Rebranding is a strategy in which the corporate image of a company or organization is changed. This could include the name, term, logo, design, or a combination of these. The essence of this change is to provide a new look and feel for the company or the company’s products and services. This is not just for marketing, but also to wrap the identity of the company or organization with its new goals and vision.
The blockchain industry has been in existence for over a decade. Initially, blockchain projects had brands that identified with the blockchain and the replacement of cash. But with time, it became obvious that the crypto revolution is not just about replacing cash but about building a new ecosystem for the financial system.
Several blockchain projects have rebranded successfully. Some examples are Antshares rebranding into NEO and Raiblocks rebranding into NANO. On August 22, 2018, ZenCash announced its own brand expansion.
From ZenCash to Horizen
ZenCash is a fork of Zclassic, which is a fork of Zcash. It was launched on May 23, 2017, and it is basically used to send secure and anonymous transactions, messages, and publishing. It is similar to Bitcoin in that it uses Proof-of-Work consensus and has an eventual supply of 21 million coins. The ticker symbol is ZEN, and it is a mineable cryptocurrency using the equihash algorithm.
ZenCash’s recent announcement includes a change in name from ZenCash to Horizen. The ticker symbol ZEN remains the same, hence why it was called a brand expansion.
In the words of the President and Cofounder, Robert Viglione:
The ZenCash project has greatly evolved since its inception more than a year ago, and it’s now time to expand our brand to more accurately reflect our mission to promote the fundamental human right of privacy worldwide. What initially launched as a privacy-focused cryptocurrency has transformed into a much broader and deeply capable platform that will host a variety of privacy-focused applications, including secure messaging and publishing.
He goes on to express his vision under the new brand:
The Horizen brand completely embodies our technically-innovative mission and the sentiments of our community — we are a visionary privacy platform in which people can believe and to which they can belong.
This change is not just in name, logo, tagline, and color schemes. This is corroborated by the introduction of some new features that bring life to the new brand. Some notable features include censorship-resistant publishing, ability to develop privacy-based applications, and a treasury voting system allowing community members to vote on work proposals.
The project is also looking to create a ZenVault wallet and develop blockDAG protocols for better scalability.
On June 3, 2018, ZenCash suffered what appeared to be a 51% double-spend attack, where the hacker got away with about 23,000 ZEN coins. An interim short-term approach to preventing another attack was set in place shortly afterward, which is increasing the number of confirmations.
A more comprehensive solution proposed by the ZenCash team is a penalty system for a delayed block submission, which will be released on the network when fully tested. This piece of recent history matters, and may have fueled the decision to rebrand, as the blockchain project looks to move forward and put the reality of this attack behind them.
Also, the blockchain underwent a software upgrade (which is actually a hard fork) on July 19, 2018, which saw the implementation of Zen 2.0.14. A notable feature of this upgrade is the deployment of Super Nodes. This upgrade also sees a change in mining rewards, as 70% of rewards now go to miners, 10% to super node operators, 10% to secure nodes and 10% to the treasury.
The improvements from this upgrade set the pace for the remarkable project that the brand expansion now portrays.
It must be noted that this brand expansion does not affect ZEN coins. There are no changes to the address or the technology running the Horizen system. Some wallets may still bear the old name and logo for a while, but those will eventually be changed. The brand expansion also does not affect the mining pools.
Horizen is a privacy coin, and privacy is a major aspect of the cryptocurrency world. While privacy (in financial transactions) is currently frowned at by various governments and regulators today, it remains for some a fundamental human right. It is not really about having something to hide – rather, it is about keeping and holding dear one’s private information and digital identity.
A number of cryptocurrencies like Monero and Zcash are already established in the sphere, but Horizen is positioning itself to be a major player in the sphere. The major difference of ZEN is the support for SegWit.
Related: Top 8 Privacy Coins