Horizen Community Star Interviews – Laurens!

This post was originally shared on the ZenCash Blog.

The Horizen community is unique, colorful, and full of interesting people. Each month, we feature three individuals who contributed their time and expertise to help us improve various aspects of our project. 

Laurens was featured in our June monthly live stream. He has spent countless hours improving the Horizen Academy content. His contributions have improved the user experience and the overall look and feel of our content. Be sure to check out his work on articles like What is a Blockchain?, A Protocol to Transfer Value, and more! 

About Laurens

Tell us more about your yourself and your background

I emigrated to the USA from Guyana in the winter of 1984. After dropping out of engineering school, I eventually found work as a word processor during the day and attended CUNY’s Hunter College at night. I majored in computer science and graduated in 1995 with a BA. I worked for a couple of years as a network administrator during my junior and senior years, as I had completed Novell’s CNE certification.

I moved to Oakland, CA, in the middle of 1996, and have since lived just off Lake Merritt. I completed an MBA with a concentration in e-business at Cal State Hayward in 2007, and have worked primarily as a systems and network administrator.

I enjoy watching shows about science and history, and reading science fiction and crime thrillers. I follow the F1 and World Endurance racing series, English Premier League soccer (go Chelsea!), track and field, and Grand Slam tennis. I keep in touch with my folks and friends back east by phone and look forward to an almost-annual vacation in the Big Apple.


How did you get into writing?

I thought it would be a good change of pace after I became unable to work full time, largely because I did well in writing courses in college. Over the years, I’ve helped several friends with their college papers, had to write technical documentation for the various systems I managed, and recently collaborated with a friend on an article for the IEEE magazine.

What drew you to blockchain technology?

I was introduced to the industry in late 2017 by Michael, a former colleague of mine, who was following the field closely.  He introduced me to Horizen (ZenCash, at the time) and I became interested after looking at a couple of their then-weekly presentations.  We collaborated on a ZEN mining rig and managed several ZEN/Horizen secure nodes.

Why did you choose to volunteer with Horizen?

I chose to work with Horizen in large part because I expected Michael’s thoughtful and analytical approach to his work would be reflected in the cryptocurrency projects he chose to follow.  After observing the inclusive and candid way the project was being run, and its overall mission, I decided to get involved for two reasons. First, it seemed like a good chance to eventually generate some (mostly) passive income.  Second, the promise of frictionless business that blockchain technology holds in principle, and Horizen’s firmly global perspective of their eventual role, sold me on the project.

Which Horizen Academy article is your favorite and why?

I don’t have a favorite article at this point, perhaps because my focus isn’t on the content per se.  Once I finish reviewing it all and can reread it for content, I’ll be able to answer that question. I’d guess, though, that it would be the “how it works” sections. The emergence of systems is what I find most interesting.


Thank you for your contributions, Laurens! We are glad you chose to join our community. 

Do you know an outstanding Horizen community member? Nominate them for the next Monthly Live Stream! Contact Horusfeathers #0323 on our Discord channel with their name and contact information. 

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