The Future is Being Built on Horizen
The crypto market is seeing a bearish trend now and it has impacted all major cryptocurrencies. The prices for maximum virtual assets have plummeted and the mainstream media has become very critical of cryptocurrency. Newspaper headlines are ringing the death knell of this industry. We all have seen it before! This market is cyclical in nature. The recent bull market started in 2020 and ended in 2021. Many people have learnt the lesson of their lives a hard way with Luna, 3AC, Voyager & Celsius. “Not your keys, not your coin” – The old crypto proverb still stays strong. It is often difficult to stay sane during downturns but if you survived the last bear market, most probably you know your course of action to prepare for the next bull phase. But bear markets provide a great opportunity to the projects for building as they can be truly committed to the cause. Horizen, a privacy-focused blockchain, is one project which looks dedicated to bringing new innovations with its research-driven culture and strives to push technological boundaries. With continuous R&D, they are delivering back-to-back developments regarding various vital parameters to achieve high scalability and extendibility.
Horizen is a general-purpose blockchain that took birth as ZenCash in 2017 and it was a fork of ZClassic. ZenCash was rebranded as Horizen later on. Horizen is composed of the main Horizen blockchain and sidechains. The mainchain is a blockchain like Bitcoin that follows Equihash Proof-of-Work. The sidechains are decoupled and independent of consensus or any other design details. The core protocol acts as a ‘truth engine’ whereas the ecosystem maintains heterogeneous consensus due to the varied nature of sidechains. The project's vision is to create real-world blockchain applications while allowing the possibility of keeping the application data private. The relationship between the main chain and the sidechains can be described as ‘parent-child’. Zendoo Protocol allows communication with the sidechains irrespective of their structure. Whereas the mainchain maintains PoW consensus, the sidechains can have their own consensus system (PoW, PoS or DAG). The flexible architecture of Horizen makes it very attractive to the developers to build their own scalable blockchains. These blockchains can be public or private and creation is quite easy due to the availability of a wide variety of SDKs. The in-built zk-SNARKs of Horizen are really powerful and these give developers the option to protect selective information using zero-knowledge cryptographic tools. But how many sidechains can be there? The number is 10,000! These sidechains can run in parallel with the TPS (transactions per second) limit of 1000; thus, the total network can support a mammoth TPS up to 10,000,000.
The sidechains benefit from the decentralization and security of the underlying main blockchain and can be dedicated to specific use cases. Anytime, new features can be added to the sidechains as the consensus of the sidechain is not dependent on the mainchain. Building anything directly on top of a public blockchain is a very challenging task but sidechains give the developers complete freedom. Zendoo Protocol, the novel Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP), is used by all sidechains. In the Horizen network construction, the main chain does not follow the sidechains but the sidechains follow the main chain. Zendoo allows the transfer of coins from mainchain to sidechains (forward transfers) and transfer of coins from sidechains to mainchain (backward transfers). The transfer process burns coins in the origin chain and recreates them in the destination chain.
Developments are happening in full swing for Horizen. Recently, they launched their no-code tokenization platform TokenMint. The mainnet became live just a few days ago and it runs on the TokenMint sidechain. The platform enables anybody to create crypto tokens without any programming knowledge. TokenMint is currently in the Alpha version and more functionalities will be added soon. At present, it costs 10 ZEN to register a new fungible token and 1 ZEN to mint on TokenMint. The testnet of the platform is still active and you can try it out without spending a single penny. Here is a guide for trying out the testnet version. The team is also working on an EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) sidechain. This sidechain will enable the developers to deploy their Ethereum DAPPs to the Horizen ecosystem. You should be able to see $ZEN, the native cryptocurrency of Horizen, in your Metamask wallet soon.
PoW consensus algorithm provides a lot of benefits but scalability, latency and limited throughput remain as big issues. Building sidechains can offer a lot of scalabilities without compromising the security of the mainchain. Horizen’s zero-knowledge-enabled network of blockchains is trying to achieve that relentlessly. The cutting-edge technology of the project is capable of changing the fundamental way of DAPP building and bringing scalability to Web 3. Horizen has really evolved a lot after its birth in 2017 and the reverberant community has supported it throughout the journey. There was 111.7% membership growth in their Discord in Q2 of 2022 since Q1. The excitement with the project is visible among blockchain enthusiasts. Horizen is steadily getting ready to capture tomorrow’s opportunity.