Mina Foundation Appoints Kurt Hemecker as CEO to Spearhead Ecosystem Growth

The Board of the Mina Foundation, a public benefit corporation servicing the zero knowledge blockchain Mina Protocol, has appointed Kurt Hemecker as the company’s CEO.

Geneva, Switzerland – December 19, 2023 — The Board of the Mina Foundation, a public benefit corporation servicing the zero knowledge (ZK) blockchain Mina Protocol, has appointed Kurt Hemecker as the company’s CEO. Hemecker, who had been serving as chief operating officer (COO), replaces founder Evan Shapiro in the role, with Shapiro continuing as chairman of the board and advisor to the Mina Foundation. 

Stepping into the role of CEO, Hemecker brings more than two decades of experience from major players in both Web2 and Web3. Prior to his position as COO of the Mina Foundation, Hemecker served in senior leadership roles at Diem Association (formerly Libra) and PayPal. Utilizing his business development and strategic partnerships acumen, he will champion the adoption of Mina’s zero knowledge technology across multiple verticals and industries.

Hemecker said of his appointment, “When I first joined the Mina Foundation, I was immediately impressed by the team’s academic approach to blockchain technology, particularly their focus on zero knowledge proofs and the exploration of numerous potential use cases. As we stand today, poised to advance product-market fit in diverse fields like finance, DeFi, gaming, voting systems, digital asset management, helping Web3 converge with compliance, including innovations like zk-KYC, our direction is unmistakably clear. We are committed to building the universal zero knowledge layer to empower users with greater autonomy over their personal data and privacy. Now, as I take the reins as CEO, I am eager to continue driving this mission forward. I want to extend a big thank you to Evan, whose visionary leadership has been pivotal in bringing us to this juncture, and to the entire board of the Mina Foundation for their unwavering support and guidance. Evan’s ongoing role as chairman of the board ensures that his invaluable insights and advice will continue to be a cornerstone in our journey. I look forward to supporting the growth of Mina’s flourishing developer community to help realize its ambitious goals.”

Continuing in the role of chairman and advisor to the Mina Foundation board, Shapiro will offer strategic input to Mina’s multi-year roadmap progressing the network toward greater scalability and security. The next major milestone is an upgrade that will bring enhanced zero knowledge programmability to the Mina mainnet.

Shapiro commented, “It is a hugely exciting time for the development of both blockchains and zero knowledge tech. Kurt’s experience and drive make him ideally suited to serve the Mina community and advance our work towards a user-owned, decentralized internet. While ZK has the power to transform industries, the current development of ZK applications is impeded by a lack of adequate developer tooling. Having been a part of the Mina Protocol since its inception and overseen significant progress to date, I am personally excited to enter into a role that will allow me to again focus on technical and governance development with the operations of the Mina Foundation in very capable hands.”

Along with the appointment of a new CEO, the Mina Foundation is also redomiciling to Geneva, Switzerland. Hemecker concluded: “Switzerland’s proactive approach to legislation for blockchain-based projects is ideal for an organization such as the Mina Foundation. Clear regulatory guidance, combined with Geneva’s status as a thriving international center for innovation across finance, blockchain, life sciences, cybersecurity, trading, and tech, make it the perfect base to support the growth of the wider Mina ecosystem.”

For more information on the Mina Protocol multi-year roadmap, please visit:


About Mina Protocol

Mina Protocol is being incubated by O(1) Labs, the leader in zk-SNARKs and verifiable computation. Mina Protocol, the world’s lightest blockchain, provides a foundation for the decentralized digital economy (Web 3.0), by affording all participants fully P2P, permissionless access to the chain, from any device. By utilizing recursive zk-SNARKs, the Mina blockchain always stays the same size — about 20 kilobytes (the size of a few tweets). Recursive zk-SNARKs allow nodes to rapidly share and update proof of the correct blockchain state across the network. This breakthrough application of zk-SNARKs solves the issues of scalability and high barrier to entry for nodes that have plagued legacy blockchains to-date. By making it easier for nodes to participate, Mina improves decentralization and therefore security of the network. The Mina blockchain can be easily accessed from any device, including phones and browsers, and can be seamlessly integrated into new decentralized applications (dapps).

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