- Starkware is implementing zk-STARKs in various blockchains including Ethereum. The advantage of zk-STARKs over zk-SNARKs is that it doesn’t require a trusted setup, although the cryptographic proof sizes become much larger.
- As the invested Consensys Ventures explained: "Starkware, co-founded by Eli Ben Sasson, a leading professor in cryptography and founding scientist of ZCash, uses their novel zero knowledge cryptography of zk-STARKs to improve scalability and privacy on blockchains. Starkware is well positioned to become a leader in the growing application of zero knowledge proofs within blockchain systems for scalability and privacy, a trend on which we are very bullish."
- "According (7-1-2020) to StarkWare’s “measurements (not approximations, nor estimates),” Ethereum’s scalability has the potential to improve by 2,000 times over Ethereum Layer-1 after the Istanbul update. StarkWare said it would launch its mainnet “soon,”"
- Whitepaper can be found [insert here].
- Code can be viewed [insert here].
- Built on: Ethereum
- Programming language used: StarkNet is based on the Turing-complete Cairo language (26-1-2021).
How it works
- "StarkEx 2.0 (Nov 2020) will offer L2-L1 interoperability (Fast Withdrawals), using on-chain Conditional Txs.
- StarkEx 3.0 (Feb 2021) will offer L2-L2 interoperability across StarkEx systems, using off-chain Conditional Txs."
"Volition is a hybrid on-chain/off-chain data solution that allows users to dynamically pick where they want their data stored. StarkEx will support Volition soon."
- Has integrated dYdX and ChainLink (21-4-2021).
- From Week in Ethereum (30-5-2021):
"Adamantium protocol from StarkWare is a flavor of Validium where a user can keep their own offchain data."
- From Yield Farmer (28-8-2020):
"Cairo is the first production-grade platform for generating STARK proofs for general computation. It is Turing Complete, and highly efficient."
- From their blog (29-7-2021):
"We first presented dAMM in March 2021 as Caspian but, due to a trademark issue, Caspian was renamed (long live dAMM). dAMM is an L2 AMM that aggregates liquidity in a single L1 pool and enforces logic with an L1 contract."
"Caspian is a new L2-powered AMM design from StarkWare. This AMM leaves assets on L1, resulting in defragmented liquidity, and better capital efficiency. StarkEx 3.0 (Coming in June 2021) will support Caspian. It will include two new primitives required for implementing Caspian: L1 Limit Orders, and Batch-Long Flash Loans."
- DeFi Pooling from StarkWare, a yearn-style vault on layer 2 to save gas (25-1-2021). Built on StarkEx.
- Untitled DEX that is being implemented in partnership with (27-1-2020) DeversiFi.
- From their announcement (18-8-2020):
"Our engineering teams are collaborating on a Layer 2 scaling solution for Perpetual Contracts, based on StarkWare’s StarkEx scalability engine and dYdX’s Perpetual smart contracts. Our Perpetual Contracts will be powered by StarkEx by the end of this year."
- Gods Unchained is building (8-5-2020) an NFT exchange with StarkWare.
"OpenZKP is a fully open-source Rust implementation of zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs). OpenZKP includes a partial implementation of the STARKs protocol variant that was pioneered by StarkWare in the StarkDEX testnet demo."
- From EthHub #116 (1-6-2020):
"StarkWare Reddit Onboarding Demo
Using StarkEx, the StarkWare team trustlessly onboarded to Ethereum Mainnet 1.3M accounts with initial balances, effectively demonstrating how an entire subreddit the size of r/FortNiteBR (with its Brick tokens) could be brought onto Mainnet. The amortized price per transfer: 600 gas.
The team created no network congestion in the process. They did it over a ~12 hour period while using 2.5% of the network. We paid gas prices that were on average 30% below the average block gas price during this time."
- Has designed StarkDEX together with 0x to address DEX scalability with the use of STARK's.
- StarkEx 3.0 went live. From EthHub (3-8-2021):
"StarkEx 3.0 brings with it 2 new major features - L1 vaults and SHARed Prover (SHARP) enabling DeFi pooling and dAMM."
- Can be found here (26-1-2021):
"We’re building StarkNet in four steps:
- Foundations (completed*)
- Planets: Single-App Rollups
- Constellations: Multi-App Rollups
- Universe: A Decentralized Rollup
We expect to have Step I deployed in a few short months, and be well on our way to Steps II & III by the end of 2021."
- Bug bounty program can be found [insert here]. None according to Blockchain Security DB (29-6-2020), which does show 1 audit (2-2020) for StarkEx.
Projects that use or built on it
- From this tweet (12-10-2020):
"StarkEx will enable ParaSwap to offer inexpensive swaps at scale."
Work with 0x
- Starkdex — a project between Starkware and 0x — launched a PoC in June 2019. In October, they released OpenZKP, an open source rust implementation of ZKPs.
- Together they are experimenting on:
“"zero knowledge proofs” or ZKPs for short. A zero knowledge proof allows someone to do a computation on some data and prove that they did this computation correctly, without revealing the data. For example, an account can prove that it summed up all of its expenses correctly without showing what those expenses were.
It is a technology that has been known for about two decades, but as often happens with cryptographic inventions the initial versions where impractically hard to use. In the last couple of years, and thanks to the hard work by Ben-Sasson and many others, ZKP technology has become practical in the form of zkSNARKS. Ben-Sasson and others have developed a new ZKP technology called zkSTARKs. They continue researching and developing this technology as a world-class team called Starkware. Compared to earlier ZKPs, it has better security and it’s easier to produce proofs. It is also refreshingly simple, like great inventions tend to be."
- dYdX, DiversiFi, Rari Capital and Immutable X (9-3-2021)
- BadgerDAO; planning to deploy (17-3-2021)
Pros and Cons
Team, Funding, Partners
- Eli Ben Sasson; founder
- Uri Kolodny, Co-Founder & CEO
- Got invested in by Consensys Ventures
- In 2018 closed a $30M equity round lead by Paradigm, in addition to Pantera, Scalar Capital, Multicoin, among others.
- Vitalik Buterin has "Significant corporate shareholdings" in Starkware
- The Ethereum Foundation gave $4M with 6K ETH Performance-based Bounties to Starkware. Development of standards report and production-quality software for optimized STARK-friendly hash functions and tooling.
- According to DeFi Weekly (9-3-2021): "Backed by Paradigm, Sequoia, Naval and more".
- From The Block (24-3-2021):
"Raised $75M led by crypto VC firm Paradigm. Paradigm previously led StarkWare's $30 million fundraise in 2018.. Previous investors, including Sequoia, Founders Fund, and Pantera participated in the round alongside new investors like Three Arrows and Alameda Research."
- DeversiFi; one of the participants of a $5M private token sale for 12% of the DFV supply (18-5-2021).
- dYdX; was part of the dYdX Series C raise of $64M (15-6-2021).
- Is a member of the Data Availability Committee of DeversiFi (6-2020).
- Worked together with Aztec. From their blog (29-1-2021):
"Polaris license under which StarkWare plans to release source code for its STARK prover; Aztec will use the same Polaris license for its PLONK provers (see their post)."