The value of open networks is that they allow any person, company or organization to participate in their ecosystem on an equal footing. Furthermore, an open decentralized network is hardended by being independent of any organization or geography and provides "geopolitical" security for its users.
Such huge advantages also come with challenges. If there is no responsible party, who will support and advocate for the community of users and developers? Who will collect donations from supportive parties and disburse them to open source researchers and developers working on the project?
DFINITY Stiftung, a not-for-profit foundation in Zug, exists to solve these questions.
DFINITY Stiftung is located in Zug, which is already a popular location for foundations, and was popularized by the Ethereum foundation among others. A key consideration in locating operations here is that since a decentralized network lacks geography - existing only in Cyberspace - its supporting foundation should be located in the most neutral and internationally connected location possible.
Switzerland is a natural choice for such reasons. It has strong fiduciary controls and a well functioning legal system, has a long history of pursuing international neutrality, is the second biggest centre for the United Nations after New York, and hosts many international not-for-profit organizations such as the WHO.
We often refer to DFINITY Stiftung simply as the "Foundation".
The Foundation has not-for-profit status.
GOVERNANCECollective decision‐making and policy implementation
The remit of the Foundation is to promote and support the main DFINITY network and related applications of its technologies in private chains by sponsoring or organizing supporting R&D and research activity, advocacy, community organization and any means the management identifies as effective.
The Foundation does not have a zero sum view of the decentralized ecosystem, and since there is considerable overlap between Ethereum and DFINITY, sponsored activity will commonly involve contributing to Ethereum projects. Indeed, much DFINITY cryptography might be promoted for reuse within Ethereum, and since DFINITY plans to maintain compatibility it will support work advancing the EVM.
A final objective of the Foundation is to increase the involvement of the BNS in decision making over time and - probably after some years - dissolve the Foundation in favor of the BNS once it is sufficiently sophisticated.
Foundation Council, Committees & BNS
DFINITY Stiftung is managed firstly by its Foundation Council by majority vote, who can also delegate decisions to committees or management.
The primary role of the Foundation Council is to decide how to deploy funds donated to the Foundation or endowments it manages in pursuit of its objectives. Typically, the board will seek cooperation with outside developers and organizations to pursue R&D and research objectives. Meanwhile, the organization of events, advocacy and other activities will rely more exclusively on internal resources.
Mutara is the statutory auditor of the Foundation.
CURRENT MANAGEMENTResponsibility and Efficiency
DFINITY maintains a lightweight management structure for efficiency while ensuring the necessary expertise exists to manage donated funds responsibly in pursuit of its objectives. Our management brings considerable business and fiduciary experience to bear, and we expect to establish new standards in efficiency and effectiveness.
WORK WITH USAn open ecosystem is open
Coding and Research Opportunities
If you are a talented developer or researcher, you may be able to help. We have needs for coding, for people who want to contribute improvements to parts of the Etheruem code base, for researchers interested in contributing novel cryptography and network protocol work, security and network administrators and more. We can support you with development grants, provide assistance with complex aspects of your work and connect you to other talented people with special skills. We are mainly interested in working with individuals but can also work with companies where delegated persons work and are remunerated as individuals.
If you are a business looking to understand how you can reengineer your business using cutting edge blockchain technology and the EVM ecosystem, contact us!
Notable Partners and Sponsors
String Labs is a Palo Alto, California-based open protocol investor and incubator and began providing support to the DFINITY project in summer 2015. String has leant its resources, engineering talent and facilities as an early contributor to help accelerate DFINITY, and now has extensive plans to run DFINITY mining operations and host DFINITY private clouds for business.
BCG Digital Ventures, the digital ventures arm of the world's premier management consultancy BCG, has thrown its weight behind the DFINITY project, and is actively working on ways of bringing the technology to its corporate business clients worldwide. More information will be released soon.
MME, is the primary law firm appointed by the Foundation. It has broad experience assisting not-for-profit Foundations that support open network protocols and autonomous systems.
If your organization would like to become a partner of the DFINITY project, please contact us!