The ZCash Foundation has been granted 501(c)3 status as a public charity by the United States government. The ZCash Foundation went through a long and arduous application process with the IRS to make sure that they received tax exempt status for public infrastructure – not public education (which is much much more common and usually referred to as the easy route). Furthermore – they are the first to do so in the name of privacy. Peter Van Valkenburgh explained the significance of the new tax designation on the ZCash Foundation blog:
You may not be particularly interested in non-profit tax law, but if you are passionate about the Internet, privacy, and the future of public infrastructure, then this is important news. So far as I know, the Zcash Foundation is now the first public charity dedicated to building internet payments and privacy infrastructure for the public good.
ZCash Foundation will still promote cryptocurrency education
Valkenburgh clarified that the ZCash Foundation’s previous work will continue, just be expanded to cover more:
The foundation will—still—engage in public education about cryptocurrencies, online privacy technology, and the computing networks that power these new tools. But the foundation will also support open, peer-reviewed scientific research into zero-knowledge proofs and associated cryptographic technologies, and, perhaps most importantly, it will help to build the Zcash decentralized network as open, public infrastructure.
ZCash was able to successfully justify the importance of privacy in public spaces – including those that are online – to the IRS. This is a big win for cryptocurrencies, privacy, and free and open source software in the United States and abroad.