Today, in order to better serve the Zcash mission, we are announcing a restructuring of ECC, including layoffs of valued team members. Going forward, ECC will focus our time and expertise on specific parts of the Zcash mission, and help transition other parts to other organizations in the Zcash community.
We at ECC have been trying to do too much with too few resources, especially in the last year and a half as the bear market began to impact our finances. It has become clear this was limiting our ability to execute on the things we’re best at.
Zcash has grown and changed, and today there are many organizations outside of ECC who are also committed to the Zcash mission, many of them funded by the Zcash Dev Fund, including the Zcash Community Grants committee, Zingo Labs, Nighthawk Apps, the Zcash Foundation, Zcash Media, the Zcash Global Ambassadors program, and many other individuals and organizations. There are also the promised contributions to Zcash by QEdit and Shielded Labs and by the Filecoin and Anoma projects. We are grateful to these people for their contributions to the Zcash movement, and by committing ECC to doing fewer things and doing them well, we hope to further empower them, making Zcash as a broad movement even more resilient and sustainable.
Restructuring ECC was a challenging 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. We are sad to part ways with them and will always be grateful for the opportunity we had to work with these incredible individuals.
In the coming weeks, ECC will release a revised roadmap centered on empowering ZEC holders and giving them a voice. This includes:
- Creating an excellent user experience for proof-of-stake ZEC
- A wallet, built by and for Zcashers, that is easy to use and accessible for anyone
- A mobile-wallet SDK that is useful to other Zcash builders
- US-based policy work to ensure ZEC, self-custody, and staking remain viable in the USA
We will help transition ownership to the broader community of some functions ECC has undertaken in the past.
- Support for zcashd outside of ECC’s Roadmap
- Protocol review for Zcash core protocols outside of ECC’s roadmap
- Alliances and exchange support
- Global regulatory relations
- Management of digital properties, including z.cash and the Zcash-specific social accounts
- Product marketing
- Zcash related PR and media engagement
Importantly, our immediate-term work on solving third-party wallet performance issues is still our highest priority at the moment, and we are committed to releasing zcashd 5.6.0, an updated lightwalletd, and new mobile SDKs for iOS and Android soon.
As with any transition, this restructuring of team and priorities will take some time to fully settle, and there are some other projects and initiatives that are nearing completion — such as the relaunch of z.cash and a proposal to foster community ownership of this and other Zcash digital properties — that we’ll be delivering to the community in the near term. We’re still engaging on important initiatives such as the Filecoin Foundation grants and other activities that will benefit the Zcash user.
This is hard. I asked all of the ECC team to join me in my work to serve human freedom. It became our collective mission, and something we’ve all fought for day-in and day-out. While we won’t all be able to continue on this particular path together, I am confident that in the scope of history, each one of us will look back proudly on what we did together for human freedom. I am grateful for all the team members to whom we said goodbye as employees today, and for the ones that will continue at ECC. We remain fully committed to our mission and believe ECC is now in a much stronger position to serve the Zcash mission, both today and into the future.
I’ll be joining an ECC-hosted Twitter Spaces on Friday, May 26th, to answer questions from the community. Please keep an eye on @electriccoinco for details.