Zero-Knowledge Cryptographer & Protocol Developer

Role Overview

About Heliax

The primary project of Heliax is the Anoma protocol (implemented in Rust). Anoma is self-contained, self-sovereign and capture resistant, enabling private, asset-agnostic cash and private coordination among any number of parties. In addition to Anoma, Heliax works on open-source projects which are part of the Anoma ecosystem, including but not limited to research in cryptographic libraries such as the MASP, Plonk or Ferveo (written in Rust), and tools for high assurance validity predicates and arbitrary zero-knowledge circuits (Juvix, written in Haskell).

Heliax is a remote-first public goods lab which researches, develops, deploys, and maintains open-source protocols & 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. With team members located around the world, our work culture is characterized by open-allocation, where team members have a high degree of freedom and autonomy in choosing when to work, what to work on, and whom to work with.

Overview

Blockchains are not private enough for safe use by citizens, corporations, or dissidents.

Heliax is looking for a cryptographer & researcher interested in zero-knowledge cryptographic protocols and their application to distributed ledger technology to work with us to design, evaluate, and implement zero-knowledge proof constructions such as zkSNARKs and zkSTARKs, distributed cryptographic protocols such as threshold encryption and distributed key generation, and cryptographic primitives such as elliptic curves and hash functions, then put this cryptography into practice in order to realise privacy and scalability capabilities required by the next generation of blockchain networks.

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.

Responsibilities

  • Evaluate and analyze existing zkSNARK and zkSTARK proof systems such as Groth '16, Ben-Sasson '18, and PLONK for security, expressivity, and performance; monitor the state of the research field for compelling new theoretical advances
  • Update & alter existing cryptographic protocols, customize them for specific proof-of-concept and production use-cases
  • Produce technical specifications for designs & instantiations of cryptographic protocols and assist with implementation in coordination with team members
  • Implement, review, and test cryptographic operations & protocols, primarily in Rust, evaluate existing implementations

Example projects

Qualifications

  • Prior experience with cryptographic protocols, especially zkSNARKS or zkSTARKs (though not specifically required)
  • Prior experience in low-level systems programming, ideally in Rust
  • Self-motivated & self-organized

Bonus Qualifications

  • Academic research background in mathematics, computer science, economics, and/or game theory
  • Prior experience with distributed ledger (blockchain) technology
  • Experience in a functional programming language such as Haskell or Ocaml
  • Experience with a proof assistance such as Idris, Coq, or Agda

Misc

Remote or local (Zürich/Zug, Berlin). When remote, preferred if mostly located within (+/- 7 hours) Central European time zones. North America is fine.

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 🏔️.