Zcash foundation board of directors


Where do you get 8 from? Are you assuming that every employee + board member receives $100,000 salaries? I doubt that’s correct, I’m not even sure simply being on the board is a paid position. Plus you are assuming that none of the ZEC has already been cashed out previously at a higher rate, not in an interest bearing account, and that ZEC will remain at $50 indefinitely. Also, people were paying up to $1000 per person last year for Zcon0, so that estimate seems high too.

I would hold off on jumping to conclusions about the Foundations financial situation until after @acityinohio releases his report.


Actually yes, that’s what i assume and hence asking to disclose this information and making it public.
Board of Directors (5): Andrew Miller (Chair, President), Peter Van Valkenburgh (Secretary), Matthew Green, Amber Baldet, Ian Miers,
Employees (3): Josh Cincinnati (Executive Director of the Foundation), Antonie Hodge (Operations Director of the Zcash Foundation), Sonya Mann (Communications Manager for the Foundation).
Total 8, maybe even increasing in future.

I have no idea either, hence again i’am asking to disclose this information so we all, including you, know if all are paid positions or not.

It seems you didn’t read the whole post or you would have noticed this sentence:
This calculation is far from correct and i’am well aware of it as no previous exchange rates are included, nor future exchange rates are known.

I know my posts are long, but as a moderator commenting them you should take the 1 minute to read them.

Actually i got the number used for Zcon0 from the foundations page:

  • Total proposed cost of Zcon0: $357,500
  • Proposed cost OK from Andrew, Yan, and Matt
    This let’s me believe that it has cost 357,000 US$ by the foundation, not? If you have more detailed information about the Zcon0 used funds/expenses, please link them.

Good point, but i’am adressing some issues/questions exactly for this reason, to have them included in his report. I think this makes perfectly sense.


I’m not going to address everything in your comments — Josh’s blog post with lots of info is coming today or tomorrow — but FYI board members are not compensated.


Detailed post here, thanks to everyone for their patience:


Thanks for clearing up things. I found answers to my questions in your reply.


This one shocked me actually:

Seriously? Only 139k for grants, 0 for research?

These digits proof that my feeling the foundation being too sluggish is correct.

Sorry, but this numbers show that the foundation is currently highly inefficient in my opinion if we take the wages to grants ratio.


We disbursed $250k+ of grants, but the actual spend for us was $125k cheaper thanks to a generous donation by the Research Institute (previously known as the Blockchain Institute.


I don’t see how this conclusion can be reasonably drawn. If anything, they were more efficient than they intended (budgeted 3.492:1 on wages:grants, actually spent 2.245:1). Note that the high budget for wages is intended to cover significant technical capacity, which is exactly what the Foundation requires if it is going to become a locus of power within the Zcash ecosystem alongside the Zcash Company.

I agree that the numbers indicate the Foundation has been slow on several fronts, which the post itself admits:

… we missed the mark in a number of ways. We didn’t fund security audits for Sapling (something that was done independently by the Company), we didn’t fund other privacy-protocol devs (we tried some outreach during the grant program but it didn’t go anywhere), we stalled out on technical hiring, and perhaps the worst failure: Our 2018Q2 Grant Program was so delayed that we shelved the 2018Q4 Grant Program in order to reevaluate the process.


still far from enough for my taste … But than again, that’s just me …


Seems i wrote/stated it in bad English. In my opinion the grants should have a x factor compared to wages to be efficient.

For example: Wages 300,000, grants 900,000, this would in my opinion indicate that the wages are used/result actually indeed for grants, research, innovation and so on.

As the wages part is way higher than the research/grants parts the conclusion it appears there are some grants to justify the wages. Have in mind that’s NOT my opinion, but it looks exactly like that, or in other words: highly inefficient.


AFAICT this is an incorrect interpretation of the posted budget. The wages budget is for Foundation employees, which inherently covers research undertaken by those employees. The grants budget is for people external to the Foundation, which may include research components, but would not cover research activity by Foundation employees (unless Foundation employees are expected to submit for Foundation grants, which seems highly unusual and would incur significant bureaucratic overhead). See also the “Research” category in the 2019 budget, which explicitly covers Foundation-led research carried out by contractors (as opposed to employees).


I can only interpret what i read.

IF indeed the paid employee members do research on some fields than i would appreciate a link to the published research these have done. In that case I would agree with your comment. I personally wasn’t able to find a single research to be done by any employee, but than again, the website is new and so bad organized and things are splitted over so many soures that it’s nearly impossible to find anything aftewards.

Exactly the 2019 intregration of research lets me believe that about 0 real research has been done prior to 2019, of course i could be wrong here. But without any data published it looks like that. As said i may miss something and it’s not clear from the todays released paper what falls into this category in my opinion and understanding.

Just tell me honestly your personal opinion. Do you agree that the funds used in 2018 for grant, research, innovation are enough and satisfactory?


My read of @acityinohio’s post is that through the end of 2018:

  • No research or development has been undertaken by Foundation employees (which makes sense, as none of the current employees are employed to conduct research).
  • Some research and development has been undertaken by Foundation contractors (mentioned in the “more details” section), but not significant levels compared to what is anticipated for 2019 (given the addition of a specific budget line for this in 2019).
  • Research and development has been / is being undertaken by Foundation grantees (per the grant announcements for 2017Q4 and 2018Q2).

The actual spend seems reasonable for the given expenditures. But I definitely want to see more achieved in 2019, which means improving the grants process and making more technical hires - both of which were mentioned in the post.

@acityinohio: It looks like there is a missing “Other” line in the 2018 budget? It is mentioned in the “more details” section.


Thx a lot for clarifying some things. The first part of your comment “my read of …” is more or less what i was thinking. No research by employees in 2018, some research only and some grants 2017Q4 and 2018Q2.

For my taste that’s highly inefficient so far. Don’t get me wrong. All people from the foundation have my sympathy and i like them personally, but i really think a lot should improved immediatly there.

Improving the grant process should have allready been done in 2018. I allready noticed it is one of the most sluggish ones i encountered so far and mentioned this allready over 6 months ago, but nothing changed since than. I personally think a lot of things could be done with an efficient grant process including a lot of innovation and whatever not…

About technical hires. As the target is to shift power from Zcash to the foundation, slowly but surely and at the end give them full responsibilty (if i understood the long term target right), wouldn’t it make sense to shift technical staff from Zcash to the foundation, step by step? Just a thought.

I hope 2019 will be a more efficient & productive year, having in mind the foundations funds are bigger than most other projects whole market cap.

I’am writting my remarks and thoughts here not to water/de-rail the original foundation post in the other topic from today.


@acityinohio: It looks like there is a missing “Other” line in the 2018 budget? It is mentioned in the “more details” section.

Thanks @str4d, good catch, I just updated the 2018 budget in the post. Also added an explanatory sentence regarding the spending gap ($920k budgeted versus $121k actual):

Other spending: Mostly administrative costs, legal, travel, event sponsorships, with a few research contracts thrown in. (e.g., mobile wallet development with X Wallet, zec-qt-wallet, etc.) The large gap here stems from many research contracts that were in the process of being negotiated but weren’t signed before the end of 2018.

And FWIW I agree with your summary and assessment!