StarkWare, an Israel-based blockchain specialist which commercializes a zero-knowledge proof system, has secured $30 million from high profile names within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, including Consensys, Coinbase Ventures, Intel Capital, Pantera, and Sequoia. Netanya-based StarkWare Industries, which was founded in early 2018 to develop its “full proof stack for the STARK zero-knowledge protocol,” secured its first $6 million from 11 investors, including Pantera, Floodgate, and Naval Ravikant in a seed round earlier.
The firm was co-founded by Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson (Technion), Prof. Alessandro Chiesa (UC Berkeley), Uri Kolodny, and Michael Riabzev, who form a “world-class team of experts” in zero-knowledge proof systems and engineering. StarkWare aims to solve two of the main challenges in the blockchain space: privacy and scalability. Starkware is creating the software implementations for STARKs, which produces a proof that a complex computation was done correctly.
Zero knowledge proofs are a key primative for blockchain scalability and privacy. I can see a world where most blockchain activity goes through them. Their main challenge is being efficient enough for practical use. @StarkWareLtd is squarely focused on this problem.
– Fred Ehrsam, former co-founder of Coinbase
The proof developed by the team can be verified in a fraction of the time that it takes to run the actual computation and can be bundled to create further computational efficiencies. The importance of zero-knowledge proof is that, by ensuring a higher probability that a particular computation is valid, the nature of a transaction can remain private. These verifications are comparatively computationally light, which provides scalability to the blockchain.