Written By Elizabeth Saul


HORIZEN AMA on Guarda | Everything About ZEN – Recap

HORIZEN AMA on Guarda | Everything About ZEN – Recap

Hey there, cryptocurrency community!
We know you love participating in our live AMA’s. However, it’s no big deal if you miss one – Guarda Wallet team is here with the recap!
Here, you can read what we have discussed with Rob Viglione, Co-Founder of Horizen.

Q1. What is your background and how did you come to the idea to create your project? 

I’m from New York, went to school for physics and math with a minor in economics; then an MBA, and most recently spent four years in academia for my Ph.D. in finance with research in bitcoin from an asset pricing perspective. I still need to defend my dissertation…just been a bit busy! Professionally, I started out of college as an Air Force officer and worked in Space Command on satellites and launch vehicles

I’ve also taught a couple of college courses on bitcoin and blockchain applications in finance

Q2. What is so special about $ZEN compared to other projects?

Can you give some reasons to convince users to choose $ZEN?

The team is the most special thing about ZEN, by far! that said, our tech is highly differentiated with groundbreaking sidechain technology for real scalability at the commercial-grade quality 

I encourage everyone to check out our latest paper on Zendoo, the next-generation sidechain protocol


Q3. How would you attract Users? 

And Biggest challenges is USE CASE 

How to apply ZEN in real life?

Our first product is ZEN the currency, and for this, we’re in full growth swing attracting hundreds of thousands of new users in just the last quarter. our approach is working with incentives, referrals, and creating opportunities for people to participate for reward in our ecosystem

in the next 6-12 months, we’ll have many more opportunities for devs and businesses to build profitable sidechains for all sorts of apps; each of which has its own new user acquisition path

Q4. Can you tell us some of the goals you’re looking forward to accomplishing the most WITH HORIZEN? What biggest challenges do you face after starting this project?

Here’s the Horizen mission: To empower people and bring the world together by building a fair and inclusive ecosystem where everyone is rewarded for their contributions.

Our goals are to make this mission a reality, and this takes on many forms. Ultimately we consider ourselves to be a community startup that uses technology to bring people together and empower them. we have a very specific 2020 roadmap and ideas for what we want to do well beyond this year, but ultimately it comes down to technology that can scale into real-world applications, and proper economic incentives to endogenously grow the system and empower people to make their own lives better by participating

Specifically, I can say we’re laser-focused on our sidechain tech, in particular Zendoo, because it’s the key element to enabling the ecosystem. I’m personally pushing hard for a price-stable asset sidechain, so people can go from ZEN to things like zUSD, zEUR, etc. and not have to constantly go in and out of crypto, but just enter and stay in our ecosystem

Q5. I commend @horizenglobal (ZEN) for offering Privacy, unique and supposedly revolutionary technology. Horizen (ZEN) is a project built on privacy. Various Government and Authorities are frightened that Privacy Coins gives room for concealing criminal activities by allowingUntraceable money transfers. financial regulators are beginning to create unfavorable policies that will cause a significant impact on the use, growth, and development of this disruptive technology of @horizenglobal. My concern is how do you intend to survive amidst the scrutiny? 

It’s a fair concern and really depends on forces outside of our control (e.g. governments!). we’re a US regulated nonprofit building an open-source and permissionless ecosystem; thus far we’re fully compliant with regulations even though we’re building sophisticated privacy technologies. if that were to ever change, the US gov could shut down our nonprofit, but the vision, mission, and ecosystem would live on

I share some concern about this, but don’t see it as much of a realistic outcome. we’re not doing anything that violates any laws, and free speech is relatively well protected in the US; code thus far has been considered free speech

Q6. Horizen”s sidechains development looks pretty solid. It should attract dapps devs I guess. Which ones are you aiming for? Is there any interest from their side at this stage?

What’s unique about our sidechain tech isn’t just the tech, but the economics of it; sidechain or app devs who launch sidechains have a built-in revenue opportunity from tx fees. this is something that doesn’t exist in any other part of the industry and I think will go viral with devs. why write a smart contract on another platform when you can do the same idea on a Horizen sidechain and run the same business + get a cut of tx fees? Additionally, we’re launching a project called Horizen Developer Environment (HDE) that curates dev opportunities, provides ZEN bounties and does all this in a social and gamified way; the point is to actively court devs by making their lives easier, more fun, and giving them community support in a social environment

Q7. What is Horizen’s innovative anti 51% attack method? Which of the blockchains implemented your solution already?

Section 3.1 of our White Paper 2.0 goes into some detail about our 51% attack prevention method.

Basically, it creates a penalty for blocks broadcast to the network after some threshold, in our case four blocks at present; forks with penalty don’t get accepted by the network, so it essentially renders the primary threat vector useless.

Or, rather, much more difficult and costly.

I’m not sure which other projects have adopted it, but I tend to find many of us in the industry are so caught up in what we’re doing that we fail to see innovation when others create it.

Q8. Recently Horizen carried out a mandatory software upgrade to ZEN 2.0.20. Why is this upgrade so important? And what’re the implications of not upgrading before the deadline? 

You have to upgrade, or else you won’t be running the right software compatible with the current mainnet. we do regular software upgrades quarterly to keep a professional schedule and make sure we’re continuously patching bugs, improving performance, etc. This is a fairly minor upgrade just keeping with that schedule, nothing groundbreaking in it. The groundbreaking stuff is happening with sidechain dev, which is currently on a testnet; we have a beta version of our sidechain system being delivered next month

Q9. With the appearing of many blockchain projects, especially payment project which has the newest technology, scalability, efficiency, even no fee on the transaction. Does $ZEN feel pressure from this on the race of global payment solutions?

In some way, yes, this is the most competitive industry in the world and I love that! we need competitive pressures to constantly improve. our approach to payments will be via a price-stable asset sidechain that has built-in rewards for adoption, velocity, and merchant use. in this sense, we’ll have the competitive payment system in the industry, and we’re coupling this with a massive distribution network with one of our biggest clients and investors – the dominant payment company in Mexico.

The approach has to be a combo of tech + business prowess.

The best tech doesn’t always win, but in our case, we think we’re building the best tech, the best economic system that endogenously catalyzes growth, and the best business relationships…maybe not the sexiest ones for headlines, but what we care about is raw distribution power with partners who have tens of thousands of merchants and want to push our products.

Q10. What is your long-term vision about the industry in which Horizen is working at? Are you afraid someday there will be another project with more innovative technology that can replace Horizen?

This is why I started the AMA off by saying our team is the best part of the project; we’re super aggressive, constantly learning, and challenging ourselves. healthy processes like this count more than stumbling on the best tech today, because, with the right people and org ethos, we’ll adapt and outcompete others who might find that tech before us.

Q11. While most other cryptocurrencies are now relying on PoS consensus because of the fast transaction and more usability, and As a PoW coin, how will Horizen cope up with the increasing number of users for bringing mass adoption? 

Easy, we’re building PoS sidechains! the only PoW element of our system is the mainchain, but all apps and function-specific stuff will be done on sidechains. so in this way, we have the best of both worlds: high security from PoW augmented with our block penalty system, and platform and app layers that are PoS and massively scalable.

Q12. Southeast Asia is a very vibrant market and most exchanges are competing campaigns here to entice users and grow, with ZEN you see how Southeast Asia is, and do you plan to develop & expanding here?

Big time! here’s our first secret weapon: https://getzen.cash/

We’ve re-envisioned the idea of a “faucet” and it’s going viral particularly in southeast Asia.

In addition, we’re working with community evangelists in the region, crafting merchant campaigns, and hiring team members from the region to help navigate that growth.

We’re about to launch a major meetup program that leverages the power of habits and some cool behavioral psychology triggering the cue for action to reward habit loop; besides the academics of it, I love the real-world growth stuff because we need to start making our brand much more public and part of everyday life/


Q1. Adoption is one of the important factors that all sustainable blockchain projects should focus to be more attractive in the investors’ eyes. Can you tell me what has done and plans to do to achieve real-world adoption? 

I agree, our sidechain system is our first foray into being a true platform, which is where we’re focusing our commercial efforts. before sidechains, we were really just a cryptocurrency with ZEN being the core product; in that sense, we were pushing hard for exchange listings, point of sale integrations, and incentive programs for adoption. the real fun stuff is ahead of us when sidechains go to mainnet

Q3. Horizen is doing very well in Ghana. It has organized several meetups with Ghana students for liberty and other young people in the city, and it vendor integration where you can spend $Zen in a particular market called Aboabo.

This makes me feel a little bit jealous and wants to know if Horizen has Nigerians too in mind because Nigeria is close to Ghana and we need to benefit from Horizen also? 

Should I be expecting to see $Zen being integrated into different vendors too in my country?

If yes, what are the plans on ground to this effect? 

I can’t wait to start spending my $ZEN here.

Awesome you noticed our efforts in Ghana! this is a model we for sure want to replicate globally and Nigeria.

Q4. What is your plan for bringing on the other players in the ecosystem: the brands, influencers, tournament organizers, developers?

We have an aggressive business dev team that’s working constantly on brand collaborations and partnerships.

Q5. What’s the difference between sidechain and cross-chain. What’s the advantages of multi tiered node system employed by ZEN 

Sidechains are full blockchains that use ZEN, which has real value and mature markets and integrations; and they leverage the Horizen mainchain for security.

Q6. Which incentives for holders ZEN for their long term investment and how to encourage them to buy and hold?

Liquidity is really important points for a cryptocurrency coin, what will you do to improve ability for people to both enter into and exit from positions in ZEN? 

Our node system is the biggest incentive because you can earn significant rewards by staking. In future, you’ll be able to vote with your ZEN


One of the Marketing Techniques is BUILDING and EXPANDING COMMUNITIES

Can you share to us 

What is the plans and actions of HORIZEN to build a strong Community in the world of Social Media?

In What countries are you CAMPAIGNING HORIZEN Right Now?

What other countries would you like to campaign HORIZEN in the future? 

Totally agree, we have one of the most sophisticated marketed teams in the industry doing a bunch of community engagement and growth campaigns all the time. the “faucet” is the most successful in bringing in new users that end up funneled throughout the ecosystem. we have sophisticated funnel techniques where we add value to new users in a number of ways.

Q8. What is ZenIP (Zen Improvement Proposals)? Why was it created? and what is the difference between Consensus and Standards Track ZenIPs? @kunlefighter

totally agree, we have one of the most sophisticated marketed teams in the industry doing a bunch of community engagement and growth campaigns all the time. the “faucet” is the most successful in bringing in new users that end up funneled throughout the ecosystem. we have sophisticated funnel techniques where we add value to new users in a number of ways.

Q9. In the world of competitive technology is a sure thing, can you give a picture of HORIZEN competitors? Then what does HORIZEN do to stay the best? 


Our biggest competitor is Ethereum because that’s where all the real action is taking place in this industry; we’re building a system that can do the majority of what ethereum does, but at much lower cost in terms of computation and complexity + has more sophisticated incentives built in for adoption

Q10. Bad actors don’t use the funds correctly or invest into new projects of little value damaging trust and the potential of open-source finance as a whole. And you know the ill-fated ICO boom of 2017. So Could you explain us, how can investors be sure that you provide the strategic direction for core investments and partnerships for Horizen? How will you provide transparency and legal compliance rules in your project? How will people be sure of these issues? 

We are one of the most transparent projects in the industry. Our weekly team calls are open to the public, we package into podcasts, and we do quarterly livestreams with comprehensive decks reporting on KPIs and what we’ve accomplished

Q11. What are the advantages of implementing a price-stable asset system with Horizen sidechains over smart contracts in other systems to date? 

In our system, the assets are run on their own blockchain(s), so you can design that chain specifically for merchant adoption and user velocity. as an example, we could build in a 5% reward to merchants for accepting zUSD that is paid for in the sidechain block reward. this isn’t possible when writing a smart contract on a blockchain you don’t control. it’s a major advantage

Q12. So far, Almost 80% investors have just focused on price of token in short term instead of understanding the real value of the project. Can you tell us on motivations and benefits for investors to hold Horizen (ZEN) in long term? Will run any stake program with your token?

Yes, we have one of the best staking systems in the industry; what I mean is the highest ROI for quality. our project is ranked top 10 in terms of fundamentals and our node ROI is up there with extremely low-quality projects. it makes us much more attractive

Q13. Horizen is currently going well and is receiving positive attention. What will you do to get more exposure and adoption? What is the Horizen message for the Community today? 

We focus more on relentlessly delivering on our promises and creating value; this will win over time

Q14. Staking seem to be popular right now on many blockchain project to encourage investors to hold tokens and make it healthful for project ecosystem. Does HORIZEN support this as well? If yes, what will requirement of a Node and a Validator node be? And how does reward base on? 

Agree! Please check out https://www.horizen.global/node-hosting/

Q15. Tell me more about Horizen? What is the Purpose behind creation of Horizen? What type of consensus do you used? What are the core features and Value Proposition of Horizen? Who your biggest competitor right now? 

I recommend checking out our White Paper 2.0, it’s the best way to get a sense of all this. https://www.horizen.global/assets/files/Horizen-White-Paper.pdf

Q16. Can you tell us a little about HORIZEN? why do you think this project will succeed? 

We have hands down one of the best teams in the industry 🙂

Q17. What have you learned from early versions of the product or service? What are/were some of the major roadblocks along the way? 

I learned not to outsource key products. we’ve brought those in-house and our extremely high-quality team now manages them properly

Q18. What is the main key of Block-DAG protocol compared to basic Blockchain?

DAG is just another chain structure. we were considering it as a scaling solution before we invented a much better sidechain scalability solution

Q19. PLEASE, Can you share with us what are the Improvements in ZEN tokenomics in 2020?? 

sidechains! sidechains are PoS, require ZEN for block forging, and use ZEN as tx “gas” …this is a huge organic demand generator for ZEN

Q20. Privacy and Security are very important issues for crypto and blockchain technology, how does ZEN provide privacy and security in today’s harsh climate

we user advanced zero knowledge cryptography for user privacy, as well as network privacy with TLS/SSL

Q21. What are your plans for traditional companies that continue to exist with their own systems?From technological and commercial perspectives, how can traditional companies be integrated into the blockchain? 

our sidechain tech combines public and private blockchain concepts in a similar way that the public internet did for companies in the ’90s

Q22. Mr. Robert. What advantages does TLS encryption provide for the Horizen blockchain? 

Provides node to node encryption, which just adds another layer of security for users

Q23. What are the great achievements that Horizen has achieved so far and what is the development plan of Horizen in the next 2-3 years?

Sidechains are our biggest achievement. we delivered the alpha to testnet last october, beta coming out next month, and Zendoo is the major breakthrough we’re pushing for end of year

Q24. The blockchain industry is growing by the day, what makes Horizen stand out against other projects and companies competing in the space? 

Our team, tech, and partners. we’re 1 of 5 coins that DCG took into their portfolio and massively supports

Q25. The Horizen system is comprised of two core technological layers namely: mainchain and sidechain. What function does each technology perform?

Is there any difference or similarities between them? and 

Why do both share a common digital Currency, Zen? 

Mainchain provides “truth” and security, sidechains are where all the application and functional stuff happens

Q26. Can you tell us more details on Horizen Faucet why it is developed and how to earn reward when using it? 

Please check it out, it’s fun 🙂
It’s meant to intro people to the ecosystem without any risk to them; come get some rewards, come back every day to play, and eventually, we’re evolving this into a more comprehensive community hub with games and education

Q27. As a developer I Know some coding and programming tools and languages, can I build dApps ZENHow do you seek to convince developers to switch to ZEN sidechain for dapps

Our sidechains pay devs directly with % of tx fees, and our code is well designed to make it easy or devs to use. check out our SDK when beta comes out next month. we’re also launching HDE like I said above, and will host many hackathons

Q28. What is the use of the token? i.e, as a consumer, developer etc. , how, when, and why will I use it? @haryonesh

Our sidechains pay devs directly with % of tx fees, and our code is well designed to make it easy or devs to use. check out our SDK when beta comes out next month. we’re also launching HDE like I said above, and will host many hackathons

Q29. How does the ZEN’s geographically dispersed node network provide advantages over computational power and speed? How important are dapps to distributing nodes? @zaferce

The biggest benefit is we’ll never end up like Stellar where the network goes down because a small number of nodes go down. our network is massively resistant to disruption because of having almost 40,000 full nodes geographically dispersed

Q30. What transaction model is used horizen? is it effective for horizen ecosystems?

So far, but we have ideas to improve 🙂

Q31. What market cap do you think HORIZEN will grow to in 5 years given that you now know our technical depth, expertise, go-to-market strategy, vision, and opportunity ahead?

I never make price projections 🙂

Q32. The fastest & safest Blockchain technology is very important in supporting the long journey of a project, How does Horizen do it?

I agree, it starts with a super professional engineering team, independent code audits, and relentless dedication with quality and security

Q33. There are three common core issues in technology today: scalability, security and interoperability, speed and privacy.  So, how will Horizen solve these problems? 

Sidechains! we can scale by putting specific functions on their own blockchains interoperable with the mainchain, mainchain PoW provides security, and Zendoo comes with sophisticated zero-knowledge circuits that enforce the rules of the system even beyond the honest majority

Q34. Horizen: the blockchain of blockchains’ that wants Ethereum’s throne. Do you really think this is possible? If yes, how do you aim solving the problem that beset Ethereum? 

Absolutely, just a matter of time


Q35. What companies are Horizen (ZEN) currently working with? Can you provide the real life use cases of how the companies are using your technology? 

Interfactura is our biggest customer and has 1/3 of Mexico’s invoicing market…a huge distribution channel for us. in our white paper we list a bunch of others

Q36. Explain more about your consensus algorithm and your Governance model, how does ZEN overcome the Threat of CENTRALIZATION

We’ve decentralized key elements of our system ( like Balaji’s decentralization quantification by subsystem), but ultimately will roll out a voting system for decision-making. it’s currently in prototype and we’re working with NC State on the ID element in zero-knowledge

For more information, follow Horizen and Guarda Wallet on Twitter – even with the AMA being over, we are always here to answer your questions.