Horizen (formerly known as ZenCash) is a privacy-preserving money and financial network that combines a distinctive technology architecture, cutting-edge infrastructural incentives, and Bitcoin-like monetary economics. Horizen unleashes the power of privacy technology across a network of connected decentralized applications, going beyond the straightforward use case of a peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Zcash (DApps).

In May 2017, Horizen debuted as a blockchain platform for DApps that protect privacy. There are two fundamental technological layers that make up the Horizen system:

  1. the primary blockchain (mainchain), which acts as the foundation for a straightforward P2P digital currency technology, such as Bitcoin
  2. Sidechains, or alternative blockchains, offer further functionality and capabilities for blockchain applications.

Horizen is a blockchain-of-blockchains in this way. A common digital asset known as ZEN is shared by the mainchain and sidechains. Together, these features have the potential to enable the creation of useful, scalable, and adaptable real-world blockchain applications on Horizen with improved data privacy. Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge (“zk-SNARKs”), a ground-breaking privacy technique, was first introduced on the Zcash network.