Grayscale Investments, the company behind the Bitcoin Investment Trust, has recently made a $6.3 million bet on a privacy-centric cryptocurrency called Horizen, which was previously known as ZenCash (ZEN).
According to a press release Grayscale bought ZEN tokens to launch a Zen Investment Fund which, like its other financial products, tracks one underlying currency. The firm’s goal is to sell the fund’s shares to investors.
Grayscale is notably a part of Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, and launches crypto investment funds for investors, which it manages for a fee. These allow them to invest in the underlying cryptocurrency markets, without worrying about securing their own cryptos.
According to Fortune, the company decided to invest in Horizen as it’s a privacy-centered cryptocurrency that, just like Zcash (ZEC), uses “zero knowledge proofs” which let users reveal a transaction occurred, without adding any additional information.
While the firm already has a Zcash investment trust, its co-founder Rob Viglione noted Horizen's privacy features and services may be used for “services such as messaging and media sharing.” Speaking to the publication, he added he hopes privacy-conscious organizations will adopt Horizen “for sensitive activities.”
Since Zcash is also a privacy-centric crypto, Viglione noted he believes Horizen made a breakthrough in side-chain technology, which would help its network scale to accommodate large amounts of transactions more efficiently than those of Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale’s managing director, added:
We've been very impressed with the Horizen team and its vision for ZEN as a leading privacy coin. Grayscale is at the forefront of asset management in this emerging industry, and we will continue to offer our clients access to the most interesting blockchain projects in the world.
The Zen Investment Trust, just like the other fund Grayscale launched, will initially be available to accredited investors because of regulatory constraints. It will then be trading on public markets, along with the Bitcoin Investment Trust.
From ZenCash to Horizen
Horizen, known as ZenCash before rebranding, started through a fork of the Zclassic (ZCL) blockchain. Zclassic itself was a fork of the popular privacy-centric cryptocurrency Zcash, which features the zero-knowledge proofs.
ZenCash had been gaining popularity in the past few months. As CryptoGlobe covered it surged over 40% back in May after being listed on leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, and saw its adoption grow in June when leading porn website Pornhub added it as a payment method.
Its rebrand came shortly after the cryptocurrency saw hackers manage to hit it with a 51% attack and use it to falsify transactions. Per Viglione, the Horizen team has added a “new penalty system” that will make these attacks impossible in the future. At press time, ZEN is trading at $17.53 after rising nearly 11% in the last 24-hour period, according to CryptoCompare data.