Community Call #2 Recap — 2024 Outlook, Tokenomics, AMA Answers

Horizon Protocol
14 min readJan 26, 2024

On January 18th, we held a community call covering crucial protocol matters like our 2024 objectives, roadmap ideas, tokenomics, and AMA responses. The community provided valuable feedback and suggestions. If you missed the call or want to review it, you can listen to the full recording. For those who prefer reading, we’ve prepared a recap to keep you informed about the key discussions from the session. Let’s delve into the main highlights and key takeaways.

Agenda

  • Kick-Off
  • Reflecting On 2023
  • 2024 Outlook
  • Objectives
  • Product
  • Community
  • Protocol & Ecosystem Growth
  • Tokenmonics Discussion
  • AMA: Answering Questions
  • Closing

Kick-Off

The call was hosted by our Education Director, Stanton. He was joined by Lynn, our Communications & Growth Director, and JR, the Community & Ecosystem Lead.

Reflecting on the past year, our focus has been on fortifying our foundation through dedicated efforts. We’ve worked tirelessly on smart contracts development, undergone multiple revamps of our frontend for an enhanced user experience, and fostered strong connections with valued partners. The challenges faced during the bear market have provided us with invaluable experiences, shaping our strategies and reinforcing our resilience — wisdom in the face of adversity.

As we transition into 2024, our focus has shifted from mere survival to thriving. The bull market brings forth new challenges, and we are prepared to confront them head-on. Our objective goes beyond navigating market noise; we aspire to ascend above it and position ourselves competitively among the top projects in the space.

During the community call, we engaged in open dialogue and collaboration to propel ourselves forward. This recap serves as a comprehensive overview of the insights gained and progress made during the call.

Reflecting On 2023

In 2023, we achieved notable milestones and growth across various metrics:

Key Metrics

  • Token Holders: 10,530, with an annual growth rate of +10%
  • Stakers: 1,333, demonstrating a +5% annual growth rate
  • TVL (Total Value Locked): Currently at $4.8 million, showcasing a +80% growth. Our project is currently among the top 5 in DefiLlama derivatives on the BNB chain, and holds the 33rd position across all chains.
  • X (Twitter) Impressions: The average daily views for 2023 reached 2.6, reflecting a 65% year-over-year increase. Importantly, this growth was organic and with a slight decrease in engagement.
  • Exchange Volume: In 2023, our spot trading volume hit $1.5 million, contributing to a total of $1.9 million. With over 250 unique traders, there’s evident potential for further growth.

Product

In 2023, our product development milestones included the successful launch of a new Unified UI Beta, the completion of a PeckShield audit for the V2 smart contract, further securing our protocol through multi-sig, and initiating the Hacken Bounty program.

Additionally, we conducted two testnet launches, each introducing innovative features. The first testnet for V2 brought new elements such as simplified tracking of debt through Debt Shares, a versatile mechanism for liquidation, and an automated weekly zUSD debt forgiveness system. Notably, dynamic exchange fees for spot trading were introduced to enable direct swaps between any zAsset, and eliminating oracle waiting periods.

The second testnet focused on the Horizon Futures exchange, prioritizing competitive fees, deep liquidity, and a user-friendly interface. The UI for the Horizon Futures exchange incorporated comprehensive in-chart visualizations, allowing users to track buy and sell history, view and close orders directly, and monitor real-time position input, average entry, and liquidation prices.

The response to the Futures exchange has been enthusiastic, with users experiencing up to a 1400% ROI. Valuable feedback from users has played a crucial role in refining the user experience and addressing any bugs. These developments mark a significant step forward for Horizon Protocol.

Community

Our shared journey, both online and offline, has been marked by impactful moments in the crypto world. From July to December, we actively participated in four regional community-oriented online events. This concerted effort resulted in remarkable growth, expanding our Turkish community to 550 members and the Spanish-speaking community to over 120 members — a 300% growth for each community.

Beyond the digital realm, we immersed ourselves in real-world events, attending five major crypto conferences in Turkey and Latin America. A notable highlight was our sponsorship of Blockchain X Istanbul and Blockchain Jungle Costa Rica. At the latter, we proudly joined the Web3 Panel as speakers, contributing to the global discourse on blockchain technology.

Expressing gratitude to our community, we acknowledge the active involvement in shaping Horizon Improvement Proposals. Your valuable feedback and suggestions contributed significantly to the development of the Unified User Interface, now available in the staging version. Special appreciation extends to those providing insights for the ongoing testnet version of Horizon Futures — your contributions have been pivotal in shaping the protocol’s progress throughout the year.

Protocol & Ecosystem Growth

Looking back on 2023 and our protocol’s growth, a key takeaway has been the importance of collaboration in our space. We proudly announced a successful partnership with Wombat Exchange, facilitating the migration of our zUSD and zBNB pools. This collaboration extends to Magpie and Wombex, collectively optimizing liquidity through an enhanced yield strategy for our community. In a span of just over three months, our zUSD liquidity TVL has skyrocketed to 619K, with zBNB closely following at 110K.

Opportunities Ahead

Looking ahead, we recognize the invaluable contribution of our community and envision an opportunity to create a trader-centric environment. This includes increased interaction through Horizon Space talks, podcasts, and various social engagement activities. A dedicated channel specifically for traders will further support our goal of fostering a thriving and engaged community. These achievements and upcoming opportunities collectively guide our journey as we navigate the dynamic landscape of 2024.

Looking Forward To 2024

Objectives

As we enter 2024, our vision and mission for Horizon Protocol are shaped by the reflections and lessons learned from 2023. We are eager to share critical objectives and ideas for the protocol, emphasizing our openness to criticism and suggestions, as we collaboratively work towards achieving our goals.

Our primary mission centers around providing the community with a derivative powerhouse with UI simplicity. This involves expanding derivative options such as futures/spot trading, staking, borrowing, hedging, diversifying portfolios, and introducing one-click arbitrage. The platform acts as a gateway, enabling users to access the real-world economy through secure and efficient synthetic assets. Additionally, we aim to enhance HZN accessibility through centralized exchanges (CEX) listings or fiat on/off ramps to ensure a smoother onboarding experience for users.

We are dedicated to constructing a top-tier decentralized perpetual futures exchange. Beyond offering deep liquidity with self-custody and low fees, we aspire to introduce cutting-edge features such as AI trading, details of which can be found in the product section.

A pivotal aspect of our strategy involves positioning our Futures exchange as the primary revenue source for the protocol and stakers. This approach not only sustains the protocol but also stimulates growth within our ecosystem.

Finally, integral to our mission is the expansion of our community by attracting and inviting more traders to our platform. We firmly believe that growing a community focused on trading not only benefits individual traders but also contributes to the overall success of our ecosystem.

Product

Mainnet Release Schedule

The eagerly anticipated mainnet release is scheduled to unfold in two stages:

  • Stage 1:
    On January 29th, we plan to release V2 on the mainnet, initiating a stability test for the system. During this update, the system will experience a temporary downtime, details of which can be found here.
  • Stage 2:
    Following the initial release, we’re excited to introduce the Horizon Futures exchange together with stop loss and limit order functionalities, responding to popular community requests.

2024 Roadmap

In tandem with the mainnet releases, our focus for 2024 includes several key initiatives:

  • Lightning Speed Transactions: Implementing lightning speed transactions, enhancing the transaction speed to 5x to 10x faster across the entire protocol. Already live on the testnet, this will make transactions seem instantaneous from the user’s perspective.
  • Stop Loss & Limit Orders: Recognizing the essential nature of stop loss and limit orders in futures trading, we’re actively working on their integration to ensure responsible and secure futures trading.
  • AI Trading: Pioneering AI-featured trading in the decentralized space, we’re proud to partner with AlphaNet by Phoenix Global, setting a new standard for AI trading in the market.
  • Easier Onramps: Introducing Loans and token wrappers to offer new DeFi onramps to zAssets, simplifying the process and increasing overall liquidity. Users can directly convert assets like BNB to zBNB without the need to first buy HZN.

Ongoing Explorations

As we continue to evolve Horizon Protocol, several exciting avenues are currently being explored:

  • Introducing an intermediate contract wallet for enhanced margin management. This system will interact with protocol contracts, enabling limit orders and stop loss functionalities. Additionally, it holds potential for introducing quality-of-life features such as using alternative forms of collateral and automated conversion to zUSD via DEX.
  • While actively exploring cross-chain options, our current focus remains on the protocol’s enhancements. Chainlink CCIP is under consideration due to our existing collaboration with their other products, namely Chainlink Oracle and Chainlink Automation.
  • We are also looking into various social programs, one of which is a referral program. This would allow advocates to earn passive income from referrals, contributing to the growth of the protocol.
  • Another feature that is being explored, and which is already being water tested on the testnet and trading competition, is social trading, including leaderboards. Future plans include copy trading, offering insights into successful trading strategies for educational purposes.

Community

We will be kicking off by launching Horizon Academy V2, an upgraded educational platform providing comprehensive resources, tutorials, and DeFi insights. We’re expanding language support, starting with Turkish, and welcome suggestions for additional languages. You can reach out to our team through our socials.

To foster dynamic conversations, our Telegram Group is undergoing a revamp with dedicated channels for specific topics. Similar changes are anticipated on Discord, aiming to extend market-oriented discussions within our trading community.

We’re exploring alternative voting mechanisms to enhance inclusivity in decision-making. Encouraging the creation and discussion of HIPs by the community is a priority. Evaluation of the Horizon Ranger Program and consideration of a grant initiative to support community-driven activities are also in progress, seeking input from the community.

In 2024, we plan to attend at least 4 large blockchain events and host at least 8 Telegram AMAs for regional communities. We encourage community members to represent Horizon Protocol in local meetups and conferences, offering support and resources. Strengthening partnerships remains a focal point, aiming for participation in at least 20 online events during the year.

Community involvement is key. Share your suggestions for new languages, propose voting mechanisms, and recommend potential collaborations with projects aligning with Horizon Protocol. The year ahead holds exciting opportunities, and your input is invaluable in shaping the growth and influence of our community within the DeFi landscape.

Protocol & Ecosystem Growth

As we look ahead to 2024, we’re excited about our collaboration with Phoenix’s Alphanet, aiming to set a new standard for AI trading in the decentralized world. Additionally, we’re actively partnering with Pyth Network to enhance trading speed and with Hacken to bolster security for our V2. Other integrations, such as Space ID, are in progress to elevate the overall user experience.

In ongoing discussions with our community, we’re exploring the redirection of our HZN to PancakeSwap bribes via Cakepie. This strategic move not only offers LPs the potential for equivalent or greater rewards in CAKE tokens but also serves as a catalyst for project awareness. The objective is to attract PancakeSwap’s and Cakepie’s user base to the HZN token and the Horizon Protocol Ecosystem. For more details, you can find information about this HIP on Horizon Academy or listen to our AMA with Cakepie. Feel free to drop your questions in our TG or Discord groups.

In line with our objectives to increase accessibility for HZN and zAssets, we’re pleased to announce another centralized exchange listing, bringing our total to two listings. Active discussions with fiat on/off ramp providers are also underway to provide users with a smoother onboarding experience.

Turning our attention to the product release schedule, we plan to allocate our marketing budget to social media, publications, and influencers upon the mainnet release of Futures. The strategic listing of the exchange is planned during the early stages of our marketing campaign, ensuring a well-coordinated and impactful launch. Trading competitions remain a focal point, engaging more traders on our platform before the rollout of our referral program.

Tokenmonics Discussion

Inflation is often perceived negatively for its impact on savings, especially affecting specific groups. However, in a decentralized system like HZN, inflation is evenly spread among all ecosystem contributors, ensuring value preservation by fueling protocol growth.

Currently, HZN maintains a low annual inflation rate of 9.5%, down from its initial 30%. About 30–40% of the weekly inflation distribution consistently supports liquidity pool providers. We’re exploring changes to benefit our stakers more, considering a potential shift from liquidity pools to HZN stakers for rewards.

Our partnership with Wombat offers liquidity providers the chance to potentially earn more through their bribe system and yield aggregators. Collaboration with Magpie and PancakeSwap’s team, Cakepie, is underway. The DeFi ecosystem is always evolving, and we will keep monitoring the LPs and make adjustments to ensure the best outcome for the protocol and stakers.

The primary long-term goal is widespread adoption and achieving yearly objectives, with the Futures exchange playing a pivotal role as the primary revenue source. As success unfolds, we remain flexible to adjust inflation and possibly explore the introduction of a burning system for zUSD. This could involve using a percentage of fees to buy back HZN, subsequently burning it.

In summary, our focus is on fostering adoption, meeting yearly objectives, and maintaining adaptability in managing inflation. The exploration of buy-back and burning systems is geared towards ensuring sustained success.

AMA: Answering Questions

Listing:

  • Are there any listings on the top 20 exchanges recently?
  • Any plan to put HZN on other big exchanges?
  • On which exchanges will we list Horizon Protocol in 2024? Any chance to list on Binance?
  • Will there be some decent CEX listing after releasing Horizon Futures exchange?

Our primary goal is to secure a listing on Binance, which comes with specific challenges. Tier 1 exchanges, including Binance, have stringent requirements such as high fees, substantial volume, and activity requirements. Initial fees are only one part of the challenge; sustaining the requirements is crucial. Most tier 1 exchanges have volume and activity thresholds, and failing to meet these could result in delisting. So you could get listed after spending a certain sum, and get delisted a few months later.

As advised by several projects, our approach involves securing listings on tier 2/3 exchanges initially. This stepwise strategy allows us to establish a stable presence before tackling the demands of tier 1 exchanges. We’ve already planned listings on two exchanges in 2024, with an aim for two more before pursuing tier 1. This cautious approach ensures a sustainable and well-coordinated progression, particularly in the dynamic landscape of crypto exchanges.

Growth & Marketing:

  • What are the plans in a short time to increase volume and liquidity, and will the APY be higher?
  • When do we start to have more exposure? Such as marketing and new exchanges?
  • After the futures release, how are we going to make the project and exchange known to the public?

With the shift to a bullish market, marketing efforts such as social media, partnerships and co-branding become a lot more impactful. Besides that, one of our main infrastructures, the Horizon Future exchange, needs to be completed and pushed onto mainnet, along with features like stop-loss and limit orders. These will be pivotal. Furthermore, trading competitions, copy trading, and increased exposure through marketing initiatives are planned post-Futures release.

Pricing:

  • Do you see HZN in the top 500 next year?
  • What is the expectation for the price of HZN at the end of 2024? Do the year’s plan and objectives reflect an increase in market cap?

Our goal is to reach the top 500, but success depends on market conditions, marketing effectiveness, and exposure building. Predicting the price is challenging, but the focus is on steady growth and surpassing the top 500.

Product:

  • Is everything going as planned?
  • Can we consider holding the futures launch until stop loss is available? That feature is really critical to having a viable functioning futures exchange.
  • Any plan to increase the count of zAssets?

Development is progressing as planned, with some unforeseen complexities. Stop-loss and limit order features are essential for the Futures exchange, requiring significantly more logic and contracts to implement, and subsequently a margin management system has to be developed to address these issues and more. These are things that aren’t initially planned for development.

The count of zAssets will increase as we have even more options now with our partnerships with both Chainlink and Pyth. We expect some movement regarding this as we get closer to the Futures mainnet launch.

Applications:

  • You guys have an amazing UI and website, so my question is do you plan on launching an application so that the ease of entry is even easier? Or to make it easier. Are you guys going to just make an application that people can download to trade and stake and learn?
  • If you guys are looking to launch an application, what would the timeframe be on something like that?
  • Do you ever plan on making an Android/Apple application to make using the protocol very easy?

Consideration for a centralized application is ongoing, weighing the benefits of user experience against full decentralization. Integrating wallet features into an app might enhance exposure and user experience, a great suggestion which is under consideration for 2024.

Project Advantage:

  • How do you plan on competing with other protocols that are in a similar space? For example, StrikeX, Synthetics, and etc.

Horizon Futures aims for low fees, diversified assets through partnerships, and unique features like AI trading and one-click arbitrage. Collaborations with Chainlink and Pyth further enhance market access. All of this positions us well competitively.

Speed:

  • Will the team expand in the future if we get growth that we are expecting? Just saying this because it seems like things take a very long time to accomplish compared to other protocols.
  • As everything is going slowly, isn’t it a good idea to increase the team to have more results?

Especially when handling smart contracts involving real money, it’s crucial to be cautious in building the pieces. Imagine putting together the entire code in a week; you’d need at least two months for thorough review, internal tests, and launching external testnet. Development involves more than just coding; it requires meticulous planning, effective communication between teams, and extensive testing to ensure everything works seamlessly. This is one reason why development takes time.

Moreover, Horizon Protocol is one of the more complex projects, featuring over 200 contracts behind the scenes. Unlike meme coins that can copy code for quick launches, our structure demands a more thoughtful and comprehensive development process. Comparing our development speed to other projects is challenging due to the multifaceted nature of Horizon.

For those less familiar with software development, adding new team members is not a quick fix. Each person requires time for acclimatization, learning the codebase, and understanding the intricacies of our development. A new team member typically takes 3–6 months to become fully onboarded. The gradual ramp-up and the importance of finding the right fit contribute to the time invested.

While development progress may seem slow externally, the team is actually working quite fast compared to other projects. However, a significant portion of our speed is behind the scenes, addressing the complexities of our project.

Closing

Thank you for taking the time to read through all the updates. We’re excited about the journey ahead in 2024 and we hope you are too! Stay connected, stay informed, and together let’s make this the best year yet!

Horizon Protocol is a DeFi platform that facilitates the on-chain trading of synthetic assets that represent the real economy. Horizon Protocol seeks to provide exposure to real-world assets risk/return profiles via smart contracts on the blockchain.

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Horizon Protocol

A DeFi platform facilitating the creation of on-chain synthetic assets representing the real economy. https://horizonprotocol.com/