Zcash foundation board of directors

Both good questions for @acityinohio or @sonya

Perhaps some feedback on what exactly you feel the Foundation could be doing better would be more constructive criticism? @kek


Like this thread, gives a glimpse into the current governance model. Away from the usual price speculation discussion we have most of the time.


need more information. can anybody tell me where i can find this information (budget)

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I imagine the tentativeness applies to the value of zcash when it’s acquired from the founders reward payout and exchanged

i’m more interested where money’s being spent. as-of-now i’m unsure the foundation in current form is adding significant value to the ecosystem. foundation certainly does close to nothing to boost investor confidence (which is most important). 2019 - we don’t even have an “official” wallet yet. maybe money should be reallocated, but i cannot find a proposed budget/budget that was voted into play. maybe they’re putting money exactly where it needs to be to add real value to the ecosystem, nobody knows…


Thanks for prompting this discussion @kek. Let me start with this reply first:

We haven’t published it yet, but I’m in process writing a (rather lengthy) State of the Foundation report on publishing details around the same level as last year’s budget in addition to updating the community on the current state of our treasury and what we actually spent last year. I gave some numbers last month but the forthcoming post—which should be published this week—will have more granularity.

In addition, you can always view our Form 990s, which we are required by law as a 501©3 to submit to the IRS every year. We generally file extensions on these, so they’re not submitted until later in the year. Thus you can expect 2018’s 990 to be on our website by end of 2019. Given the delay, I’d view them as a good source for verifying that we spend money according to the (much more up-to-date) blog posts. Trust but verify and all that. :slight_smile: You can view 2017’s 990 on the website—thanks to this discussion I realize it wasn’t carried over during our GitHub consolidation, so I just remedied that now.

Re: your other question regarding the election process, as stated in the repo, the election really should have been called an “advisory” panel. Relevant section screenshot here:

From a legal perspective, the Zcash Foundation operates like most non-profit 501©3s, in which the Board is ultimately responsible for voting new members into the Board. The Board membership terms are three years, according to Section 3, Article 1 of the Foundation’s bylaws. Two vacant seats were left by Naval and Yan last year, and Amber and Ian were elected by the Board (based on the advice of the Community Governance/Advisory Panel) into their terms. The Board may expand membership if they so choose, and there aren’t any restrictions on being elected for another term. I do not speak for the Board, but I do not expect another Board election this year (though I do expect another expanded Community Advisory Panel process for other policy decisions). CC @amiller, the Zcash Foundation’s Chairman of the Board, if he’d like to offer his opinion on the above.

More generally, the Board votes on strategy and policy but also has the key job of evaluating the Executive Director/management of the Foundation and whether they are executing on the strategic goals of the non-profit. In that regard I personally believe they’ve been doing an exemplary job, but I’m obviously biased. If you are unhappy with how the Foundation has been working, it’s probably more effective to petition the Board to fire me, TBH.

One thing that I’d like to make abundantly clear, particular regarding this reply: it is not in the Foundation’s Mission to boost investor confidence in ZEC. We care about long-term development of value in the Zcash ecosystem as it pertains to building private Internet payment infrastructure for the public good, and while our endowment is weighed heavily in ZEC, we are indifferent about short-term price fluctuations and will not engage in activities purely designed to boost investor confidence.

I hope this elucidates the structure of the Foundation, and keep an eye out for the State of the Foundation post this week (we’ll definitely post about it on the forums).


this needs to change - you added the “short term” part. i’m definitely looking forward to reading the “state of the foundation” report.

side note - you misspelled “boost investor confidence” easy place to start would be to have an official wallet people can download from the official foundation website.

Apologies, edited it to say “investor confidence” rather than “short-term investor confidence.”

And hope more of your questions are answered in the report!


I checked all the links in your post but couldn’t find exact numbers on how much funds have been used for what exactly. Maybe i missed something, but as said, i wasn’t able to to find any detailed information on how much USD/ZEC has been used exactly for what and when and why.

Sure, there are here and there some references like grant 1 and 2 each 125,000$, but that’s nothing detailed in my opinion.

Maybe it’s my vault as an business owner that i work with more detailed balances when it comes to expeneses and funds and analyzing what went where when…

Edit: I absolutly agree with kek on this matter that there should be more transparency so the community is indeed aware what’s used for what and why and when.

And this should be done nearly in real time, not 1 or 2 years lagging. Again, just my opinion. Is there any information on the same matter for Zcash co? I said it bevor, bevor a discussion is done about an funder reward extension i think it’s urgently needed to show the community where the founder rewards went so far, what it’s used so far and so on.

@acityinohio and @Shawn I saw below response when a community member asked if funds are held in t-addr-

“And No, the Foundation doesn’t have all of their funds in a transparent address, that wouldn’t be very Private for the Foundations employees, contractors, and businesses they have to pay“.

How do you audit foundation funds held in shielded addresses? how are the auditors selected?

For grant spending, the detailed awards are very public but not included as part of any of those posts @boxalex. You can drill down on details for each grant via the posts announcing the 2017Q4 and 2018Q2 grant winners:

For the future grant platform we’re building it should be even easier to see what the Foundation (and the community) funds.

Other budgetary details are not shared for a variety of reasons: for example, as a business owner, would you share employee salaries publicly? To respect their privacy I don’t, unless it’s legally required by the IRS via the 990. But I still provided overall budget for headcount in my initial post announcing the budget last year. Similarly there are limited marginal returns for sharing discrete, real-time budget updates: it’s operationally difficult and we already go beyond what is legally required for a 501©3.

I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement here; there is, and ideally we’d have more discrete budgetary updates throughout the year, and again I hope my State of the Foundation post answers these questions with more detail.

@SPinSin: who from the Foundation said that? Most of our ZEC is with a custody partner and it’s in t-addrs at the moment, but we’d like to migrate to z-addrs once our custody partner can manage it. Once it is migrated to a shielded address we will likely post a view key (once it’s possible with Sapling) so anyone can check on the Foundation’s current long-term storage of ZEC.


@SPinSin @acityinohio that quote was from me, I was under the assumption that the funds would probably be held in a variety of addresses/forms not necessarily all sitting in one transparent address as a user had asked previously.

Edit: here is the original post I responded to: How many ZEC does Zcash Foundation have?

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Ah thanks for the clarification. It’s definitely not all in one t-addr, and we do shift to shielded from time to time to make payments (e.g. all the grants from 2018Q2 were paid into Sapling z-addrs).

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Thx for the links, will check them tomorrow, too late now. Are there any other fundings beside Q2/2018 and Q4/2017?

As a business owner mostly not, but than again and i hope you excuse me for being absolutly straight here, the foundation isn’t a business and doesn’t generate any profits its own.
U.S. Foundations may differ from Foundations in the EU, but due my awareness here every foundation has to be absolutly transparent in any aspect, exatly due the reason, they use money and funds that are given to them.
I might be totally wrong and others may have an absolutly different stance on this, but in my opinion absolutly every cent used for whatever should be listed and the community should have access to these numbers.

Why not keeping them transparent in T-adresses and have the adresses and all transactions visible for the whole community and that way connect them with expenses made for example?

Don’t get me wrong, but while until now it everything seemed to be normal things change after the question arised if the founders reward should continue. If for now i perosnally miss a lot of transparency, easyness, oversight and public accounting…

Thanks for these questions @boxalex @garethtdavies and for the detailed recap Josh. Just going to respond to a few things to give an indication of my thinking:

  • I think we should continue to incorporate more decentralized governance into the Zcash Foundation’s operation. This can include, but is not limited to, throwing things to a community vote of some kind for input or for ratification, as we did last year. I definitely think we should use the Zcon1 opportunity to do the next iteration of this experiment and have another election/vote, but it isn’t planned out yet. Things are more stressful and difficult when they happen infrequently, so we should learn to do this even more frequently than once per year. And if we feel confident in that process we could move them into the bylaws so they become binding as well, not just advisory.
  • I’m also in favor of more transparency, even if just ideologically, and think we should do a more radical job of this even beyond what is ordinary for a non-profit. I’m looking forward to the upcoming report and also to view keys for this in the future.

This will not work when transparent addresses are deprecated on the Zcash network, so migrating to shielded addresses is inevitable. I would personally prefer the Foundation to move to shielded addresses sooner rather than later, because this would be an excellent dogfooding opportunity for improving the implementation and usability of viewing keys.

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Thx for replying and sharing the vision of more transparency.

Part 1:

Today i have a bit more time and will dig a bit more into the whole “foundation” principles and make some suggestions if you don’t mind. I think it would befefit the whole community as well as the foundation itself, even more when the time comes to decide if the founders reward should be extented or not.

First of all i checked other foundations right now. One of the first that showed up on google was the “National Park Foundation”. The reports that are available online to the whole public include even filled IRS 990 tax forms with exact wages and salleries every member of the foundation received, see screenshots below.

In my opinion that’s the way to go. There should be full transparency how much funds/money is used for what and when and why. @acityinohio , the argument of full privacy for employess or people receiving funds from the foundation should be less weightened than the need of full transparency as a non profit foundation funded by others (Zcash co and miners which at the end generate the founders reward from their mining activity. No idea if the foundation receives donations as well).

I suggest that the Foundation:

  • set up a subpage where ALL reports are posted, linked and available for download like in the screenshot below.
  • add on this page a subcategory for grants, approved and declined ones, with exact amount of funds used for a given grant. This should include contractors/independent contractors as well in case there are such.
  • a list of the wallet adresses the Foundation controls/uses. The foundation in my opinion should use ONLY T-adresses, now and in future. Using shielded adresses doesn’t add much to transparency, which should be priority #1 in my opinion.
  • In case ZEC was used for a given payment, the exact date of exchange should be added as well as the value in USD at the date of exchange.

Time will show when the T-adreses get outdated. Until than i’am all for using T-adresses in the name of transparency, especially for the foundation.

noticed we still don’t have an official wallet on the official website, or video explaining how to use the wallet. apparently the foundation found the time/money to support an XMR conference, tho. if was in control think i would’ve replaced you early 2018 for not having an official wallet. you claim the foundation’s purpose is to build longterm value for the ecosystem, but also say you don’t care about investor sediment. do see how that could be viewed as contradictory statement? unsure how an official wallet wouldn’t be a priority. the foundation has watched the product you represent fall in value by +90% with no end in sight. my original statement “unsure zcash foundation adds significant value to the ecosystem” remains unchanged. have a good one!


@boxalex I think that more transparency than exists now for the Foundations operations is a good thing and look forward to the upcoming report from Josh. But I think the example of what you posted from the National Parks Foundation, and only using T-addresses is a bit too much.

This is cryptocurrency and absolute transparency for every ZEC spent could have negative side effects that we couldn’t forsee.

Many Developers who work on open source projects could potentially be doxxed when they wished to remain as anonymous. Which could have a chilling effect on who wants to work on the project.

For example I believe that’s why Radix42 (the developer of WinZEC) didn’t apply for a second Foundation Grant due to the reporting requirements.

Or another example, what if Zcash Foundation put up a bounty for an iOS app and someone at Apple saw it and want to contribute in thier free time. A developer for a major company like that could be less likely to help if they knew thier personal details would be posted on the internet for everyone (and thier employer) to see.

And, let’s not forget that the world knowing that you hold large amounts of cryptocurrency can make you a target like what has happened to Bo Shen.

I think there is a need of transparency for accountability but there is an important balance to consider for privacy of those interacting with the Foundation.