LAB Radio Episode 5 – What is Horizen (formerly Zencash)? A Zcash fork with built-in secure messaging and privacy

Our guest today is Rob Viglione, the founder of Horizen (formerly ZenCash). Rob has blended his interests in academia, entrepreneurship and Blockchain development. As a PhD Candidate in Finance, Rob’s research interests span across crypto-finance, venture capital, asset pricing and blockchain development. Rob teaches a course: “Bitcoin & Blockchain Applications in Finance” one of only 3 in the world at the University of South Carolina.

Headshot of Rob Viglione, co-founder of Horizen (Formerly ZenCash)

Horizen (formerly ZenCash) is built on zero-knowledge proofs (zk-SNARKs), a new cryptographic breakthrough in privacy and the core math behind the blockchain. It was originally developed as Zerocash and eventually Zcash. Horizen (formerly ZenCash) then forked this original codebase into a new project and has since added many additional security and privacy features beyond Zcash.

 As stated on Rob’s LinkedIn: “[Horizen (formerly ZenCash)] is building a globally distributed secure node network resilient to censorship by implementing network-level encryption on top of zk-SNARK blockchain obfuscation, embedding secure messaging, document publishing on IPFS, and a system of decentralized governance.”

After listening to this episode you will learn:

  • How Rob got into Cryptocurrency and Crypto Finance
  • How Rob created and thought of the ZenCash (now Horizen) idea
  • What exactly zero-knowledge proofs are and how they work
  • Why zero-knowledge proofs are such a breakthrough in cryptography and privacy
  • How transparency is built in as a default with Bitcoin and how zero-knowledge adds to that
  • Why we need privacy as people and organizations
  • How Horizen differs and compliments pre-existing Zcash and other forks
  • How Horizen innovates on economics and technology

Episode #5 of LAB Radio header image with Chris Groshong, Rob Viglione and Aaron Mangal

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Further Reading and Resources

Rob talks about the Horizen (formerly ZenCash) rebrand and what’s next: