Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox steps down as CEO of Electric Coin Co.

Electric Coin Company’s former senior vice president of growth Josh Swihart will become the company’s second CEO

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Former Electric Coin Company CEO Zooko Wilcox | Electric Coin Company modified by Blockworks

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Zooko Wilcox is stepping down as CEO of Electric Coin Company, the entity behind the development of Zcash. 

Former senior vice president of growth Josh Swihart will succeed Wilcox, the company announced Monday. 

Electric Coin Co. was founded in 2015 with Wilcox at the helm to foster the development of Zcash, which debuted in 2016. Zcash is a privacy-focused crypto that uses opt-in shielded addresses and zk-SNARKs to hide users’ financial information. On Bitcoin, by contrast, transactions are all publicly recorded on the blockchain. 

At launch, Zcash emerged as one of a number of major privacy cryptos, trading well over $1,000 shortly after its release. Zcash (ZEC) was worth around $28.50 on Monday afternoon.

In a blog post explaining his departure, Wilcox said Zcash began to take over his identity during his time as chief executive. 

“I don’t think this conflation of Zcash with me personally is healthy for me, and I don’t think it’s healthy for Zcash. Zcash’s role in human history is, and will be, much bigger than any individual,” the 49-year-old Wilcox wrote. 

As for what he’ll do next, Wilcox said he was “still blinking and rubbing my eyes.”

“Anything that I could commit to would need to be focused on human freedom, because freedom is what breathes life into everything that we love and value,” he wrote.

Electric Coin Co. said Wilcox would stay as director of the board of the Bootstrap Project, Electric Coin Co’s parent company.

In a blog post, Swihart said Zcash’s focus in the “new season” would be to “find product-market fit.” 

Swihart said his near-term priorities would be to iterate more quickly, increase Zcash’s utility, and make Electric Coin Company financially sustainable.


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