StarkWare: Scalability and Privacy for Blockchains

Season 1 Episode 28
  • Host

    Zach DeWitt

  • Guests

    Uri Kolodny


    Eli Ben-Sasson


  • Date

    September 4, 2019

  • Duration

    33 minutes

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StarkWare is solving two of blockchain’s biggest issues, scalability and privacy, using STARK technology and zero-knowledge proofs.

Listen to learn how StarkWare and their new product StarkExchange work, the future use-cases of this technology, and how StarkWare plans to move the source of truth from big trusted parties back to the end-users.

Addressing the two problems of blockchains

StarkWare wants to solve scalability and privacy on blockchains with no trusted set ups and no hidden factors in a transparent and blockchain-compatible way.

The goal is to do this as a technology provider, without minting another token and trying to become another internet money, but by providing the technology as a layer two initially to the ecosystem and potentially later on at layer one.

StarkWare has developed a full proof-stack using STARK technology to generate and verify proofs of computational integrity. A STARK is a proof, a mechanism that makes you confident that a statement is correct. A simple analogy would be to compare it to a grocery receipt, in that it convinces you that the total sum you should pay is correct.

Use case: StarkExchange

One product StarkWare hopes to have live on mainnet before year’s end is their scalability engine for exchanges, StarkExhange. The basic concept is a very simple one: an exchange creates batches of trades and sends them to StarkWare on the back end in batches of trades.

StarkWare then compresses them and computes proofs attesting to the integrity of these trade batches, and the only thing they send back to the blockchain is a STARK proof, which can then be verified on-chain by anyone interested in doing so.

The StarkExchange is a great example of how StarkWare can help with the scalability and privacy properties of a transaction. Beyond the exchange of currency, it can help with layer one scalability and with speeding up payments later down the line and ensuring fair trading.

The big vision for StarkWare

Over the next decade, StarkWare’s vision is about enabling individuals to own back their information and self-custody trade, interact, and assert things about their financial status.

The current state of things is that the world operates largely on trust-based systems, in which we rely on ‘trusted parties’ like governments, large corporations, banks, etc. to protect our confidential information. StarkWare wants to move the source of truth from big trusted parties back to the end-users.

A vibrant developer community is essential to build a host of tools to enable this vision, and the team also understands that achieving this grand vision is a long process, but it’s one they are dedicated to and passionate about.

Key takeaways:

  • StarkWare is building a full proof-stack that allows blockchains to be more scalable, secure, and private;
  • There are many applications for this technology including allowing users to trade their digital assets on centralized exchanges from a non custodial wallet;
  • The StarkWare team is world class, and their technology could prove to be one of the most important innovations in the blockchain space.

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