat is a secure messaging platform that helps users with sending encrypted messages across the network. Similarly, Sphere is a multifunctional application that is used for social networking and wallet management.
  • Encouraging Community Contributions – Horizen invites everyone to contribute to its open-sourced project. The developers are encouraged to learn and contribute to the network through their Horizen Early Adopter and Horizen Developer Environment Programs.

How Does Horizen Work?

What is Horizen Zen

Horizen uses a combination of Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanisms to securely run all the operations. The mainchain uses the Proof-of-Work consensus protocol to ensure the security of its data. Horizon has a strong network of sidechains that use a modified version of the Proof-of-Stake consensus protocol to validate the transactions.

The Horizen team introduced the sidechains after experiencing a hacking attack in 2018. With this model, the sidechains can continue running their operations without having to report the transactions to the mainchain every time. Thus, it ensures the security of the entire network.

As discussed earlier, Horizen has the largest network of nodes consisting of 45,000+ nodes operating across the world. Thus, it offers a high level of decentralization. Horizen network also claims to be the first to implement TLS end-to-end encryption between nodes. Horizon network offers an incredible level of security, reliability, scalability, and speed.

Horizen uses three types of nodes to successfully run its operations.

  1. Regular Full Nodes – The regular full nodes maintain the latest copy of the blockchain. These nodes help with transaction validation.
  2. Secure Nodes – As the name suggests, these nodes use end-to-end encryption to ensure the network’s security. They also play a vital role in establishing a decentralized environment.
  3. Super Nodes – These nodes help with establishing a secure and smooth sidechain platform. This platform helps developers with building different decentralized applications (DApps) and other layer 2 blockchain solutions.

Horizen uses zero-knowledge proof technology to protect the user’s information while validating transactions. It only updates the information about transaction execution but doesn’t share any details about the transaction. zk-SNARK protects the security and decentralization of the network while providing scalable solutions.

Horizen uses two different types of addresses to protect the user’s information.

  • T-Addresses – The T-Addresses are similar to the addresses that are assigned to users on other blockchains. The users can transfer and receive funds using these addresses. These transactions are updated on the public ledger.
  • Z-Addresses – These are private addresses known as Shielded addresses. If a user conducts a transaction using this type of address, their transaction details won’t be updated on the ledger. Only the confirmation will be updated on the ledger.

What is Zendoo?

Zendoo is the sidechain platform of Horizen that is designed to solve scalability issues including high fees and slow transactions. The side chains run in parallel with the main chain. They don’t affect the speed and stability of the main chain because they operate independently.

Therefore, they offer some advanced functionalities that can’t be offered on the main chain. Thus, Horizen provides an attractive solution for businesses and developers that are willing to create blockchains or decentralized applications.

Horizen Tokenomics

ZEN is the native token of the Horizen network that is used to pay transaction fees. Developers and organizations can also use it as a payment option for their decentralized applications. The platform offers ZEN tokens as a reward to the node operators.  With a circulating supply of 3 billion tokens, ZEN has a market cap of $128 million. It ranks among the 200 best cryptocurrencies in terms of market.


Horizen (ZEN) is a privacy-focused blockchain network that addresses security, scalability, and privacy concerns. With shielded transactions, zero-knowledge encryption, and zk-SNARK, it prioritizes user privacy and aims for mass adoption. Zendoo sidechain platform enhances scalability without compromising the main chain’s speed and stability.

Horizen’s vast node network, educational initiatives, and community involvement demonstrate a commitment to growth and decentralization. Feel free to get in touch with us if you need more information about how the Horizen network works. We also invite you to subscribe to our weekly newsletter if you need regular updates about Bitcoin and the crypto market.