Michelle Lai joins Bootstrap Org Board of Directors

Bootstrap Org, the nonprofit parent organization of Electric Coin Co., has added long-time Zcash community contributor Michelle Lai to its Board of Directors. Michelle joins members Alan Fairless, Christina Garman, Zaki Manian, and Zooko Wilcox.

“Michelle has worked hard to support Zcash and the cause of financial freedom for years,” Fairless said. “We love her insight and imagination on tech product use cases.”

A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (2007), Michelle has spent half her career in crypto and half in financial services, including stints at Anchorage Digital, Bitpay, Credit Suisse, a private equity buyout fund, and as a consultant to CEOs of large financial services companies. She’s performed a wide range of roles, including COO, BD and product roles, and says she most enjoys solving tricky business problems and managing high-stakes negotiations.

She is passionate about crypto-related technology as “a means of achieving a fairer and freer world.”

In Michelle’s words: 

My journey with Zcash started in 2018 when I worked at a crypto asset custodian and we were looking to support $ZEC. Since then, I’ve fallen further down the privacy money rabbit hole, becoming a member of the first grant organization in 2021 (the Zcash Open Major Grants committee) and then staying involved as someone who actively advocates for privacy and freedom applications in crypto.

My vision of tomorrow’s Zcash is one that earns its place back as a leader of privacy tech in crypto so that we can keep supporting the universal values of privacy and freedom. We did it once with the best talent in ZK and engineering, and we can do it again.

Today, as the crypto privacy community faces several challenges, including market sentiment and regulatory onslaught, I join the Bootstrap team to navigate the turbulent waters we find ourselves in. I have had professional experience in turnaround situations and hope to bring that to bear in this new role on the board of Bootstrap.

The road ahead is strewn with both extremely difficult questions and compelling opportunities for all ZK and privacy projects, including us. It will take a grand effort for us to arrive at a new horizon, but this is the moment where we dig in, gear up, and keep marching on in service of humanity.

If you have ideas and opinions from anywhere in the crypto community, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

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