Eli Ben-Sasson: StarkWare – Productizing zk-STARKs to Provide Blockchain Scalability and Privacy


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This past year, we have witnessed what some are calling a “Cambrian Explosion” in zero-knowledge proof systems. New proof systems based on a variety of cryptographic assumptions are popping up every week. And while zero-knowledge systems are known for their privacy-preserving characteristics, they have proven particularly useful for scaling blockchains through off-chain computations.

We're joined by Eli Ben Sasson, Co-founder and Cheif Scientist in the East at Starkware. His company is developing a full proof-stack, which leverages STARKs. Pioneered by Eli, STARKs are zero-knowledge cryptographic proofs, which are succinct, transparent, and post-quantum secure. StarkWare has demonstrated how zkSTARKs may be leveraged to provide off-chain scalability by generating proofs of computational integrity which may be verified on-chain.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Eli's trajectory and transition from academia to the startup world
  • The origin story of Starkware and the founding team
  • The current explosion of zero-knowledge proof research
  • An overview of zero-knowledge proof systems and how they work
  • What are STARKs and what are their properties
  • How STARKs are different from SNARKs and Bulletproofs
  • What are zk-Rollups and how they are used by StarkWare to achieve scalability
  • The StarkDEX experiment and scalability benefits it had demonstrated
  • The issue of data availability with layer-2 scaling solutions
  • StarkWare's business model and the solutions they are building for customers

Episode links:


This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/310

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