2018 Form 990

Mr. Josh Cincinnati of Zcash Foundation has engaged in a power grab, using as the vehicle the debate regarding the Founder Rewards after Oct 2020. The motivation is very transparent, as Josh wants to continue his empire building, by grabbing half of the future “dev fee”, or as he says, ‘disbursed equally across recipient nonprofits’. There is an undeniable conflict of interest here, perhaps even blatant self-dealing, and I implore the Foundation Board and all the stakeholders to reign him in.

Per blog posts, the Foundation positioned itself as the arbiter for the range of topics to be decided and the rule maker for the format of the discussion. Meanwhile they (Josh) have immediately put down specific demands on ECC, and a short fuze schedule on the process, prior to gathering the promised “sentiment” or providing any Transparency or Accountability into how these were decided and set in Quikrete.

This underhanded campaign to discredit ECC mentions Transparency and Accountability, implying that Zooko has been lax in those areas. ECC did provide precise accounting quarterly, most recently on May 14th, including a 14 page PDF. Meanwhile the Foundation published a single post in January that does not even attempt to meet reasonable expectations for a financial disclosure. The Foundation did not even file the required IRS Form 990 for 2018, so we have no visibility into its audited finances during past 19 months, throughout Mr. Cincinnati’s tenure.

Josh crafted a blog post that declares “Where the Foundation stands”, without a proper vote from the Board. I hereby question his motivation and reject his authority to make such pronouncements and demand that the Board convene an extraordinary meeting within two weeks, to address this crisis in governance. In such a situation only an official Board vote on a specific proposal can have any weight, duly signed by Andrew Miller, Peter Van Valkenburgh, Matthew Green, Amber Baldet and Ian Miers.

Seems that we’ll need an independent rule making body that guides the process and consists of competent parties with no immediate financial incentive in the outcomes. Say, two ECC outside directors and two Foundation Board members, like Andrew and Amber. There is plenty of time to make the optimal decision, as the impact on the code of the dev fee percentage computation is tiny. All the fake urgency is simply Josh jostling for position, putting pressure on Zooko.

We can have the process established by November 1st, deliberate through Feb 1st and nail down the vote on April 1st, 2020. Given ‘dev fee’ expectations in the industry, 10-12% is not going to raise any objections, not among miners or investors or anyone with a clue. Of course, if Josh grabs half of that, the remainder will be somewhat lean for ECC and Founders. Can we simply assume that ECC gets 10% and focus the debate on whether the Foundation should get 2% or 3%?

Zooko, kindly grow some… backbone and continue delivering on the vision from four years ago. Take care of the founders and developers, investors and miners, and you’ll be fine. If you cannot help but be ‘nice’ to those committed to spending “other people’s money”, put in charge someone that Josh cannot bully.

Non-profits in crypto have been a constant failure to date, ranging from the Tezos disaster to Bitcoin and Ethereum ineffectiveness or partisanship. Perhaps there are structural reasons for this, as a commercial mindset is a better match for building payment systems, particularly ones that rely on financial incentives for their basic operation. Large tech foundations, like Linux or Apache, are run as corporate entities, funded in seven or eight figures by industry giants.

The idea of two non-profits is simply preposterous. Anyone convinced that ECC needs to be non-profit should then stick to their guns and insist that there only be one, under Zooko. And I bet those recent engineering hires would rather work with the core Zcash devs rather than for Josh.


Where has Josh C. been hiding anyway? He’s barely active on the forum and dead silent on Twitter.

So in short, from what i’m reading, ECC is hoping for a 20% def fund knowing full well it’s an enormous amount of money, because they know Josh and the ZF will want their share? Not to mention making Zooko look like the “greedy lavish lifestyle groceries addicted evil guy” hated by crypto communities in the process?

ECC does not need to become a non-profit, and definitely no need for two non-profits. That is just ridiculous.

This isn’t true - all of the Zfnd board members have met several times to collaborate on this post and unanimously approved it before posting.


@cashdigger you need to check your facts, many points of your post are inaccurate or wholly incorrect.

CC @acityinohio Josh to this thread so he can defend himself against accusations.


Thinking a bit about it i suggest that at such important decisons like that last one, foundations funding guidance there should be a session protocol attached and at the end it should be virtually signed by ALL foundation members that took part in a given descision.
With vitually signed i don’t have in mind really signed, but more making it clear who from the foundation worked on a given matter, who voted on it, who approved it, who released it.
Actually, does a protocol for this session excist?

And just as a sidenote. I can’t agree to much what was written by cashdigger in his initial post, other than the foundation should indeed make the 2018 form 990 available as soon as possible. The call for transparency and accountability doesn’t sound too good if nobody can find any information about that for the the foundation as welll.

As said allready, i personally don’t agree to anything in the initial post, but i as well don’t think it should be flagged and hidden. There is a lot of flagging lately and i’am not sure if that’s good either IF it doesn’t fundamentaly and clear break a forum rule.

Please note that this thread has been flagged twice as inappropriate. Despite the incorrect assumptions (ie: Josh made the blog post without consulting with the Foundation board) it deserves a clear rebuttal from Josh and/or Foundation board members.

Further flags will be rejected.


Thanks for bringing to my attention @Shawn. Response below.

I’m not going to respond to character attacks, but I’m happy to correct misinformation.

In no way shape or form did anyone at the Foundation intend to discredit the ECC’s commitment to transparency and accountability with our statement. In fact, I’m pretty sure we applauded them for their commitment thus far, unless this section “implies” something that defies my understanding of the English language:

Despite being a for-profit company, the Electric Coin Company has already defined a public-focused mission that would make any nonprofit proud: “Empower everyone with economic freedom and opportunity.” ECC has also set an admirable standard for the cryptocurrency industry by practicing radical transparency. The company has provided, and has committed to continuing to provide, a high level of public visibility into its operations — exceeding not only the requirements of a private company, but also most nonprofits.

Re: 990s, it helps to have context into when these are filed and accepted. The earliest deadline is April of the following year, with the expectation that they are posted in May. We file an extension on our 990 to match with our auditing schedule (they require audited financials) which means that our 990s generally become available in November. Consequently, you will see our 2018 990 by November 2019, which will included audited statements from 2018. The post you mention/derided in January has unaudited financial data that you can match against the 990 when it becomes available, and we have a very strong incentive (i.e. community trust) to ensure those numbers are accurate. One of the motivations of having the ECC potentially turn into a nonprofit is this kind of disclosure — the first quarterly report they published was indeed admirable, but keep in mind it can’t be checked against something like a 990 or audited financial statements (as is their right as a private company).

While I wasn’t Executive Director at the time, you do have visibility into the time period when I started working at the Foundation, through the 2017 Form 990 available here. We do actually file and post these things.

As @amiller already mentioned, this was put to a vote, and included input from everyone at the Foundation — ranging from Board members to employees — after many hours of discussion, though we may have differing personal opinions. The vote was recorded here in our publicly accessible Board notes.

We are following the schedule outlined in the Network Upgrade Pipeline, which was created by the ECC. I genuinely wish we were in a position to discuss it for far longer, but that would go against deadlines strongly encouraged by the ECC.

In terms of “grabbing” ZEC for me…I didn’t receive any FR and receive a regular salary with no equity. Since you’ll see it in the 990 eventually: my salary is $168,000, a significant pay cut compared to my last job. I’m here because I care about building private internet money and distributing that power, not consolidating it. I don’t know what you think I’m grabbing here.

You’d have to ask the engineers, but I expect and hope for a great deal of collaboration between them and the ECC devs (as there already has been). In terms of my job performance, I serve at the pleasure of the Foundation’s board, and I know enough about them that I expect they’d fire me if they thought I was doing a terrible job.

Regarding another comment:

Unless it’s absolutely necessary I really don’t want to personally influence what should be a consensus-based community decision, pure and simple. Twitter is typically where I go to make jokes and I just haven’t been very funny lately.

It frustrates me to imagine there are people who think me more Caligula than Cincinnatus. I will be muting this thread and won’t be responding to anything else, and I hope if others harbor this opinion they consider changing their minds.


Does anyone want to discuss this further? If not, we can close the thread.

Evidence-free smears of anyone’s character are against the rules of this forum. But since the post was related to ZF, I agree with @Shawn’s call to leave it up.


+1 for closing the thread since a direct response has been posted.