ZK 101
July 17, 2023

StarkNet: Ecosystem Guide

In Brief

Starknet is a decentralized layer-2 network that enables Ethereum to scale securely and dapps to achieve unlimited scale for transactions and computation.

Starkware is a prominent technology company in the blockchain industry that specializes in developing and deploying zk-STARK technology. Since its establishment in 2018, Starkware has been at the forefront of advancing STARK-based technologies within the blockchain ecosystem. The company has introduced innovative solutions such as StarkEx, Cairo, and StarkNet, which have significantly contributed to enhancing scalability, privacy, and efficiency in decentralized applications.

StarkNet: Ecosystem Guide

What is Starknet?

What is Starknet?

Starknet is an unrestricted network that capitalizes on zk-STARKs technology to provide scalability, privacy, and security. It is primarily a Layer-2 scalability solution for Ethereum that enables quick, secure, and economical transactions. Starknet operates as a Validity Rollup, also referred to as a zero-knowledge Rollup, which utilizes cryptographic systems known as STARKs to diminish computation expenses.

Key features of Starknet

Affordable transactions: Starknet significantly reduces transaction costs compared to Ethereum. Anticipated upgrades and enhancements, including Volition (off-chain data availability) and the implementation of EIP 4844 on L1, are expected to further lower these costs.

Developer-friendly: Starknet provides an empowering environment for developers to create decentralized applications using STARKs and the Cairo programming language.

Improved performance: The forthcoming updates of Starknet aim to enhance the network’s throughput, decrease transaction latency, and further reduce transaction costs.

Starknet Philosophy

Starknet Philosophy

Starknet is fundamentally developer-oriented. The network’s design primarily focuses on equipping developers with a secure, powerful platform to build the next generation of decentralized infrastructure and applications. Key principles of this approach include:

  • Efficiency: Starknet ensures faster throughput, lower latency, and fewer transaction costs, which aids the creation of computation-intensive applications.
  • Cairo: Cairo, the core programming language of Starknet, is regularly updated and improved to provide developers with the best tools to utilize validity proofs and zk-STARKs technology.
  • Community engagement: Starknet maintains open lines of communication and feedback with the developer community through platforms like Telegram and Discord.
  • Creativity: Starknet strives to eliminate restrictions and enable developers to build the future of decentralized applications.
  • Tools: Starknet is committed to providing a full suite of development tools, such as SDKs for various languages, a testing and deployment framework inspired by Foundry (Protostar), and package managers (Scarb).

The Starknet Foundation

The Starknet Foundation is the steward of Starknet, accountable to its community of developers and users. As a non-profit organization, it performs several key roles in the ecosystem.

The Foundation is tasked with the governance of Starknet, which includes:

  • Monitoring the development and operations of Starknet, including network upgrades and improvements.
  • Managing the Starknet DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization that enables community participation in Starknet’s governance.
  • Establishing policies and regulations to ensure fair practices and maintain the integrity of the network.

Read more: Over 500K Wallets Bridge to Starknet, Depositing $65M

Development

In addition to governance, the Starknet Foundation plays an active role in promoting development within the Starknet ecosystem:

  • The Foundation aids and encourages research, development, and innovation within the Starknet network and its broader ecosystem.
  • It supports the growth of Starknet technology and the adoption of the Starknet network.
  • The Foundation provides financial and logistical support for user and developer conferences and events to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing within the community.

Community Engagement

The Starknet Foundation understands the significance of a strong, active community in the success of Starknet. It adopts several measures to boost Starknet community participation and project governance:

  • The Foundation actively organizes and facilitates community events, meetups, and discussions.
  • It promotes collaboration with related communities, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose in the broader blockchain realm.
  • The Foundation strives to create opportunities for community members to contribute to Starknet’s growth and development, whether through development, governance, or community building.

Board of Directors

The Starknet Foundation

The Starknet Foundation is overseen by a board of seven directors, each bringing their unique expertise. These directors come from diverse backgrounds, offering a wide range of insights and perspectives:

  • Andrew McLaughlin: Specializes in tech policy, digital rights, and community self-governance. His entrepreneurial experience benefits the Foundation’s governance.
  • Eli Ben-Sasson: Co-founder and President of StarkWare and co-inventor of STARKs. His technical expertise is crucial in guiding Starknet’s development.
  • Eric Wall: An independent blockchain researcher and thought leader who contributes his insights on the blockchain space to the Foundation’s strategies.
  • Heather Meeker: An expert in open-source software licensing, ensuring the Foundation’s open-source initiatives are legally compliant.
  • Shubhangi Saraf: A professor of math and theoretical computer science. She contributed to the mathematics underpinning STARKs and brought her academic expertise to the Foundation.
  • Tomasz Stanczak: A blockchain engineer, leader, and CEO of Nethermind, one of the largest teams building on Starknet. His practical development experience provides invaluable insights.
  • Uri Kolodny: Co-founder and CEO of StarkWare. His leadership and understanding of Starknet’s core technology help guide the Foundation’s strategic direction.

These seven individuals collaboratively guide the Foundation’s activities to ensure that Starknet continues to develop and evolve in the best interest of its community.

What is Starkware?

StarkNet ecosystem

StarkWare’s technologies aim to enhance the scalability and privacy of blockchains while maintaining computational transparency. The company’s technology stack is designed to support any computational task, and its team is made up of experienced researchers, developers, and entrepreneurs who specialize in algebraic coding theory, cryptography, software, hardware, and more.

As you noted, StarkWare’s primary product offerings include:

  1. StarkEx: This is a scalability engine for blockchains, which can be used as a scalability solution by cryptocurrency exchanges, payment processors, and any application requiring high transaction throughput.
  2. Cairo: A Turing-complete programming language, Cairo allows for more expressive and comprehensive statements, which can be verified using zk-STARK proofs. It’s an important tool for developers wanting to create scalable and privacy-preserving applications on blockchain platforms.
  3. StarkNet: Starkware’s most ambitious project yet. It is a permissionless, decentralized zk-STARK-based Layer 2 network on top of Ethereum. It aims to improve Ethereum’s scalability issue, providing greater throughput and lower fees, while maintaining a strong level of security.

The use of zk-STARK technology in these products allows Starkware to provide solutions that offer scalability and privacy on blockchains. In essence, zk-STARKs are a type of cryptographic proof that enables one party to prove to another that a certain computational statement is true, without revealing any information other than the truth of the statement itself.

Overall, StarkWare is a significant contributor to the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, providing important infrastructure for scalable, secure, and private transactions and computations.

Read more: StarkWare Partnering with Chainlink Labs to Accelerate Ecosystem Growth and Expand App Development on StarkNet

StarkNet ecosystem

StarkNet ecosystem Map
Source: Twitter @Starknetics

Starkware offers a range of wallets, bridges, projects, games, and resources within its ecosystem. Here are some of the projects that you can pay attention to:

Wallets

Wallets

Starkware currently has two available wallets for users to interact with their ecosystem. These are Argent X and Braavos. However, it’s expected that more wallets will join the ecosystem in the future.

Read more: 30+ Best Crypto Wallets of 2023: Reviews & Comparison

Bridges

Bridges

To bridge ETH from Layer 1 (L1) to Starknet, several bridges are available. These bridges facilitate the transfer of assets between different networks.

The official Bridge can be accessed at StarkGate. Another option is Orbiter, which is a fast bridge supporting multiple Layer 2 (L2) networks, including Starknet. LayerSwap is an innovative solution that allows users to migrate funds from centralized exchanges (CEX) to L2 networks.

Upcoming Projects

Upcoming Projects

Starkware has several upcoming projects in its pipeline. These include Nostra Finance, which serves as the liquidity layer of StarkNet, and StarkDefi, a permissionless and trustless hub for comprehensive DeFi solutions. Other projects include zkGraph, ZKX Protocol, Kandra, Zohal, CryptoSwap, and more. Additionally, these projects aim to tap into the potential of decentralized finance and other innovative solutions provided by StarkNet.

Games

Games

Starkware’s ecosystem includes several blockchain-based games. StarkNet powers Eykar, a decentralized conquest game, where players can expand their territories by forming alliances and engaging in wars. The Ninth is a metaverse world where users can own and generate in-game elements. The Redline is a giant robot NFT racing and engineering game, while Imperium Wars is a Conquer to Earn NFT game involving alliances and battles. Frens Lands serves as an on-chain world builder RTS game, while Dope Wars, drawing inspiration from nostalgic calculator games, operates as a modular game system.

Resources

Resources

Starkware provides various resources to support its community. StarkEvents offers information on events, hackathons, conferences, and community calls related to Starknet. The Starknet-ecosystem provides an overview of projects building and running on StarkNet.

Additionally, several accounts on social media platforms such as Twitter, including @odin_free, @0xNurstar, @Starknet_Intern, @StarkWareLtd, and @Starkeventsxyz, share valuable updates and insights related to Starkware’s ecosystem.

The Starkware ecosystem encompasses a wide range of applications, services, and resources, contributing to the growth and development of the network.

Conclusion

With its groundbreaking products and ongoing advancements, Starkware continues to play a crucial role in driving the adoption of zk-STARK technology within the blockchain industry. StarkEx has emerged as a major Layer 2 solution for Ethereum, providing high throughput and low-cost transactions. Cairo, the optimized programming language for writing efficient STARK proofs, empowers developers to build scalable decentralized applications. StarkNet represents a significant leap forward in Layer 2 solutions, offering a permissionless and decentralized network governed by the Foundation.

Through its comprehensive ecosystem of wallets, bridges, projects, games, and resources, Starkware fosters innovation, collaboration, and community engagement. As the blockchain industry evolves, Starkware remains committed to pushing the boundaries of scalability, privacy, and security, enabling the development of the next generation of decentralized applications and empowering users with a more efficient and user-friendly blockchain experience.

FAQ

Starkware is a technology company focused on developing and deploying zk-STARK technology in the blockchain industry. Their solutions enhance scalability, privacy, and security, including Layer 2 solutions like StarkEx.

zk-STARK (Zero-Knowledge Scalable Transparent Arguments of Knowledge) is a cryptographic technology that allows one party to prove the validity of a computation without revealing any sensitive information. It enables scalable and privacy-preserving transactions and computations on blockchain networks.

StarkEx is a Layer 2 scalability engine developed by Starkware. It enables fast and cost-effective transactions on Ethereum and other blockchains by processing large batches of transactions off-chain while ensuring their validity through zk-STARK proofs.

StarkNet is a permissionless and decentralized Layer 2 network built by Starkware. It leverages zk-STARK technology to provide high throughput, low-latency, and low-cost transactions while maintaining a strong level of security. It aims to enhance the scalability of Ethereum and support the development of decentralized applications.

Cairo is a programming language developed by Starkware. It is optimized for writing efficient STARK proofs, enabling developers to create scalable and privacy-preserving applications on blockchain platforms, both on and off StarkNet.

The Starknet Foundation is the governing body responsible for overseeing and supporting the development and operations of StarkNet. It ensures community participation, establishes rules and regulations, and fosters collaboration within the StarkNet ecosystem.

Starkware’s innovations and solutions address critical challenges in scalability, privacy, and security within the blockchain industry. By providing Layer 2 scalability solutions, optimized programming languages, and a decentralized network like StarkNet, Starkware is driving the adoption and advancement of blockchain technology.

Read more:

Disclaimer

In line with the Trust Project guidelines, please note that the information provided on this page is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice. It is important to only invest what you can afford to lose and to seek independent financial advice if you have any doubts. For further information, we suggest referring to the terms and conditions as well as the help and support pages provided by the issuer or advertiser. MetaversePost is committed to accurate, unbiased reporting, but market conditions are subject to change without notice.

About The Author

Nik is an accomplished analyst and writer at Metaverse Post, specializing in delivering cutting-edge insights into the fast-paced world of technology, with a particular emphasis on AI/ML, XR, VR, on-chain analytics, and blockchain development. His articles engage and inform a diverse audience, helping them stay ahead of the technological curve. Possessing a Master's degree in Economics and Management, Nik has a solid grasp of the nuances of the business world and its intersection with emergent technologies.

More articles
Nik Asti
Nik Asti

Nik is an accomplished analyst and writer at Metaverse Post, specializing in delivering cutting-edge insights into the fast-paced world of technology, with a particular emphasis on AI/ML, XR, VR, on-chain analytics, and blockchain development. His articles engage and inform a diverse audience, helping them stay ahead of the technological curve. Possessing a Master's degree in Economics and Management, Nik has a solid grasp of the nuances of the business world and its intersection with emergent technologies.

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