About the Zcash Foundation

The Zcash Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on financial privacy. We build and support privacy infrastructure for the public good, primarily serving users of the Zcash protocol and blockchain.

Our Mission

Per our 501(c)3 application, the Zcash Foundation’s mission is to be a public charity dedicated to building internet payment and privacy infrastructure for the public good, primarily serving the users of the Zcash protocol and blockchain. Our activities span three main pillars:

Community

We support the transition of Zcash into a large and healthy community with diverse stakeholders, held accountable to its userbase in the broadest sense. Our activities include sponsoring a conference for developers, miners, and other community members, to help jump start the conversation. We also plan to organize mailing lists that give voice to groups of stakeholders that might not otherwise have them.

Our own governance structure is designed especially with public transparency in mind (as specified in the section on values). So that the Foundation can be effectively held accountable to the community we serve.

Protocol and Governance

The Zcash protocol and the open network it powers is valuable, privacy-protecting Internet infrastructure; it should be developed and maintained by an open and diverse community of experts and enthusiasts, and it should remain always a tool for financial privacy available to the general public.

We will act as stewards of the Zcash protocol, providing leadership and supporting its continued maintenance and improvement.

We will offer responsive leadership when changes are necessary on short notice, such as a hard fork to resist an attack.

We will help coordinate on upgrades to the protocol. This can include organizing soft forks, organizing hard forks, and helping to conduct “ceremonies” such as parameter generation (should more of those be necessary).

Science

Technical decisions are best supported by scientific activities, such as rigorous validation, empirical measurement, and continued innovation and refinement. We will therefore support these activities within our community. All cryptocurrencies, but especially Zcash, rely on cutting-edge contributions from the scientific research community, thus interaction with this community can also help the community stay healthy.

We will encourage this scientific research and educate the public regarding the substance and benefits of these scientific developments.

Our Values

  • Transparency. We are committed to being accountable to the community. Our policies, significant decisions and their rationale, and software shall all be publicly visible. We will strive to accurately and accessibly communicate the security properties of Zcash and of proposed changes.

  • Inclusivity. The Zcash ecosystem consists of many subcommunities, such as end-users, developers, miners, exchanges, traders and researchers, in many countries and cultures. They should all be given a voice within the Zcash community and the Foundation’s deliberations.

  • Privacy. Privacy is an important human right, and the Foundation will work to enable users to control their own financial privacy.

  • Decentralization. We will strive to make the Zcash protocol and network decentralized, avoiding the placement of trust or granting of capabilities to any single party (assigned or emergent). Whenever current technology does not achieve perfect decentralization, we will seek to minimize, monitor and mitigate centralization.

  • Humility. The Foundation will not seek to place itself in a position of control over the Zcash community. The Foundation will not hold privileged information about Zcash transactions (beyond what is observable by anyone from the public blockchain or disclosures outside the blockchain), nor hold or create capabilities for acquiring such knowledge.

  • Cognizance. We strive to make well-informed and well-reasoned decisions, recognizing the vast body of knowledge offered by research and the experience of other cryptocurrencies.

  • Innovation. The Foundation shall support research and development to improve Zcash. It will strive to incorporate such progress into the Zcash protocol and software, while mindful of stability and security.

  • Cooperation with other cryptocurrencies. No “coin” is an island unto itself, and the success and acceptance of cryptocurrencies are intertwined. We will strive to collaborate with other cryptocurrencies’ communities in areas of mutual interest.

The Zcash Foundation is a nonprofit organization registered in the state of Delaware.

Peruse our legal documents at the following links:

Team

Board of Directors

  • Andrew Miller (Chair, President) • Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an associate director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts.
  • Peter Van Valkenburgh (Secretary) • Director of Research at Coin Center, a nonprofit organization focused on research, education, and advocacy on the intersection of policy and cryptocurrencies.
  • Matthew Green • Associate Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University, and one of the authors of the original Zerocash research paper.
  • Amber Baldet • CEO of Clovyr, former JPMorgan Blockchain Program Lead, and co-creator of a zero-knowledge settlement layer for enterprise Ethereum.
  • Ian Miers • Postdoc studying computer security and applied cryptography at Cornell Tech, and one of the creators of Zcash.

Former members:

  • Naval Ravikant • Founder and CEO of AngelList, and one of the venture capital investors behind Zcash.
  • Yan Zhu • Senior Software Engineer at Brave and security researcher.

Employees

  • Josh Cincinnati • Executive Director of the Foundation, and an active member of the cryptocurrency community.
  • Antonie Hodge • Operations Director of the Zcash Foundation. Also serves as Operations Director at Coin Center.
  • Sonya Mann • Communications Manager for the Foundation and a former tech journalist.

Contact

If you have any questions, please email contact@zfnd.org.