Distributed Systems Theorist

About Heliax

Heliax is a remote-first public goods lab which researches, develops, deploys, and maintains open-source protocols and mechanisms designed to serve the everyday needs of humanity. Using this, we build vertically integrated open-source products and networks that form coherent open systems which are capable of acting as an alternative to existing exploitative paradigms.

Heliax’s work includes Anoma, the universal intent machine introducing a new era of intent-centric applications; and Namada, the shielded asset hub for multichain, multi-asset data protection, designed to give people full control over sharing their personal information.


The systems of coordination and finance in our world today are not private enough for safe use by citizens, corporations, or dissidents. Heliax is looking for a distributed systems theorist interested in working with us to design and formalize our distributed systems protocols across the areas of distributed consensus, networking, execution, storage, and compute, with a particular focus on heterogeneous trust, information flow control, and control theory, and to help guide engineering work as we put this research into practice in order to realize the information flow control and scalability capabilities required to realize the vision of Anoma.

This role offers the chance to work closely with a small team on compelling cross-disciplinary problems in theoretical computer science, cryptography, game theory, economics, and systems design, and enjoy a high degree of independence in working conditions and task prioritization.


  • Formalize and explore novel mathematical models of heterogeneous trust, facilitating the development and analysis of peer-to-peer and distributed protocols.
  • Help design and formalize distributed systems protocols in clean mathematical language in order to reason clearly about and prove behavioral properties relating to safety, liveness, incentive-compatibility, asymptotic and concrete efficiency, and more.
  • Produce precise, comprehensive, and consistent technical specifications of distributed systems protocols in coordination with other team members.
  • Independently author and co-author papers for Anoma Research Topics and external conferences/journals which specify, formalize, and analyze our models, distributed systems designs, and protocols.

Example projects

  • Developing a model of quantifiable heterogeneous trust for P2P systems
  • Helping formalize and prove properties of Anoma’s P2P layer (blog post, paper)
  • Helping formalize and prove properties of Typhon’s Chimera chains
  • Helping formalize and prove properties of intent-centric systems


  • Prior experience with design and reasoning about distributed systems such as BFT consensus algorithms, P2P systems, and distributed databases.
  • Prior experience with heterogeneous trust design and reasoning.
  • Self-motivated & self-organized. The organization will provide guidance and resources as appropriate, but day-to-day task management is up to you.
  • Extensive mathematical background and the ability to determine the appropriate mathematical abstractions for formalization of particular protocols.
  • Equivalent of a PhD in mathematics or distributed systems. A formal PhD degree is not a hard requirement, but you should have this level of expertise and mathematical familiarity.


Ideally based in or willing to relocate to Berlin, Zug, or London. Must be based in Europe (including UK) and willing to travel to Berlin and/or Zug for initial onboarding. We can help with relocation to Germany (e.g. visa assistance).

Ideally someone who enjoys travel, nature and hiking. Often we find that protocols are best designed not in a meeting room but rather on a trail 🏔️.