The Zcash Foundation uses cutting-edge cryptography to keep your financial information private and secure.

The Zcash Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that builds financial privacy infrastructure for the public good, primarily serving users of the Zcash protocol and blockchain. 

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Our Mission:

Privacy is a fundamental human right. Its essence is the individual’s ability to choose what information is shared with others. Privacy comprises both autonomy and consent; it is essential to human dignity, and the healthy continuation of a diverse and civil society.


Personal financial data can reveal a huge amount of information about a person, and so protecting financial privacy is an essential component of protecting the right to privacy.


Our mission at the Zcash Foundation is to help sustain and improve open financial networks that allow anyone and everyone to protect their own privacy, on their own terms. While our primary focus is the Zcash protocol and blockchain, we also support broader applications of zero knowledge proofs, as well as other approaches to financial privacy.

Our Work:

Zcash Foundation programs fall under 3 categories: 

1. Science
2. Community 
3. Protocol and Governance

Currently, the Zcash Foundation allocates the bulk of its funds to two main projects:

Currently, the Zcash Foundation allocates the bulk of its program funds to:

Zebra is the Foundation’s independent, consensus-compatible implementation of a Zcash node, currently under development. Zebra can be used to join the Zcash peer-to-peer network, which helps keep Zcash working by validating and broadcasting transactions, and maintaining the Zcash blockchain state in a distributed manner. 

FROST is a Flexible Round-Optimized Schnorr Threshold signature scheme designed to reduce the interaction between participants who jointly own a private signing key and wish to use this private key to sign a message. Recognized by industry leaders including Coinbase, FROST is a proposed IETF standard, on the path towards adoption and standardization. 

Zcash Grants

The Zcash ecosystem offers two funding gateways that support the development of the Zcash protocol as well as general financial privacy:


1. Zcash Community Grants

2. Zcash Foundation Grants


Zcon is the annual Zcash conference, which is organized by the Foundation.

This event highlights the importance of not only the development, research and technology of Zcash, but also the vibrant community and ecosystem that is being built around the protocol.


The Zcash Foundation’s directive is to ensure that the Zcash protocol and the open network it powers remain an open and diverse community. This means making Zcash, a digital privacy-protecting coin, easier to use without sacrificing its technical excellence, security, or censorship-resistance.


Passionate about all things cryptography and financial privacy? We’d love for you to join us! We are a diverse, fully remote organization, with team members based in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay.


Some of the most frequently asked questions the Foundation receives appear below. If you would like to reach out with a question, please contact us.

The Zcash Foundation was founded in 2017. Learn more about the purpose of the Foundation here.

Information on the Zcash Foundation’s funding can be found here.

The Zcash Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity under section 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi) of IRS code, incorporated in the US state of Delaware. We are required to comply with federal tax law as well as applicable state law.

The Zcash Foundation is governed by a five member independent board of directors, plus the Executive Director, making it a six member board. The board is responsible for:

  • Duty of Care: Ensure prudent use of all assets, including facility, people, and good will;
  • Duty of Loyalty: Ensure that activities and transactions are, first and foremost, advancing the Zcash Foundation’s mission; Recognize and disclose conflicts of interest; Make decisions that are in the best interest of the nonprofit corporation; not in the best interest of the individual board member (or any other individual or for-profit entity).
  • Duty of Obedience: Ensure applicable laws and regulations are obeyed; bylaws are followed; and stated purposes/mission are adhered to.
  • The board also sets strategic direction for the Zcash Foundation and provides guidance on a wide range of governance and technical subjects. Board members are volunteers (uncompensated).

As a protocol, Zcash is governed by the Zcash Improvement Proposal process. The ZIP process provides an open venue and structure for collectively evaluating changes to Zcash.


Anyone can submit a draft ZIP. Draft ZIPs are debated by the community at large, then accepted or rejected by the ZIP editors. Currently there are two ZIP editors — Daira Hopwood represents the Electric Coin Company and Deirdre Connolly represents the Zcash Foundation.


Decisions from the ZIP process are written into the Zcash specification, as well as the software that runs the network. The changes are “ratified” on-chain when the majority of the network adopts the upgrade and doesn’t break consensus.

If you have any questions about the Zcash Foundation’s work or the Zcash ecosystem as a whole, please email us at

The Zcash Foundation is currently focusing its efforts on two key programs: Zebra and FROST.

Zebra is the Zcash Foundation’s independent, consensus-compatible implementation of a Zcash node, written in memory safe Rust language. It can be used to join the Zcash peer-to-peer network which contributes to the resilience of the Zcash network by validating and broadcasting transactions and maintaining the Zcash blockchain state, in a distributed manner. 

  • How is zebrad different from zcashd ?

The original Zcash node is named zcashd and is developed by the Electric Coin Company as a fork of the original Bitcoin node. Zebra, on the other hand, is an independent Zcash node implementation developed from scratch. Since they implement the same protocol, zcashd and Zebra nodes can communicate with each other and maintain the Zcash network interoperably.

  • What are the benefits of running zebrad?   Better performance: since it was implemented from scratch in an async, parallelized way, Zebra is currently faster than zcashd.
  1. Better security: since it is developed in a memory-safe language (Rust), Zebra is less likely to be affected by memory-safety and correctness security bugs that could compromise the environment where it is run.
  2. Better governance: with a new node deployment, there will be more developers who can implement different features for the Zcash network.
  3. Dev accessibility: supports more developers, which gives new developers options for contributing to Zcash protocol development.
  4. Runtime safety: with an independent implementation, the detection of consensus bugs can happen quicker, reducing the risk of consensus splits.
  5. Spec safety: with several node implementations, it is much easier to notice bugs and ambiguity in protocol specification.
  6. User options: different nodes present different features and tradeoffs for users to decide on their preferred options.
  7. Additional contexts: wider target deployments for people to use a consensus node in more contexts e.g. mobile, wasm, etc.
  • When will zebrad be able to fully participate in the Zcash network?

It is anticipated that Zebra will be able to fully participate in the Zcash network upon the activation of NU5 Mainnet, in the beginning of 2022. 

  • How can I install and run zebrad?

zebrad is still under development, so there is no supported packaging or install mechanism. To install and run zebrad, follow the following instructions.

  • Where can I find the user and developer documentation for Zebra? 


    • This section contains details on how to install, run, and instrument Zebra.
    • This section contains the contribution guide and design documentation for Zebra.

Yes! The Zcash Foundation grants program is by invitation only, either via direct outreach to partners or via competitive Request For Proposal (RFP) processes.

The Zcash Community Grants committee was created by Zcash community members, via ZIP 1014, to “fund independent teams entering the Zcash ecosystem, to perform major ongoing development (or other work) for the public good of the Zcash ecosystem.” ZIP 1014 further stipulates that “funds shall be received and administered by ZF (Zcash Foundation)” as a restricted donation in accordance with the terms provided in the ZIP. 

Zcash Community Grants is organized as a technical advisory committee within the Zcash Foundation organization and members are elected by the Zcash Community Advisory Panel (ZCAP) via a formal election process.

Zcash Community Grants reviews grant applications on a rolling basis. You can learn more about them and the grant request and funding process here.

In most cases you need written permission from the Zcash Foundation to use the Zcash logo and the word mark “Zcash” for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. Click here to learn more about the Zcash Foundation’s Trademark Policy.

If you believe you found an instance of the Zcash Foundation’s trademark(s) being used without permission please contact us via this form. We will take all necessary actions to enforce our trademark rights.

The Zcash Community Advisory Panel (ZCAP) is a panel of community members who are eligible to take part in advisory polls conducted by the Zcash Foundation.

Zcash community members are expected to be kind and respectful when interacting with others within the community. Our code of conduct can be found here. 

Yes, our annual conference, Zcon, is our largest community gathering. To learn more about how to attend (virtually and/or in person) and to submit a proposal to present or speak, click here. 


We also have regular Community Calls that are livestreamed to YouTube and live Twitter Spaces. Follow us on Twitter and join us at the Zcash Community Forum and our Discord channels for information on upcoming events.

Reach out to us at and let us know how you can help us fulfill our mission. If you are interested in applying for a grant, visit our Grants page.