CEO of o1Labs Evan Shapiro to Become CEO of Mina Foundation, with o1Labs’ Emre Tekisalp Stepping in as Interim o1Labs CEO

As CEO of the Mina Foundation, Evan Shapiro will lead the organization's mission to support the ecosystem and development of Mina Protocol with o1Labs continuing to support the development of zkApps as Mina’s ecosystem partner.

As CEO of the Mina Foundation, Evan Shapiro will lead the organization’s mission to support the ecosystem and development of Mina Protocol with o1Labs continuing to support the development of zkApps as Mina’s ecosystem partner.


San Francisco, CA; July 14, 2021

In another milestone for the development of Mina Protocol, o1Labs CEO and Mina Foundation director Evan Shapiro will become CEO of the Mina Foundation, the non-profit steward of the Mina Protocol. o1Labs’ VP of Business Development and Operations Emre Tekisalp will become interim o1Labs CEO during the company’s transition to an employee-governed organizational structure. The transition is scheduled to take place August 1, 2021.

Evan Shapiro conveyed, “It’s been incredible to experience Mina’s transformation from idea to decentralized network supported by a global community, and I look forward to continuing to further the protocol’s advancement in my new role at the Mina Foundation. I have complete confidence in Emre’s leadership. I can imagine no one better equipped to guide o1Labs through its transition to an employee-owned structure.”

Emre Tekisalp expressed, “Everyone at o1Labs is eternally grateful to Evan’s leadership, support, and vision, all of which brought Mina to its current status as a globally-recognized protocol supporting the creation of verifiable, privacy-preserving applications. I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done under Evan’s guidance and am excited to see o1Labs through this transition to the new employee-governed structure that will take our values for community and decentralization to the next level.”

In his new role as CEO of the Mina Foundation, Evan will be leading its mission to support Mina Protocol’s technical architecture, ecosystem development and to serve the community. As part of this, the Mina Foundation will be focusing on growing awareness of Mina’s technology, attracting the next wave of individuals and partners who want to become involved, and building the community infrastructure for Mina to ultimately self direct. Hear more about the transition directly from Evan in this letter.

o1Labs, as one of many ecosystem partners, will continue to focus on development and growing adoption for the core SNARK technology, zkApps. The team will work on enabling zkApps across the full stack – from o1js (formerly SnarkyJS), to libraries such as HTTPzkApps, to productizing the work through partnerships with other applications and chains. One of the first zkApps to incorporate Mina is Teller Finance, which enables users to prove that their credit score is above 700 without sharing the actual score or other sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) like their social security number with the requesting party.

Prior to co-founding o1Labs, Evan worked as a software engineer for Mozilla, having obtained his research MS from Carnegie Mellon while working in the CMU Personal Robotics Lab. Emre came to o1Labs from Coinbase where he led a number of strategic programs contributing to the company’s impressive growth.


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About Mina Foundation

The Mina Foundation is the non-profit steward of the Mina Protocol, the world’s lightest blockchain. The Foundation supports the protocol by issuing grants to third parties that make significant contributions and by maintaining & managing community assets. Board members include Former Executive Director at ZCash Foundation Josh Cincinnati, Principal of Slow Ventures Jill Carlson, VP of Engineering at Interchain GmbH and Tendermint developer Tess Rinearson, Fund Director and Joint Legal Counsel of International Management Services Sean Inggs, and CEO of o1Labs, the team that incubated Mina, Evan Shapiro.


About o1Labs

o1Labs is a software development company and leader in verifiable computation. The company incubated, and are a current contributor to Mina Protocol, an open source software project, which uses advanced cryptography and recursive zk-SNARKs to create an entire blockchain that is and always will be about 22kb, the size of a few tweets. Founded in 2017, it is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

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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