Tox began a few years ago, in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks regarding NSA spying activity. The idea was to create an instant messaging application that ran without requiring the use of central servers. The system would be distributed, peer-to-peer, and end-to-end encrypted, with no way to disable any of the encryption features; at the same time, the application would be easily usable by the layperson with no practical knowledge of cryptography or distributed systems. During the Summer of 2013 a small group of developers from all around the globe formed and began working on a library implementing the Tox protocol. The library provides all of the messaging and encryption facilities, and is completely decoupled from any user-interface; for an end-user to make use of Tox, they need a Tox client. Fast-forward a few years to today, and there exist several independent Tox client projects, and the original Tox core library implementation continues to improve. Tox (both core library and clients) has thousands of users, hundreds of contributors, and the project shows no sign of slowing down.
Tox is a FOSS (Free and Open Source) project. All Tox code is open source and all development occurs in the open. Tox is developed by volunteer developers who spend their free time on it, believing in the idea of the project. Tox is not a company or any other legal organization. Currently we don’t accept donations as a project, but you are welcome to reach out to developers individually.