The Horizen ecosystem has always been driven by the ambitious vision of becoming the “Zero-Knowledge Enabled Network of Blockchains.” While the project has made some important contributions towards this end, most notably by developing a zero-knowledge proof-based interoperability protocol, the industry was generally more interested in other interoperability solutions.
All the while, Horizen and its community has adapted to changes in the web3 landscape, with protocol upgrades such as the introduction of an EVM-compatible sidechain (EON) and removing the shielded pool. Despite these important updates, Horizen needs to better differentiate itself in the crowded Web3 landscape by contributing new technologies to solve the industry’s existing and future challenges.
As the current technical partner of the Horizen ecosystem and long standing members of the community, we at Horizen Labs, want to introduce a potential technical update called “New Horizen” to the community. This is not just an update to Horizen; it’s a bold leap forward, positioning the Horizen ecosystem to make a significant impact in solving the scalability problem, where rollups must compete with each other and applications on monolithic blockchains for limited blockspace to settle their states. Horizen’s journey thus far has set the stage for the project to not just catch up, but to lead and innovate in the blockchain space.
The industry is evolving from a preference for monolithic, “one-size-fits-all” blockchains, to a more dynamic, flexible approach focused on modularization. In this transformative phase, the Horizen community is perfectly positioned to play a pivotal role with “New Horizen,” a groundbreaking concept to build web3’s modular security layer.
Think of “New Horizen” as a modular system dedicated to proof verification and settlement. This strategic segmentation has the potential to substantially lower the security costs for Layer 2 solutions (L2s) and application-specific chains (appchains). This is especially crucial in a multi-chain environment, where L2s and appchains often face economic challenges due to the substantial costs of maintaining a secure, decentralized network.
To bring this vision to life, we at Horizen Labs, envisage creating a "New Horizen” mainchain that features a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism and a proving system upheld by this consensus. Initially, this architecture should dramatically decrease the verification costs for zero-knowledge (ZK) rollups, paving the way for broader applications to other types of rollups, appchains, and even Web2 services. As a proof of concept, it could start by verifying proofs from a specific ZK rollup development framework but its design would be versatile and composable, allowing it to adapt and verify a diverse range of proofs as the ecosystem develops.
At Horizen Labs, we view “New Horizen” not only as a potential technological advancement for the Horizen ecosystem, but also as a strategic leap towards a more efficient, secure, and collaborative blockchain future. Therefore, we would like to introduce the concept to the community for discussion.