New ZenIP Idea - Kicking off Work on a Migration Path for $ZEN and EON

On the back of Rob’s blog post laying out his vision for the future of $ZEN and EON, and Rolf’s post over the weekend soliciting the community’s thoughts on migrating $ZEN and EON, I believe that someone in the community should propose a ZenIP to get this process started.

Rob´s Take

After reviewing all of the community’s input and participating in a recent AMA, here is what I believe would be the best path forward:

  1. Migrate EON from “Old Horizen” to “New Horizen”, which means it’d be a state-of-the-art and performant EVM connected to the Proof Verification Substrate layer.
  2. Retire $ZEN on “Old Horizen” and port it over to its new life as a token on the new version of EON. This immediately brings hundreds of millions of dollars of value to EON, which makes it one of the most relevant EVMs in the market. This liquidity is like an adrenaline shot for EON. Being a token on EON drops the marginal cost of maintaining $ZEN to about zero, and frees up a ton of resources for ecosystem building.
  3. $ZEN continues to be the gas of EON and the governance token of what can become a much bigger treasury devoted to ZK applications because 60% of its supply isn’t needed to pay for security.
  4. The “Old Horizen” chain is deprecated when it’s safe to do so, from both a technology and exchange support perspective. This would allow us to get rid of a lot of technical debt, and leapfrogging to a much more competitive, maintainable and modern stack.
  5. A new token is adopted for the proof verification layer and I feel that the community should only support and adopt a new token plan that provides $ZEN holders with a significant allocation for their actions in supporting the ecosystem.


I like this proposal very much.

I’m not part of the Horizen Labs team, but I would like to clarify a few things in case someone cannot read between the lines. Feel free to correct me if I say something inaccurate.

  1. Maintaining ZEN costs a lot, because the outdated (Bitcoin, zCash based) code still needs maintenance, security updates, even if no new features are developed on top of it. Also, the (centralized) SuperNode tracking system is hosted by Horizen Labs and that has server/maintenance costs. This would go away and would make running things much more efficient as the Forger nodes or future staking methods can be automated with smart contracts and run on the blockchain. This would also make the system decentralized which is great news, as it makes ZEN even less likely to be labelled as a security.

  2. 60% of supply paid for security is what the PoW miners get right now from every mined block. If this gets removed then New Horizen will be PoS, which is good for the environment, and encourages HODL.

  3. “technical debt” is the ~90GB blockchain which contains 8 years of transactions (including the shielded transactions, which are now deprecated, but take most of the space in the history) as well as maintaining the outdated codebase which was inherited from zCash.

  4. AirDrop :heart:


Yeah this is a great path. In this case Zen keeps the same 21m supply but would change to a POS parachain of the new token ecosystem. This allows ZEN to not have to pay as much for security since it would only need some collators staking while getting the bulk of security from the main chain. This allows for the remaining Zen to be used for greater incentives and dev growth as a large EVM chain; making the remaining emissions much more efficiently used for growth imo.
The other big part of this path is it opens Zen holders to receiving an allocation of the new token launch airdrop as the two chains meld synergistically. I hope HL is able to submit a proposal for this since they have done the bulk of Zen development and have the technical expertise to make it happen optimally!


Im all for it but wont exchanges have to comply to these changes as well?
How will Zen be traded on exchanges while this takes place is the only thing confusing me right now.

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Keeping ZEN trading on exchanges is very important!

HL would work on a proposal for the transition of ZEN from the old blockchains to the new blockchain. If it is a gradual transition of ZEN I would expect trading and deposits/withdrawals to stay open.

To me, it is more likely there would be transition at a specific point in time when the new blockchain is completely ready. The reason is proof of work miner security. At some point the miners stop getting rewards in the new blocks, and miners would stop mining ZEN.

At the transition time, I would expect exchanges keep ZEN trading, but stop deposits and withdrawals until the transition is over and ZEN is stable on the new blockchain. Hopefully that would be a few hours, at most a few days, but that would be up to the exchanges to decide.

There could be a snapshot of ZEN on mainchain and EON, then a way to claim it on the new chain. That is just one option, of course. I expect the developers to come up with a way that would be secure, not too difficult, and effective


Agreed, I think continued exchange support is critical for whatever we do. We can’t get around the fact that $ZEN needs a new tech stack at some point one way or another. Whether it’s this migration to EON 2.0 concept or whether we simply upgrade to a more modern framework in the future, that point will require close coordination with exchanges. New tech always needs integration support from exchanges, but at least we have all of the relationships we’ve been working with for years in place and that shouldn’t change.