The Electronic Coin Company (ECC), the foundation partly responsible for developing the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash, released its quarterly transparency report on August 30. While salaries remained high in the first quarter of this year, things have taken a downturn as the coin’s price has slipped.  

Zcash’s selling point is that it lets users hide how much money they’re sending through the network. The ECC is a for-profit company run by Zooko Wilcox and development is helped by the non-profit Zcash Foundation. 

Despite the price of Zcash (ZEC) being down 66 percent against Bitcoin since the start of the year, “At the Q1 price of approximately $55 per ZEC, the company and its employees received approximately $449k per month,” reads the report. An additional $110k worth of coins were also dished out to employees.

That’s a lot less than the ECC reported in its Q2 transparency report, released in May. It showed that, at the price of around $60 per ZEC, employees received $550,000 per month and an additional $180k extra for employee compensation as coins were distributed to employees each month. 

If the trend continues, wages will be even less in the next quarter. The May report estimated the price of Zcash would hit $60, but prices dipped to $55 on the report’s release date (Friday). At the time of writing, however, the price of Zcash continued to slide to just $44. 

Experience Web 3.0.

Be the first to get Decrypt Members. A new type of account built on blockchain.

But the fall in wages isn’t just due to the declining price of the coin: The percentage of funds allocated to employee wages dropped, too. In the second half of last year, 62 percent of funds were spent in the form of employee compensation. In Q1 this year, just 56 percent. 

Comparatively, the proportion of funds spent on consulting and marketing has gone up. Consulting expenses rose from 6 percent in the second half of 2018 to 10 percent in Q1 2019, and marketing and PR grew from 9 percent (then called ‘Awareness & Education’), to 14 percent respectively. 

The ECC’s overall operating costs have fallen in Q1 this year in response to “ongoing market pressure”. The Q2 report reads that operating costs averaged a total of $700,000 per month, now reduced to just $525,000.

The amount the company reported holding in USD and Zcash is pretty much the same-- $5.2m in August, and $5m in May. But that’s since dropped. At Zcash’s annual conference at the end of June, Wilcox revealed that Zcash had just $3.35 million in the bank.

Zooks!