Introducing the Celestia Foundation

Introducing the Celestia Foundation

Today, we introduce the Celestia Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Liechtenstein. The Foundation’s purpose is to guide the Celestia ecosystem and uphold its values.

A core belief of the Celestia community is that users should be first-class citizens of networks. Users become first-class citizens when they can directly verify the integrity of the blockchain rather than relying on centralized intermediaries or trusted committees. Light nodes make verification accessible for everyone so that every user can be a first-class citizen.

The Celestia community also believes any blockchain that strives to become a framework for the decentralized internet should be credibly neutral, open source, and a public good. Credibly neutral for protocols to not favor any particular group. Open source for anyone to audit and reuse. And a public good to benefit communities and society.

In pursuit of these values, the Foundation seeks to:

  • Fund R&D into scalable decentralized systems and secure light nodes.
  • Fund open-source public goods for the modular blockchain ecosystem.
  • Support and encourage open core development processes, like Celestia’s CIP process.
  • Support developers building infrastructure and applications based on Celestia.

As one of the first countries to implement a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets, Liechtenstein is a natural home for innovation in decentralized networks. Liechtenstein law requires that the Foundation strictly adhere to its purpose and is supervised by the Foundation Supervisory Authority (STIFA), ensuring that the Foundation remains accountable and focused on its mission.

Foundation council members

The Celestia Foundation is governed by the Foundation Council, which oversees and aligns the Foundation’s activities in the ecosystem with its purpose and values.

Initially, the Council will consist of four members:

Dr. Mustafa Al-Bassam

Mustafa is co-founder of Celestia and CEO at Celestia Labs. Previously, Mustafa was co-founder of Chainspace (acquired by Facebook). Mustafa holds a PhD in Computer Science from University College London.

Batuhan Dasgin

Batuhan is a crypto entrepreneur and investor. Previously, Batuhan co-led venture investments at Binance and the primary token offerings platform at Binance Launchpad. Batuhan also established the Business Development division at CMC.

Ismail Khoffi

Ismail is co-founder of Celestia and CTO at Celestia Labs. Previously, Ismail was a senior engineer at Tendermint and the Interchain Foundation.

Reinhold Wohlwend

Reinhold is owner and managing director of Revalier. Reinhold holds a Degree in Financial and Trust Services from the University of Liechtenstein and has been a licensed Trustee in Liechtenstein since 2014.

The challenge of offchain governance

The Celestia community values offchain governance driven by rough consensus at the social layer and as such the protocol strives to minimize exposure to onchain governance via token voting or validators, which is susceptible to plutocracy.

A foundation can help the Celestia ecosystem effectively self-govern via offchain processes while ensuring it stays true to its vision and values.

Above all else, the Celestia community “rejects kings, presidents, and voting.” That means that the Celestia Foundation will necessarily maintain a minimized role alongside the wider Celestia ecosystem.

Ultimately, the Foundation, through the Council, will provide some guardrails around this new ecosystem. But the path - the twists and turns taken to form and arrive at that ecosystem - is up to the community.