A non-profit Foundation

The IOTA Foundation was established in Germany as a formal, non-profit organisation (‘gemeinnützige Stiftung’) in 2017 by Dominik Schiener and David Sønstebø.

A bright picture of a modern building

In order to drive the future economy of interconnected and autonomous devices, the IOTA Founders developed the ideas behind IOTA and the Tangle architecture on which it is based and organized a crowdsale at the end of 2015 to help fund its development. Raising a little over $500k USD worth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and without any pre-allocation or special treatment of any kind to any of the Founders or developers, the entire token supply (which can never change) was distributed pro-rata to the crowdsale participants on the genesis transaction.

Subsequently, the IOTA Founders asked these initial IOTA token holders to donate a portion of their holdings back, receiving roughly 5% of the total IOTA token supply, to endow what would ultimately become the IOTA Foundation which was officially chartered in Berlin, Germany on November 3rd, 2017. The IOTA Founders designed the foundational layer of IOTA to be open-source, free to use and led by an independent and neutral non-profit entity that could bring together governments and industries to help achieve the IOTA vision.

Goals, funding and governance

iota foundation The IOTA Foundation’s primary goals are to:

  • Research and secure the foundational protocol layer, and create new knowledge to benefit the ecosystem behind the economy of things.
  • Develop production-ready software for the community, partners and ecosystem to use and expand upon.
  • Educate and promote technologies and use cases for new generations to understand and to ensure the Foundation’s success.
  • Standardise and ensure the maturity and widespread adoption of the economy of things.

The IOTA Foundation is funded in three ways:

  • Holdings of IOTA tokens from community donations and unclaimed tokens from the initial crowdsale.
  • Grants from governments to perform research and development.
  • Donations from individuals or enterprises.

The IOTA Foundation is governed by a formal charter, and includes:

  • A Governing Board to set and achieve the Foundation’s vision and run its operations.
  • A Supervisory Board to guide and oversee the performance of the Governing Board.
  • An Advisory Board to provide independent advice, perspective and direction.