Today we are announcing the Bootstrap Project (Bootstrap), a new non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to the uplift of humanity through technology, scientific discovery, education and human organization.
We’ve asked the owners of Zerocoin Electric Coin Company LLC (ECC) to donate ECC itself to become the wholly owned property of Bootstrap prior to the activation of the next Zcash network upgrade, Canopy, in November this year. A majority of the investors and owners have informed us of their generous willingness to do this in support of our shared mission to empower everyone with economic freedom.
We’re profoundly grateful to this group, who believed in the idea when no-one else did, and who are now donating their company to the community.
After this donation has taken effect, ECC will retain its current structure, including management, employees, and operations. While nothing will change within ECC, it will become wholly owned by Bootstrap rather than its current owners.
In 2019, the Zcash community, in recognition of ECC’s contribution and importance to the project, offered 7% of mining rewards to continue its critical work for the next four years. The community’s donation to ECC came with the stipulation that the coins must not be used to reward ECC’s founders, investors, or owners for their past contributions, but instead the coins must be used only for the furtherance of the mission.
The decision by the Zcash community to offer this generous donation with these stipulations has given us an opportunity to reconsider the ECC mission and evaluate a path forward that best aligns the incentives of Zcash coin holders and ECC.
This hybrid “company / non-profit” structure is intended to provide the best of both worlds, allowing the ECC team to continue performing like a startup in terms of commercial activities, customer orientation, and a relentless focus on scaling up, while at the same time providing governance appropriate to a mission-oriented, public-serving organization.
We are asking that the Zcash community use the 7% earmarked for ECC to instead donate those funds to Bootstrap, who will in turn fund ECC’s activities. Under this model, the Zcash community donation would be flowing to a tax-exempt public charity with no for-profit owners, which implements the community’s intentions as expressed in ZIP 1014.
Bootstrap’s initial Board of Directors will be identical to ECC’s current Board, and will be the seed for a “self-perpetuating” board that decides its own composition. The initial Board members will expand the Board by the end of 2021 at the very latest, to bring a wider diversity of stakeholders, demographics and expertise.
We have a unique opportunity at this moment to plant seeds that will, in time, produce the next great era of human flourishing. It is our hope that Bootstrap will be a force in bringing about a fairer and better future.