Horizen Labs: making enterprise blockchain a reality

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It’s been more than a decade since Bitcoin went live and introduced the world to the benefits of decentralization.

In this space of time, the application of blockchain technology has exploded beyond simple transactions and transfers of value. Today, blockchain has become a tool for a wide range of industries— from game development to accounting and even law.

Corporations are increasingly aware of the potential that blockchain technology has to dramatically bring down their costs and improve their services. In fact, today some 74% of companies reportedly have a “compelling business case” for blockchain technology.

Many corporate giants that have the funds to do so are building their own solutions internally. Others are acquiring companies that provide these solutions, like Spotify, which acquired the blockchain startup Mediachain Labs to create a decentralized database for its artists and licensing agreements.

Though implementing blockchain technology into business operations can deliver incredible efficiency and increased profits, it requires significant upfront investment, which may be too expensive for most companies.

But now, thanks to a new company that launched this week, enterprise blockchain solutions will be available to companies across the board.

Introducing, Horizen Labs…

1. What is Horizen Labs?

Horizen Labs is a for-profit corporation designed to build enterprise blockchain solutions that run on the Horizen blockchain.

The creation of Horizen Labs was spearheaded by Rob Viglione, the founder of Horizen, along with a few other team members, including myself.

In fact, I’m proud to announce that I will be joining Horizen Labs as its Chief Operating Officer. This is a very exciting transition for me personally and I look forward to sharing more information with all of you as Horizen Labs progresses.

For now, I will just say that Horizen Labs’ mission is simple: to make distributed ledger technology accessible for businesses.

In order to do this, it is building a flagship product that includes an easy-to-use developer platform to allow enterprise clients to launch their own proprietary blockchain solutions.

This is an incredibly valuable tool for companies that need specialized solutions for their offerings, as the Horizen Labs platform will allow clients to create their very own customized services.

In terms of technical specifications, developers will be able to launch programmable sidechains, issue tokens and create smart contracts; as well as send, store, timestamp and retrieve all kinds of data to and from the blockchain.

The potential for this is nothing short of massive. It opens a world of possibilities for companies looking to build and launch their own blockchain solutions.

Horizen Labs is already working with several impressive design partners to improve the platform, including Interfactura, Mexico’s largest digital invoicing and payments company.

2. Preparation for the Horizen Treasury DAO

One of the primary drivers for Rob Viglione to form Horizen Labs was his desire to prepare for the Horizen Treasury Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), which is scheduled to launch later this year.

The Treasury DAO is going to be crucial to the operation of the open-source Horizen platform. It will allow token holders to vote on proposals to allocate funds for the ongoing development of Horizen.

These funds come from Horizen’s block reward, which is automatically distributed to core stakeholders with the creation of new blocks. Unlike Bitcoin’s block reward, which goes wholly to miners, the Horizen block reward is split between miners, node operators and the Treasury. As it stands, the Treasury receives 20 percent of the block reward.

From the day he founded Horizen, Rob Viglione’s vision for the Treasury DAO has been for different entities to compete with each other to provide development and other services to Horizen.

The goal was to see companies submit proposals to the Treasury DAO and enable ZEN holders (the native currency of the Horizen blockchain) to vote to determine which proposals are funded and which are rejected. Anyone can, and hopefully will, compete to provide services to Horizen.

Competition for the Treasury DAO is a major reason behind the creation of Horizen Labs. While it might be the first company to actively prepare to provide services to the Treasury DAO, it certainly won’t be the last.

If capitalism has taught us anything, it’s that competition makes businesses strive for innovation and growth. We’re confident the Horizen ecosystem will do the same.

3. Who are Horizen Labs’ major investors?

Horizen Labs raised $4M in a seed round led by Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Liberty City Ventures.

It’s a major vote of confidence for Horizen Labs, considering DCG is probably the most prestigious venture investor in the blockchain ecosystem.

Much of this success is owed to DCG’s founder Barry Silbert. Barry famously invested in Coinbase, BitPay, Xapo, ShapeShift and Circle to name a few, which are some of the biggest players in the cryptosphere.

For any startup, having strong investors is essential. Institutions with sound insights into the space and adequate amounts of capital can make the difference between a company’s success or failure.

Having such strong partners like DCG and Liberty City is great because they know virtually everyone in the ecosystem. Thanks to that, we’ve already had some incredible introductions to design partners to develop enterprise bloc kchain solutions

What does this mean for Crypto Law Insiders?

Enterprise blockchain stands to revolutionize the world we live in by enabling businesses to build distributed ledger solutions that are fast, secure, private and scalable.   

This is undoubtedly the future. But no matter how great the potential, this future is not possible until the development of distributed ledger technology is more accessible to businesses.

Today, Horizen Labs sets out to bridge the technology gap and make distributed ledger technology accessible to businesses across the board. As things progress, I look forward to seeing how Horizen Labs can positively impact the rate of blockchain adoption in the world.

In time, I’ll continue to share more information on my involvement in Horizen Labs as its Chief Operations Officer. Until then, stay tuned for next week’s article as we continue to explore the legal issues facing cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Dean Steinbeck

Dean Steinbeck

Dean Steinbeck, Managing Director of Crypto Law Insider, is the leading authority on legal issues related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies.