Today, we are giving users a sneak preview of our vision for the future, which will illustrate the groundbreaking new features and products Horizen aims to release in the months and years to come.
Horizen is building a zero-knowledge proof enabled network of blockchains with the simple goal of helping developers build massively scalable, secure and privacy preserving blockchains without compromising decentralization.
Since we made the decision 3 years ago to evolve from the privacy coin ZEN to a privacy enabled network of blockchains, Horizen has relentlessly pursued the ambitious goal of architecting the most cutting edge innovations in the blockchain space.
Over the past 3 years, the Horizen team has been hard at work navigating the complexities of zero knowledge proof cryptography to invent an entirely new method of assembling blockchains to achieve horizontal scalability (scaling across multiple independent yet interoperable sidechains) while maintaining the highest level of security, privacy and decentralization. The result is Zendoo, a powerful blockchain deployment system with a zero-knowledge enabled cross-chain protocol with the best-in-class developer toolkits.
Developing a cutting edge blockchain ecosystem is a multi-year process that involves releasing new builds in stages. We’re incredibly excited to give you a sneak preview of our vision for Horizen and what each stage could offer to developers and end users in the broader blockchain ecosystem.
We expect the end result of our journey from stage 1 to stage 4 and beyond to not only be transformative for Horizen but for the entire industry as a whole.
Blockchain technology is a once in a multi-generational innovation, which for us makes the goal of building the perfect blockchain solution a marathon and not a sprint.
With that being said, here’s what’s on the Horizen..
Stage 1: Testnet launch with the first token chain: Zenny Chain
For those who are unfamiliar with the development process of a blockchain, a testnet is an isolated test environment where blockchains can deploy new applications, perform upgrades and test new features and integrations to make sure things are working smoothly prior to releasing updated software to mainnet.
Software updates are released to a testnet before being launched on the mainnet, which is essentially a live version of Horizen’s blockchain with all the new upgrades and deployments made accessible to the public.
We will also feature the first sidechain on the Horizen network with the ability to create a token that is different from Horizens native token – ZEN.
The Zenny token (or ‘Zennies’) will be rewarded to Horizen node operators, validators and other loyal community members who have supported us throughout our journey.
What are Zennies worth and what can they do?
Well the possibilities are endless! One of the possibilities of issuing Zennies is to provide our “OG” community members with a first class pass to a variety of new potential benefits and offerings that will be part of our future roadmap (think of it like a VIP ticket to a new Disneyland that is yet to be built but you know will be awesome once it’s open).
As we’re really big fans of what we’re seeing in the NFT space, another possibility is to give Zenny holders a chance to win some of the rarest NFTs that have come out of the crypto space this past year.
What we are most excited about in Stage 1 is that our tokenization ability will allow developers to design their own token policy, including supply and issuance model.
Stage 2: Sidechain bootstrapping toolkit
The upgrades that come from our testnet in Stage 1 will set us up for stage 2, where we plan to release the first version of our sidechain bootstrapping toolkit for new token issuance, which will allow developers to launch custom native tokens with their own unique issuance model.
The ability to design your own token monetary policy from the ground up is vital to the creation of a vibrant blockchain ecosystem.
Horizen developers will be able to establish a maximum supply for their token, an inflation rate, and staking or mining based reward mechanisms to allow users to earn tokens by validating transactions.
Developers could even choose to launch a proof of work blockchain that mimics the coin issuance model of Bitcoin, enabling tokens to be rewarded to miners who solve complex math problems to validate blocks.
The options for token issuance and reward schemes will be completely open for developers to explore what works for their crypto-economy.
Stage 3: Multi-asset policy to design your own crypto-economy
The launch of Zennies will be our first test case for creating a new token monetary policy on a Zendoo blockchain.
From this test, we aim to create a multi-asset policy to enable developers to launch multiple tokens on a sidechain. Think of this as a framework for developing an ERC20 or ERC721 token standard on the Ethereum blockchain.
Each sidechain would essentially have its own version of an ERC20 or ERC721 token standard, allowing developers to build Defi protocols, NFT marketplaces and play-to-earn games all within a single blockchain on Horizen.
We would then make these tokens interoperable so that users can transfer tokens between Zendoo blockchains using our Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol.
Stage 4: Multi-tiered yield generation network (Cross-chain DeFi)
With the ability to launch your own blockchain with a native token and monetary policy, in addition to an infrastructure to support multiple tokens within a blockchain, we can begin to explore all kinds of fun and interesting experimental models across Zendoo blockchains that will accelerate value creation within the Horizen ecosystem.
The first experiment could be the creation of a multi-tiered yield generation network in which liquidity pool contracts, staking contracts or mining nodes could be tokenized so that farmers, validators and node operators can lend out their tokens on different side chains, or farm them across different sidechain liquidity pools in order to earn extra yield.
Validators in particular could leverage this capability to expand the number of blockchains that they can participate in staking. By tokenizing their initial staking contract, validators would free up liquidity that could then be used as collateral to borrow another sidechains native tokens to stake on that blockchain.
This feature could ultimately benefit the Horizen ecosystem as a whole, making it potentially easier for new blockchains and native tokens to gain momentum.
‘Cross-chain staking bounties’ are another interesting experiment that could be implemented to create similar incentives to support other sidechains.
Here, developers of a newly launched sidechain could launch cross-chain staking bounties that would enable users from more established blockchains to buy and stake the new chains’ native tokens in exchange for earning rewards in the form of the more established chains tokens.
With this model, validators would get to be rewarded with tokens from the blockchain they have already adopted, while still supporting the growth of a new chain by buying and staking their tokens.
Through the use of zero knowledge proofs, cross-chain staking or LPing models could be implemented in a privacy-preserving way, enabling companies to participate in lending, staking or yield farming across different sidechains while protecting the privacy of their holdings.
This is just a high level overview of what we have in store for our community members and for the broader crypto space. We’ll be periodically sharing more exciting updates about what the future holds for the Horizen ecosystem. To learn more about the latest developments, join our Discord and follow us on Twitter.