ECC restructuring to better serve Zcash

ECC announced a restructuring of the company today, which will narrow the team’s focus and transition some Zcash support functions to the wider community, to increase the resilience and sustainability of Zcash as a movement.

We have been trying to do too much with too few resources at ECC. It became clear this was limiting our ability to execute and deliver on the things we’re best at. Our belief is that this transition will lead to better outcomes for Zcash holders and the broader ecosystem.

This restructure was a difficult decision. It required that we lay off 13 employees — about half of our team. Many of the people we let go today were instrumental in bringing to market groundbreaking technologies and ideas that no other team in the world has been able to deliver, and we are forever grateful.

For more, read @zooko’s post on the ECC blog.


What’s the best way for Zcash community projects to find out who’s now potentially available for hire?


Good question. Out of respect for those affected today, we are not publishing names at this time. It will become more clear in the days ahead as I believe some wish to stay engaged and may chose to reach out here or in other venues.


This is very disappointing news. I wish I could downvote the post instead of giving it a heart.


My DMs and Signal are open to anyone who’d find it helpful to talk.


While I think this is the correct move, it doesn’t make it any less shocking. Sending love and hope to those affected. :hearts: :zebra:


I believe that the @ZcashGrants and our community should analyze every element of functionality that may be lost. And in the case when the community sees a certain value in this, we need to speak out to help the grants committee transfer this functionality to project financing. Project financing is always a more effective way to get the desired result on pre-agreed terms. This method assumes key performance indicators, deadlines, finiteness of work and the tangibility of the result. Of course, it’s not as pleasant as having a stable job, wages and a social package, but this is a well-known work format for anyone involved in software development. And such a format is absolutely in the interests of the community.

In addition, I’m sure that some of the functions, such as marketing, can be implemented much better outside the framework of an organization operating under the rules of public organizations 501c3.


My heart :heart: goes out to all those affected by this news. For the rest of us this is a call to action to do better :weight_lifting_man:. ZCG is going to have a busy year with some tough decisions on project and funding. They are going to need as much help as they can get from us, the community, to make those decisions. :muscle::shield:


It is unfortunate to hear about the recent layoffs at the Electric Coin Company (ECC), and our sincere sympathies go out to those individuals impacted by this decision. While these circumstances are never easy, Zcash Community Grants (ZCG) believes the ECC has made an important strategic decision that will benefit Zcash over the long term. As an organization committed to decentralization, ECC’s decision to optimize its resources and focus on core priorities can help pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient ecosystem.

ECC has established itself as an important organization, both inside and outside of Zcash, that is renowned for its cutting-edge cryptography, innovative engineering, and as a leading advocate for privacy in domestic crypto policy matters. ECC’s expertise in cryptography has set the standard for secure and private transactions that has been instrumental to the development of Zcash and a number of other privacy-focused cryptocurrencies. Their commitment to pushing the boundaries of cryptographic research and engineering has enabled groundbreaking advancements in privacy technology, most recently with Halo2. ECC’s active engagement in domestic crypto policy issues demonstrates their dedication to promoting the long-term viability and adoption of Zcash and other privacy-preserving technologies. Through their various contributions, ECC has consistently demonstrated leadership and played a vital role in the crypto industry.

ZCG remains confident in the vision and direction of the ECC and is optimistic about the future of Zcash under this strategic restructuring. While it’s natural to have questions and concerns during times of change, ZCG firmly believes that these developments present an opportunity for Zcash to further decentralize and strengthen its ecosystem. In light of the recent layoffs, ZCG may be able to provide resources to support the functions and areas impacted.

ZCG was established with the goal of enhancing decentralization in the Zcash ecosystem. Since inception, we have funded and supported several diverse contributors including Equilibrium, Free2z, Hanh, NightHawk Apps, QEDIT, Zcash Media, ZecHub, and Zingo. We have also awarded grants to former ECC employees to help further decentralize the ecosystem. For example, we brought on Taylor Hornby as the Ecosystem Security Lead to assess the security of projects developed by non-ECC/ZF engineers. We also recently provided a grant to Ying Tong to serve as the Halo2 community manager.

We encourage those impacted by the ECC layoffs to consider applying for a ZCG grant. ZCG is open to a wide range of proposals, spanning various areas including development, research, education, marketing, and infrastructure. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive ecosystem that sets Zcash up for long-term success. Although our budget has also been impacted by the bear market, we may be able to allocate resources to fill any gaps that emerge as a result of the restructuring and help ensure any critical work previously carried out by the ECC continues to progress.

While change can be challenging, it is often a catalyst for growth and improvement. The Zcash community has always demonstrated resilience and adaptability, and we are confident that the community will navigate this transition successfully. Let’s work together and use this change as an opportunity to further decentralize and build a stronger, more robust ecosystem.

Thank you,

Zcash Community Grants


Any of the teams working on wallets should try hard to hire Pacu. He has an in-depth knowledge of the wallet-related protocols and algorithms, is an expert at writing wallet tests using “darksidewalletd”, and is intimately familiar with ECC’s SDKs. He has a track record of nearly single-handedly coding an entire Zcash wallet, and when I previously worked with him as a security engineer, he thought really carefully about security risks and was always interested in learning how to make the code more secure. He’s also the kind of person you’ll really enjoy seeing in your team meetings.


We’ve reached out. If there’s any way we can collaborate more with @pacu we’ll take it. He’s already contributed to zingo, and we know he’s very skilled. Ball is in your court @pacu !


So with less members, should we be reducing the budget of the ECC as well?

Maybe move it to grants funding?

Hi, welcome to the forum! Glad that you want to participate in the conversation. However, I totally disagree with hasty reactions like the one you propose. Let the current dev fund concludes as the community agrees on. Also, this is the more appropriate discussion for future dev fund discussion: