Zcash (ZEC) founder Zooko Wilcox in $300,000 per month “founder’s reward” controversy
Zooko Wilcox, the co-founder of Zcash, has found himself facing criticism over his “founder’s reward”, currently valued at over $300,000 per month.
The controversy is more striking as it only came to light because of Wilcox’s transparency in explaining Zcash’s finances at the Zcon0 conference in Montreal.
According to Wilcox’s presentation he receives 2,033 ZEC each month as part of a “founder’s reward.” At current prices this amounts to a monthly payment of over $300,000 per month, or $3.6 million per year.
— yan (@bcrypt) 26 June 2018
Crypto personality “WhalePanda” was one of those criticising the arrangement, saying that “those silly devs that actually had to mine their “own” coins must feel really silly now.”
TIL that Zooko is getting $4.2 million per year (at current prices) thanks to $ZEC‘s founder awards. Those silly devs that actually had to mine their “own” coins must feel really silly now.
Also TIL that ZCash Foundation has a $500k/month burn rate https://t.co/1kC10liz4C
— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) 26 June 2018
However, many have jumped to Wilcox’s defence, pointing out that the only reason that a debate is even possible is due to him being upfront about the company’s finances. Wilcox noted this himself, saying that the project’s critics were “using our new—even more extreme—level of financial transparency against us.”
Glad to see that critics wasted no time in using our new—even more extreme—level of financial transparency against us. https://t.co/m6ZskB879b
— zooko (@zooko) 26 June 2018
Zcash investor Ben Davenport noted that Wilcox was “compensated X amount of ZEC at the very beginning, when it was worth very little” and that it is only worth something now due to the performance of the Zcash team.
In any case, you’re looking at it the wrong way. He was compensated X amount of ZEC at the very beginning, when it was worth very little. Only by his team executing was it worth anything in the first place. The compensation you see now is literally the equivalent of vesting.
— Ben Davenport (@bendavenport) 26 June 2018
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who is also attending the conference, characterised the deal as bad PR but not egregious, or even particularly high by the standards of cryptocurrency founders.
I think phrasing it as a salary was a horrible PR move; as far as premines / founder shares go it’s not that high.
— Vitalik “Not giving away ETH” Buterin (@VitalikButerin) 27 June 2018
Nic Carter of Coin Metrics agreed, saying that Zooko was likely “the least well-off cryptocurrency creator” of all the top 30 cryptocurrencies by market cap.
Zooko is probably the least well-off cryptocurrency creator on the top 30 of CMC
— nic carter (@nic__carter) 27 June 2018
Carter’s claim will likely stay unproven. It seems unlikely that Dan Larimer of EOS, Justin Sun of TRON, or even Buterin himself will be revealing their own personal finances any time soon.
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