Letter to the Community

Mina Foundation has completed a move to Switzerland. With this, COO Kurt Hemecker becomes CEO, while I will continue to serve the Mina ecosystem as chairman of the board and advisor to the foundation.

By: Evan Shapiro

As you may have heard (and can read in the main announcement), Mina Foundation is relocating to Switzerland. With this change, Kurt Hemecker, formerly Mina Foundation’s COO, has become Mina Foundation’s new CEO. I’m very excited about this– both for Kurt to bring his decades of operational expertise and business leadership to the CEO role– and for Mina Foundation to benefit from the vibrant crypto ecosystem and regulatory clarity present in Switzerland.

With Kurt taking on the CEO role, I will transition from CEO of Mina Foundation to chairman of the board and an advisor. I am confident that, between Kurt’s business acumen and operational expertise, I am leaving the CEO role in capable hands. Between Mina Foundation and O(1) Labs, I’ve been very lucky to have worked with so many great people across the ecosystem, and see each company grow into a place where others can step into leadership.

Although I will no longer be CEO, I don’t intend to go anywhere, and remain committed to the success of Mina. In my role as an advisor and chairman of the board I will continue to support the foundation generally, along with two essential areas I aim to focus on in particular.

The first is advising Mina Foundation and Mina’s ecosystem partners on the continued development of Mina’s technology. With the upcoming mainnet upgrade and release of ZK smart contracts, there is a significant opportunity for zero knowledge proofs to transform industries and empower users of digital systems worldwide. As AI poses an increasing threat to digital rights and trust online, the need for improved privacy and verifiability technologies, already critical, is likely to become even more urgent.

At the same time, zero knowledge proofs are at an inflection point of readiness for deployment in production, unlocking new use cases around privacy and verifiability. Taking advantage of this opportunity necessitates building the right developer tooling, libraries, standards, and other technologies. In my advisory role, I look forward to supporting the technical development work required to make these tools real.

The second is advising Mina Foundation and its community on governance. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the Mina Ecosystem grow to several companies and many individuals. With the upcoming smart contract upgrade enabling zkApps on mainnet, we can expect the number of companies and individuals needing to collaborate will only continue to grow, requiring further additions to Mina’s existing governance and coordination systems to keep pace.

To address these needs, Mina Foundation has recently established a governance team to support decentralized decision-making, aiming to develop processes that are both authentic to Mina’s participatory approach while delivering effective outcomes. These ideas will be shared with the community and ecosystem as we get closer to and after the upcoming zkApps upgrade. I’m excited to see how this new chapter unfolds for the protocol with good governance.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone over the years that has helped Mina get to where it is today. It is humbling and exciting to see how far we have come together, from co-founding the project many years ago, to now being just one person among numerous great contributors, leaders, and community members. I look forward to the many milestones ahead, and supporting the Mina ecosystem’s continued work towards a digital future with more trust and verifiability for all.




About Mina Protocol

Mina is the world’s lightest blockchain, powered by participants. Rather than apply brute computing force, Mina uses advanced cryptography and recursive zk-SNARKs to design an entire blockchain that is about 22kb, the size of a couple of tweets. It is the first layer-1 to enable efficient implementation and easy programmability of zero knowledge smart contracts (zkApps). With its unique privacy features and ability to connect to any website, Mina is building a private gateway between the real world and crypto—and the secure, democratic future we all deserve.

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