Zcash foundation board of directors

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.


I’m responding to several different comments and points in this post. Up top, for convenience, here’s a link to the Zcash Foundation’s 990 for 2017: https://www.zfnd.org/about/incorporation-docs/Zcash%20Foundation%202017%20Form%20990.pdf

@boxalex, you’re not interpreting that form correctly. It doesn’t list all employees.

Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, Highest Compensated Employees, and Independent Contractors

I wasn’t able to find a definitive source for the National Park Foundation’s number of employees, but there are 100+ listed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/national-park-foundation/people/

Their audit has much a bunch of detailed financial information: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_audit/20316020171

As it happens, the Zcash Foundation is working on an audit of 2017 (Antonie Hodge, the Operations Director, is handling it). It’s a complex process made more complex by needing to explain cryptocurrency and the like to auditors. We’ll start the 2018 audit in July. We’re not obligated to publish audits — the 990 fulfills our legal transparency requirements, to my knowledge — but we’re likely to do so in some capacity. [Edit for clarity: Not a promise.] @SPinSin

I would add, as a personal opinion, that it’s not fair to compare a charity formed in 2017 to one that was founded in the 1960s :stuck_out_tongue: The National Park Foundation is 50 years older.

@kek, in response to:

the foundation has watched the product you represent fall in value by +90% with no end in sight.

If you look at the “Historical ROI” snapshots from Messari, the one-year metrics are:

It’s a secular trend. (I also agree with Josh’s comments re: investor sentiment.)

I added a note about zec-qt-wallet to our homepage so it’s easier for people to find.

Regarding transparency in general, with respect to the Zcash Foundation:

  • Transparency is good, but sometimes it has downsides that need to be weighed against other priorities (like getting things done).

  • @boxalex, you made a good point about wanting to see where the money is and where it goes. Some of that detail will be present in Josh’s upcoming post, and our legal reports when those are ready to be released. I like the suggestion of a finances page on the website that consolidates the information that’s spread across various sources (blog posts, forum posts, etc.) and holds our official legal records as well. That’s something I can put on my to-do list for the next few months.

  • I don’t personally care about disclosing my salary — I make $80k base + benefits — but I’m not the only type of person we’re trying to hire and integrate into the Foundation. People who are interested in privacy advocacy tend to care about their own privacy, so naturally they want to decide what information they disclose to the public at large. We are constrained by regulations and need to declare some employees’ salaries, but doing so across the board would be detrimental to our hiring efforts. Basically, what Shawn said.

  • Josh spent several months laying the groundwork for partnerships like the one with Parity. It takes a long time to coordinate these things and finalize legal agreements. We can’t disclose tentative projects while they’re being negotiated. Also, expecting a nonprofit to move as fast as a startup will lead to disappointment in nearly all cases :wink:

All of that said, I’m glad that you fine people care about what we’re doing and want us to do a good job! Community oversight and critique are useful. It pushes the Zcash Foundation to improve as an organization.


I just wanted to point out that Privacy and Transparency aren’t antonyms and it’s totally possible to provide the latter without letting go of the first. This expands to more than “addresses” and into other areas as well.


hopefully everyone realizes “developing value” is intertwined with “boosting investor confidence”. you cannot have one without the other. i’m not saying the foundation should try to artificially pump the price just so keks can make more loot.

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Yeah, that’s fair. With respect to investors, I see it working like this:

  1. We help to make Zcash more usable and accessible (through wallets and other types of ecosystem development).
  2. People start using Zcash, which entails buying and selling it, or using it to purchase goods and services, or accepting and making donations.
  3. Increased demand for Zcash makes the price go up — if eventual usage-based market volume sustains a price higher than the current one. Which does seem likely to me.

But I expect all of the above to take years or decades.


@sonya let me share what is going on in my mind, zcash is listed in most exchanges 70+ as per coin market cap count which is more than any other privacy coin, even reputed trusts like grayscale and galaxy digital have included zcash in their portfolio, but still the price has not picked up against peers, overall market is down but zcash is down more, I think the reason is that Zcash has the highest inflation rate of around 46% and for that reason aggressive marketing to increase adoption is a “necessity” at least for the next few years until the inflation rate comes down to net+ levels, if we don’t do that price will keep slipping for next few years and might have a limited shoot up even if there is a bull run. Maybe someone from foundation can share the marketing efforts planned for 2019 and community can provide inputs. I see most of your activities are planned on the west side of the globe any plans for the east side?

Seperately, I do not agree with your comparision with other cryptos as those have given exteremely good returns historically(3+ years) and it’s unlikely zcash can reach there in short to medium term. Ycan prove me wrong by sharing what can be the catalyst to make that happen…:slight_smile:

I for one will not blame zcash foundation for any loss in my investment as one has to do proper research before investing any money and most fail to do so, I learnt about supply inflation and it’s impact on price only later and my future investments will take that into consideration.

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You should read more into what the ZcashFoundation actually does before you associate it to BTCs price fluctuations, just sayin https://www.zfnd.org/about/