ZenCash Looks To ‘Horizen’ For Privacy Development

The platform’s recent “brand expansion,” as the team calls it, signals a heightened focus on privacy.

ZenCash, a privacy-driven blockchain and cryptocurrency (ticker symbol ZEN), is donning a new look: Horizen. The brand expansion (not a rebrand, the team notes) zeroes in on the crew’s “refined strategic vision” moving forward. Besides a different name, logo, and overall image, Horizen aims to further pursue privacy developments and other projects in the blockchain space.

Although the ZEN cryptocurrency remains intact (and the Horizen name certainly incorporates the coin’s heritage), the team wants to delve into the realm of “real-life uses beyond peer-to-peer transactions using the ZEN cryptocurrency.” Some examples include censorship-resistant publishing, as well as enabling users to build privacy-based applications and generate basic income through personal data ownership.

Some other features in the works include a treasury voting system, which would allow the community to vote on important issues, such as work proposal resource allocation, within the system; a flagship wallet; and a DAO treasury system.

Horizen president and co-founder Robert Viglione spoke to the expansion of the organization: “What initially launched as a privacy-focused cryptocurrency has transformed into a much broader and deeply capable platform.”

Horizen special advisor and co-founder Rolf Versluis also expressed his enthusiasm for the brand expansion: “Our expanded brand encompasses our unlimited capability to deliver new product offerings, improve our platform for partners to build even more profitable applications, and enable personal freedom and liberty using technological privacy.”

With Horizen’s big change, some folks had questions about what it would mean for them. The Horizen crew assured the community that the new brand would not affect individuals’ nodes, ZenCash Wallet funds, or wallet addresses. Additionally, there will be no effect on mining pools.

The ZenCash blockchain and cryptocurrency is a fairly recent addition to the cryptospace. Put one way, ZenCash is the great-grandchild of Bitcoin.

In 2013, researchers introduced Zerocoin, a privacy enhancement to the Bitcoin network. Zerocoin eventually led to the Zerocash protocol and cryptocurrency. The Zerocash crew began collaborating with people from the privacy technology team Least Authority, leading to what we know today as ZCash.

ZenCash, ultimately, is a fork of a ZCash fork, ZClassic. In forking, the ZenCash team wanted to develop a cryptocurrency that represented its ideology and goals.

Like ZCash, ZenCash is built upon zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge, or zk-SNARKs. A zk-SNARK, at its core, allows verifiers to confirm that computations occurred correctly without having any knowledge of the computations. This setup enables confidentiality among blockchain transactions.

Although ZenCash and ZCash are borne of the same concept, ZenCash modifies the zk-SNARK system, features a secure node system, and operates under a different funding model.

Despite its relative nascence, ZenCash, now Horizen, believes it has a future full of privacy developments and other technological advancements. If so, the horizon is expanding for this blockchain and cryptocurrency platform.

Daniel Putney is a full-time writer for ETHNews. He received his bachelor’s degree in English writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he also studied journalism and queer theory. In his free time, he writes poetry, plays the piano, and fangirls over fictional characters. He lives with his partner, three dogs, and two cats in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

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