Recently, we officially launched Red Horizon. Red Horizon is a project / team at Chorus One that is focused on providing hosting for Urbit ships.
I've written about Urbit a bunch of times before. In January 2022, I wrote a post about why I was interested in Urbit and the possibilities I saw. I was trying to understand Urbit better. I did some tutoring sessions with Matt, who later became an Urbit core developer. I was thinking about what we could do.
Hosting was always an obvious option. If you want to use an Urbit server, most people will need someone else to actually run it for them. So if Urbit succeeds, it seems inevitable that hosting will be a significant market. Hosting was also most aligned with us at Chorus One, because it's an infrastructure focused business. For Chorus One, it's crucial to run infrastructure that is secure, reliable, performant, scalable and efficient. All the same is true for Urbit hosting.
I was thinking about this when I was in New York in May 2022. There was an Urbit week with a variety of small events and meetups. I met ~tiller-tolbus, an Urbit enthusiast living in Florida. He played chess, learned about Urbit, worked a tech support job and lived with his grandfather in a cabin with limited internet.
I hired ~tiller-tolbus at first on a part-time hourly basis to explore Urbit hosting. He has done an incredible job and helped us build a great team. Now, it's almost a year since the start and we have a team of 5 (led by ~tiller-tolbus) that is working on Red Horizon. We have been running Urbit infrastructure for a few months now and are hosting about 250 ships currently. With the launch, it's now also possible for anyone to sign up at redhorizon.com and get on the waitlist. And we are continuously adding more ships. Currently, we do not charge for hosting ships.
Of course, everything is still at the beginning here. Urbit currently has around 2,000 active users. If the ultimate vision is realized, there will some day be hundreds of millions or billions of users. And just for Urbit to result in a viable ecosystem, we likely need millions of active users. We are still far from that.
I'm excited we're here in this early stage and are helping to move the Urbit ecosystem forward. And I'm excited to see how the next years will unfold.