Community Call #3 Recap

Horizon Protocol
14 min readJun 21, 2024


Following the successful launch of Horizon Futures, we hosted our latest community call and AMA session on June 18th. During this session, we shared our progress, discussed future plans, and answered all of your questions. For those who couldn’t join us or prefer to read, we’ve prepared this condensed recap of the key discussions and takeaways. If you’d rather listen to the full recording, you can access it by clicking here.



Product Development

  • Share progress updates on product development.
  • Prioritize items on our roadmap.

Protocol & Ecosystem Growth

  • Discuss the expansion and development of our protocol and ecosystem.

Community Insight

  • Provide updates on community initiatives.
  • Gather feedback on our products.

AMA (Ask Me Anything)

  • Host an open session for community questions.



This recap serves to update you on recent developments and future plans discussed during the call.

The purpose of this community call was to provide insights into our ongoing initiatives and where we’re headed next. We covered updates across three key areas: product development, ecosystem growth, and community insights. Additionally, we addressed community questions to ensure transparency in our operations.

Leading the discussion were Stanton Wong, our Education Director, alongside Lynn, our Communications & Growth Director, and JR, the Community & Ecosystem Lead:

  • Stanton provided detailed updates on our latest product development efforts.
  • Lynn shared insights into our ecosystem’s growth and expansion strategies.
  • JR highlighted key achievements and activities within our community.

Let’s dive into the highlights and key takeaways from that call.

Product Development

1. 1inch Integration

  • Enjoy seamless swaps! Currently, you can directly exchange HZN, zUSD, and zBNB through Horizon Protocol’s UI using 1inch. To take this one step further, we’re advancing to allow deposit of any stablecoin into your margin account, automatically converting it to zUSD for use on Horizon Futures in just one transaction.

2. AI Trading Integration

  • We’re breaking new ground with AI trading! Collaborating with Phoenix Global’s AlphaNet, we’re testing cutting-edge APIs to set the new standard in DeFi by adding fully-featured AI-trading. Unlike others, we’re offering customizable AI trading options, making DeFi more accessible and profitable in the 24/7 market.

Phase 1: Integrate AI indicators directly into our exchange, simplifying trading with real-time signals and off-chain notifications. Explore a marketplace of AI strategies tailored for your needs.

Phase 2: Automate your trading with AI-generated signals. Allocate capital and let our keeper system execute trades based on market insights.

3. Cross-Chain Integration

  • Lowering costs, improving efficiency! We are currently exploring cross-chain solutions to further lower gas fees* and streamline transactions. Expect smoother operations with reduced costs and fewer fluctuations.

4. Referral and Leaderboard

  • Join us on the journey! Introducing referral programs and leaderboards to reward community growth. Earn passive income from trading volumes generated by your referrals. Engage in competitions and earn rewards like NFTs to enhance your trading experience.

5. Token Wrapping, Collateralized Loans, Shorting

  • Enhancing flexibility and improving liquidity! Expand your trading capabilities with features like token wrapping, collateralized loans, and new on/off-ramp options for zUSD through centralized exchanges for added convenience.

These plans are not set in a specific order. Therefore, let us know your priorities! We value your input in shaping Horizon Protocol’s roadmap going forward.

Protocol & Ecosystem Growth

Our Strategy and Unique Value Proposition

  • At Horizon Protocol, our focus is on delivering an exceptional trading experience for both savvy traders and beginners. This includes a user-friendly UI/UX (easy onboarding, fast transactions), robust risk management tools, and efficient transactions — low exchange and gas fees, diverse markets, and reliable liquidity for seamless transactions.
  • Recent feedback from our testnet surveys underscore our strengths in UX/UI and competitive fees. Users appreciate our intuitive account manager and streamlined order process. Next, we’re expanding trading pairs and exploring chains with competitive gas fees.

Scaling and Growth Strategy

  • The mainnet trading competition has been postponed until more trading pairs are added to Horizon Futures. This adjustment aims to enhance the platform’s appeal and strengthen our marketing efforts, which will ramp up in July. Our goal remains to increase awareness of Horizon Futures, drive adoption, and grow our user base and trading volume organically.
  • We’re going to collaborate strategically with influencers to highlight our low fees, intuitive UI, and unique features like RWA and AI trading — catering to both seasoned DeFi users and newcomers.

Long-term Vision

  • Looking ahead, initiatives like social trading, leaderboards, and referral programs will be instrumental in expanding our community reach. These efforts, combined with targeted marketing investments, will help us track our progress and set realistic goals.

Goal Setting and Adaptation

Data-Driven Goals: Our goal-setting process hinges on fee-generation targets and trading volumes per pair. The fee-to-volume ratios fluctuate based on trading pair popularity and fees.

Gathering Data: We need time to run the exchange, collect data, and add pairs to set precise goals.

  • Evaluate performance, conduct A/B testing, and refine goals.
  • Monitor performance and maintain stability. Gradually add more trading pairs.

Future Plans:

  • We’re ramping up influencer marketing.
  • Mainnet trading competition coming in July to attract users.

Join Us

  • We invite you to be part of Horizon Protocol’s journey! Follow us on our social media channels, like, retweet, comment, participate in our upcoming trading competition, and share your feedback.

Community Insights

What follows now is an update on our community’s achievements over the past six months. Your support and engagement have been phenomenal, and we’re grateful for your continued involvement!

  • Our revamped Telegram group has seen a surge in activity, with lively discussions on trading strategies aligning perfectly with our growth plans.
  • Our X (Twitter) account now averages over 3,000 daily impressions and boasts an impressive 5.25% engagement rate. We expect this to grow further with the launch of Horizon Futures and as our roadmap progresses.
  • A big thank you to those who tested Horizon Futures V2 and provided valuable feedback. Your insights are crucial for our user-centered approach and enhancing platform experience.
  • Your contributions to Horizon Improvement Proposals have been invaluable. Keep engaging and shaping our governance proposals.

In our regional communities:

On the ground:

  • Ambassador Erol made impactful connections at the BNB Chain Workshop in Istanbul, representing us in the Turkish crypto ecosystem.
  • Educational Director Stanton engaged at the Pyth and Chainlink events during the Hong Kong Web 3 Festival, forging valuable partnerships.
  • Looking ahead, our ambassadors Erol and Roland will continue to expand our brand presence at upcoming events.

We proudly sponsored:

  • The Blockchain X Istanbul Conference (second edition).
  • The inaugural Web 3 Global Dubai Conference.

Get involved!

  • Engage in lively Telegram discussions and interact on X (Twitter) — like, comment, and RT!
  • Spread the word and invite others to join our community.
  • Provide feedback and proposals on how we can continue to improve, and participate in discussions around Horizon Improvement Proposals.
  • Represent Horizon Protocol at local events, take pictures, and share them on social media. You can reach out to us for support in these endeavors!
  • Participate in our Community Grant Program to receive funding for initiatives that positively impact the Horizon Protocol Community. Together, we can grow the community and expand brand awareness worldwide!Thank you for being an essential part of our community. Your dedication drives us forward, and we’re excited about the achievements we’ll accomplish together in the months ahead!

AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Product Market Fit & Competitiveness

Q: Can you elaborate on the liquidation mechanism? Some are labeled as false, what does this mean? Also, who is performing these liquidations, and what tools are they using?

The distinction between true and false liquidations lies in whether they are initiated by the staker themselves (self-liquidation using HZN) or forced liquidations triggered by someone else due to a low Collateralization Ratio (C-Ratio).

For forced liquidations:

  • Step 1 involves flagging the address, which rewards 100 HZN.
  • Step 2 is the actual liquidation of the address, which rewards 200 HZN.

Regarding the development of a frontend for easier access: Currently, bots execute liquidations much faster than any user can access them through a public interface. Therefore, creating a public interface isn’t beneficial. However, if there is community interest in building their own bots for liquidations, we could provide a bot-building tutorial to assist.

Q: Do we feel that having just zBTC, zETH, and zBNB is sufficient to attract traders to the exchange and generate the necessary volume to make the project and HZN an attractive option to stakers and traders?

We started with zBTC, zETH, and zBNB because they are considered the main blue-chip assets in the crypto space. However, we recognize the need to expand our trading pairs. Therefore, we are postponing the trading competition temporarily to focus on adding more pairs to the Futures exchange. Preferentially, we aim to introduce RWA pairs to differentiate our platform from other protocols. We plan to explore adding these pairs gradually to mitigate potential impacts on the global pool.

Q: After the successful launch of Horizon Futures, what is the plan to add additional stocks/commodities/crypto to the exchange, and how quickly could they be added?

Initially, our focus post-launch will be on ensuring stability on the mainnet. Once we confirm that the system is robust, we will begin gradually adding more trading pairs. Initially, our priority will be adding other cryptocurrencies in small batches. Commodities and fiat currencies will follow, as they are less subject to regulatory challenges. Stocks and equities will be added last due to the careful regulatory oversight from bodies like the SEC. We will closely monitor regulatory developments and transparency requirements in these areas.

For each batch of new assets, we will actively engage the community to participate in the decision-making process regarding which assets to prioritize next.

Q: How does this project fundamentally differ from Synthetix, given concerns about similarities in code and features? What accounts for the time required to develop and deploy new features, considering similarities with SNX?

Before the Futures launch, we initially aligned with Synthetix’s roadmap, but we didn’t simply copy their code. While we studied each update to understand their approach and relevant features, adapting it to our project required modifications as both codebases have become vastly different.

It’s important to note that integrating new code into our existing framework increases complexity, emphasizing the need for top notch quality assurance. Security is especially critical given the involvement of real money, which naturally prolongs development timelines. Additionally, our frontend interface differs entirely from Synthetix’s, designed to optimize user experience on both desktop and mobile platforms, requiring a significant amount of work.

Moving forward, our divergence from Synthetix’s roadmap will become increasingly apparent. Notably, the implementation of AI-trading and our commitment to user-centric design will be very obvious. As the project continues to develop, these distinctions will become more evident from a user’s perspective.

Q: I think the dHedge token that SNX uses to mirror the global debt pool is a great idea. Are there any plans to add something like that soon so stakers can mitigate their staking risk?

This is something we’ve been considering for some time. Recently, SNX deprecated all sAssets except sUSD, streamlining their approach as they focus on their Futures exchange as their core business model. Their decision aims to simplify their global debt pool, thereby reducing risk for stakers who earn from trading fees.

We haven’t committed to a similar strategy yet as we want to continue exploring how we can leverage our exchange for other use cases. For example, if we remove zAssets, we won’t be able to integrate into DEX aggregators, such as 1inch.

While dHedge remains under consideration, it’s not currently a high priority as we explore alternative solutions and future directions.


Q: Any plans to reduce the circulating supply?

In our current structure, all trading fees are allocated to stakers. Looking ahead, we’re exploring additional mechanisms like a referral program or fee distribution system to support project sustainability. One potential approach is directing a portion of fees towards a buyback program, which could reduce the circulating supply. These decisions will be governed through our multi-signature system and Horizon Improvement Proposals (HIPs), ensuring community involvement.

Beyond these considerations, our tokenomics model is set. The inflation rate naturally decreases over time, and these parameters are currently unchanged. Adjustments to these structures could be considered through future HIPs, although this is not a primary focus at present.

Q: What is the mechanism for printing new zUSD to pay profits on Futures trades? What is the impact on global debt holders?

The mechanism for printing new zUSD to settle profits on Horizon Futures trades is tied to the fluctuations in the global debt pool, which includes various zAssets. Unlike Synthetix (SNX), which is consolidating to a single synthetic asset (sUSD), our platform accommodates a number of zAssets. Each staker holds a percentage of this pool, which expands or contracts based on trading activities. When the pool grows in value, stakers in a way may be losing out a bit, whereas contractions can benefit stakers.

We want to mitigate this risk by having trading fees become high enough for it to become the primary income source for traders, minimizing reliance on these fluctuations. Moving forward, we aim to further reduce this risk while enhancing the stability of the platform.

Q: Will a part of the transaction fees on the Horizon Futures exchange go to the stakers? If so, what percentage?

All trading fees on the Horizon Futures exchange currently go entirely to stakers, a policy consistent across both the Spot and Futures exchanges.

The revenue is allocated to stakers, providing each participant with a percentage of the total earnings. This allocation is distributed in the form of ‘zUSD debt forgiven,’ which seamlessly integrates with the weekly HZN rewards. The distribution is determined by the staker’s proportional share of debt in the global debt market.

You can check out this article on Horizon Academy to learn more on how this works.

Looking ahead, we are considering implementing a distribution system to potentially allocate a portion of these trading fees. This could support various initiatives such as incentivizing influencers who bring users to the platform, supporting the development team, or contributing to a buyback program aimed at reducing the circulating supply. Any such decision will go through a community engagement process first.

Project sustainability and business model

Q: Another item I would like to see addressed is the long term viability of the project. How long can you continue to fund development if the price of HZN stays at a low level?

At the current burning rate and with the lower token price, we have projected a runway of over three years, providing us with substantial flexibility for ongoing development. However, with our forthcoming ramp-up in marketing efforts, we are confident in the continuation of project developments. Our team has diligently prepared in the background for the launch of Horizon Futures, so exciting times are ahead.

With the launch of Horizon Futures, we can now focus on developing revenue-generating features such as AI-trading, cross-chain interoperability, a referral system, and more, all of which will significantly enhance the project’s value proposition.

Exchange listings

Q: Was the Bitrue listing the exchange that was planned for and mentioned in 2023? Or was that a different exchange that we still plan to list on?

The Bitrue listing was an additional exchange listing separate from the one mentioned in 2023. Regarding the other exchange, it’s important to manage expectations — don’t expect too much from the other one, it won’t be a groundbreaking exchange. This listing was originally agreed upon three or four years ago, but it was delayed until now due to the lack of a substantial marketing push. Without proper promotion, announcing it earlier would have resulted in it being overshadowed by other listings. Now, with our upcoming intensive marketing campaigns, it’s the opportune time to announce it and increase awareness of the project.

Q: When will the other CEX be announced, and are we planning more listings soon?

Regarding a timeframe for the other CEX listing, expect it to be sometime in the next 2 months.

After both listings have been completed we will start to approach higher tier CEXs, because the additional midtier CEX listings will give us more leverage to negotiate with them.

Q: Is it possible to get zUSD listed on an exchange?

We are actively looking at this. This process would require us to provide liquidity for it, which will require additional effort. However, listing zUSD would facilitate easier access to our protocol and introduce an additional use case for our stablecoin.

Growth & Marketing

Q: When can we expect more marketing, and cooperation with influencers?

We are currently ramping up our marketing efforts and finalizing our list of influencer partnerships. Starting next month, you can expect to see increased activities on platforms like X (Twitter), with a focus on DeFi trading channels.

Q: What are the marketing plans upon the release of Horizon Futures?

Following the release of Horizon Futures, our marketing strategy will align closely with promotional events and new feature launches, including trading competitions and AI-trading initiatives. We aim to sustain a steady increase in marketing activities as the platform optimizes its offerings, ensuring consistent engagement rather than a singular, large-scale campaign.

Q: In my opinion the most important question: How are we attracting new traders to the exchange?

Agreed! It is important for us to build up our user base of traders. Which is why our initial launch is going to focus on project awareness and increasing the number of traders. The second stage will be to increase the trading volume.

  • Short-term focus: Leveraging influencers from X (Twitter) to promote our product’s utility and benefits, such as low fees, a smooth UI, and unique features like RWA and AI-trading bots, which will differentiate us from competitors.
  • Long-term focus: Work on referral marketing before going full speed on influencer marketing so that they have a real incentive to market us.
  • We will be utilizing channels such as YouTube, which are more costly than X (Twitter) but give us a way to track the Cost Per User more efficiently.

Q: Do you have any targets for attracting new users to the futures exchange? What are your volume targets? Are there specific goals set for evaluating the performance of marketing efforts over time?

Our primary objective is to generate sufficient fees to support long-term project development. Currently, our focus is on increasing fee generation by promoting protocol usage. Fee generation is influenced by trading volume and maker/taker fees across various trading pairs available on our platform.

At this stage, we lack adequate data and sufficient trading pairs to establish precise targets. Therefore, we need time to operate the exchange, introduce additional trading pairs with balanced fees, and evaluate their performance following an initial promotional campaign. We will conduct further testing on promotional strategies and marketing efforts to refine our goals.

Based on research from similar projects, initial monthly volumes typically ranged from 400K to 800K. Larger projects, such as APEX by Bybit, achieved volumes of 16M within the first two weeks. However, these figures should be approached cautiously, as reported volumes can be made up by market making.

Our overarching aim remains focused on sustainable fee generation. As we gather more data, we will provide updates on our progress in expanding and promoting our futures exchange, setting clear goals along the way.

LIVE Questions

Q: Regarding AI-trading: do we need to be stakers on PHB to make use of AI?

We are currently in discussions with them regarding this matter. We haven’t reached a firm agreement yet on how this will work. At the very least, we will be receiving discounts. There are two probable scenarios:

  1. Implementing a mechanism to stake PHB on HZN so you have everything in one place for easy access.
  2. PHB may allow us to access the bot for a certain period of time for free, with all Horizon Protocol traders gaining free access during this period.

We cannot guarantee anything at this stage as discussions are ongoing, but these possibilities are currently being considered.

Q: How close are you to the Binance team?

We’ve discovered over the past few years that Binance has significant turnover. Many individuals join and leave quickly, making it challenging to establish lasting relationships unless you happen to connect with someone who has been there for an extended period.


In conclusion, this community call provided valuable insights into Horizon Protocol’s latest developments across product development, ecosystem growth, and community updates. We appreciate everyone who joined us and contributed to the discussion. Remember, you can always revisit this recap for any details you might have missed. Stay connected, stay informed, and keep an eye out for our next updates. Thank you for being part of our journey!

You can access the full audio recording by clicking here.

Horizon Protocol is a decentralized derivatives trading and liquidity protocol providing decentralized access to the real-world economy through synthetic assets. Through Horizon Protocol, users can access swaps and perpetual futures of RWA (real-world assets), including fiat currencies (i.e., USD, EUR, JPY), and commodities (i.e., gold, silver).

By leveraging a peer-to-pool model, Horizon Protocol offers DeFi traders low fees, deep liquidity, and zero slippage when trading borderless synthetic assets. Our focus on seamless UI/UX and educational content empowers our community to harness the full potential of DeFi derivatives.