Meet the Filecoin Foundation and the Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web

Apr 21, 2023

The boards and advisors of Filecoin Foundation (FF) and Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web (FFDW) took the stage at Filecoin Liftoff Week to talk about the future of the organizations and the promise of Web3.

Below is an overview of FF and FFDW board members and advisors along with highlights from that discussion:

Marta Belcher Chair of the Board, FF and FFDW A pioneer in blockchain law and policy, Marta has provided legal representation to numerous crypto projects, exchanges, industry associations, and civil liberties groups. She currently serves as special counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and as outside general counsel for Protocol Labs, and works as a lawyer specializing in blockchain and emerging technologies for Ropes & Gray LLP.

“The decentralized web can help us preserve humanity’s most important data. The centralized nature of today’s internet means that users have no choice but to trust intermediaries with their data. And the fact that file storage is essentially a monopoly means that there is a single point of failure for much of today’s internet. Decentralizing the web can empower users, enhance security, and ensure that data can be stored reliably over time. I am so excited to be part of these Foundations to accelerate the growth of this important technology and to support the Filecoin and decentralized web communities.”

Rainey Reitman Board of Directors, FFDW Rainey has dedicated her career to creating informed and powerful movements of technology users who can organize to defend free expression, preserve privacy, and oppose government overreach. She is currently the Chief Program Officer of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and is a co-founder and board member for the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Previously, she was a co-founder and steering committee member for the Chelsea Manning Support Network and served as Communications Director for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

“Every day, I see how the centralized web fails ordinary technology users. An internet that has been built for profit at the cost of consumer choice and privacy isn’t what people need. We have to create a digital ecosystem that can’t be controlled by a few tech monopolies. The Filecoin Foundation will be a crucial link in that ecosystem.”

Brian Behlendorf Board of Directors, FF and FFDW Brian is General Manager for Blockchain, Healthcare and Identity at the Linux Foundation. In this capacity, Brian leads both the Hyperledger open-source enterprise blockchain software initiative, as well as Linux Foundation Public Health, which builds software and services that assist public health authorities in the fight against the pandemic. Brian has a long history with open source software, going back to co-founding the Apache web server project in 1995, and from that point forward founding or working for a series of companies (Wired Magazine, Organic, CollabNet), non-profits (like the World Economic Forum), and governments (Office of Science and Tech Policy 2009, advisor to HHS ONC 2010). Brian also serves on the board of directors of the Mozilla Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

“There’s a temptation to think that the future of the web will be all about software, protocols, and algorithms. But the internet wasn’t built by software; it was built by people. To advance the next generation of the web, we need to bring people together into a trusted community.”

Marcia Hofmann Board of Directors, FF; Advisor, FFDW Marcia is an attorney who litigates, counsels, writes, and speaks about a broad range of technology law and policy issues. She currently works in-house at a technology company. Before that, she founded Zeitgeist Law PC, a boutique law practice focused on computer crime and security, electronic privacy, free expression, and intellectual property. She has served as a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Electronic Privacy Information Center. She was also a non-residential fellow at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law and Colorado Law.

“The promise of the decentralized web is to shift decision-making power from the few to the many. If successful, this change will not only make it possible for ordinary people to have more control over the technologies they use, but also spur competition among innovators to build different and better options. We aim to ensure this promise becomes a reality.”

Brewster Kahle Advisor, FF and FFDW A passionate advocate for public Internet access and a successful entrepreneur, Brewster has spent his career intent on a singular focus: providing Universal Access to All Knowledge. He is the founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive, one of the largest digital libraries in the world, serving 1.5 million patrons each day. With 150 staff members in the United States, Canada, England, and China and digitization centers across the world, the Internet Archive works with more than 800 library and university partners to create a free digital library, accessible to all.

“Decentralized storage offers hope for long term digital preservation and access — in this way many archives and memory institutions can help back each other up. The Filecoin Foundation and IPFS community understand the importance of digital stewardship and are concretely helping support these efforts.”

Sheila Warren Advisor, FFDW Sheila is the Head of Data, Blockchain and Digital Assets and a member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum. She also co-hosts a popular podcast called Money Reimagined on the CoinDesk network. Sheila began her career as a Wall Street attorney before turning to philanthropy and civic technology over a decade ago. Sheila is on the boards of the ACLU of Northern California, Equal Justice Society, and TechSoup, where she previously served as the VP of Strategic Alliances and General Counsel. She also serves on advisory boards for the World Bank, the OECD, and others.

“It’s beginning to become axiomatic that any innovative tech stack has a blockchain layer. But we’re still far away from the ubiquity of blockchain technology that will enable the decentralized web to really take off. To get to where we need to be, it’ll take a global, cross-sector effort.”

Joseph Lubin Advisor, FF and FFDW Joseph is a co-founder of Ethereum and founder and CEO of ConsenSys, one of the world’s leading blockchain technology companies. In 2014, Joseph co-founded the Ethereum Project and founded ConsenSys to focus on building infrastructure, developer tools, and decentralized applications on the Ethereum platform.

“I see deep parallels between the Ethereum ecosystem and the Filecoin ecosystem. As the Filecoin ecosystem grows, it will occupy a crucial role in the re-architecturing of the world’s information and economic systems. We’re only now really initiating the transition to a fully decentralized web space. I see the Filecoin Foundation as a way to accelerate that transition and make the decentralized web a reality, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Kristin Smith Advisor, FF and FFDW Kristin is the Executive Director of the Blockchain Association, the Washington DC-based trade association representing the most prominent and reputable organizations in the crypto industry. The mission of the Blockchain Association is to improve the public policy environment so that blockchain networks can thrive in the United States. Kristin sets the association’s public policy strategy and leads engagement with industry and outreach to policymakers.

“The entire crypto space needs regulatory clarity and legislative support before it can truly flourish. Part of what we need to do, as innovators and blockchain supporters, is to go on the offensive and secure regulatory and legislative wins for crypto. Doing so starts with building a robust community network.”

Katie Biber Advisor, FF and FFDW Katie is a leader with deep experience counseling high-growth technology companies. She is currently Chief Legal Officer at Brex. Prior to that she served as general counsel at Anchorage and before that Thumbtack, where she managed the legal, trust and safety, communications, and government affairs teams.

“The easiest way to make crypto mainstream is to make products regular people actually want to use.”

Georgia Quinn Advisor, FF and FFDW Georgia is the general counsel of Anchorage, the premier digital asset custodian and financial services platform for institutions. Prior to that she was the general counsel of CoinList, a cryptocurrency exchange and platform that provides services to top token developers including compliant offering, distribution, and liquidity services. She is also the co-founder of iDisclose, a legal technology company focused on the disclosure and legal document needs of small business and startup entrepreneurs.

“One of the biggest roadblocks to crypto adoption is its reliance on a nomenclature that was borrowed from traditional finance. What the crypto space needs is an education campaign to show people the powerful use cases of crypto projects, beyond the limits of traditional finance.”

Sandra Ro Advisor, FF and FFDW Sandra is a proponent for ‘human-centric tech.’ She left a career in investment banking and currency markets to focus on emerging technologies for sustainability, access, and resiliency, particularly in financial systems. She is an early investor in, and an advocate of digital assets. Sandra currently serves as the CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), a Swiss-based non-profit. Sandra is also an angel investor in emerging technologies, as well as a Board member, advisor, keynote speaker and cofounder of several start-ups, non-profits, and key blockchain industry networks.

“Fundamentally, building the decentralized web is about building back better for a new era of internet technology defined by fairness and equity. The centralized web systematically disempowers web users and tech companies from the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped regions. But decentralizing the web could change that.”

Alex Feerst** Advisor, FF and FFDW** Alex leads Murmuration Labs, a project aimed at fostering trust within distributed blockchain projects, including the Filecoin network. He serves as a content policy advisor for publishing platform Medium (where he spent four years as Head of Legal and Head of Trust and Safety) and on the board of the Responsible Data Economy Foundation. As lead advisor to the Digital Trust and Safety Partnership, he helped launch the first industry-led initiative for creating best practices for online trust and safety.

“People want to make their own decisions about what content they interact with and about how they distribute and share it. Only the decentralized web has the potential to fully distribute decisionmaking in this area and empower ordinary web users to choose for themselves. I’m incredibly excited to join the Filecoin Foundation and help change the way the world shares content.”

Wendy Hanamura Advisor, FF and FFDW Wendy is the Director of Partnerships at the Internet Archive, one of the world’s largest digital libraries. For 25 years, the Internet Archive has provided learners everywhere with free access to billions of Web pages, texts, films and videos, audio and software — a vast collection of our cultural heritage. Building on a career in non-profit media, Wendy uses her communication skills to share the remarkable stories locked in the Internet Archive’s 70 petabytes of digital information. She helps to steward the global movement to create a Decentralized Web, including producing the Decentralized Web Summits 2018 & 2016, DWeb Camp 2019.

“I remember so vividly when Juan Benet first visited the Internet Archive back in 2015. Already, it was becoming apparent that the web we were inhabiting was failing us. We talked about a huge vision to bake our values into the code, to build the Web we want and deserve. By 2016, we had named it the Decentralized Web. It’s been amazing to watch the Decentralized Web evolve from something notional to hundreds of projects with working code. We’re entering a phase of phenomenal growth and real-world challenges.”