We’ve talked to Eli Ben-Sasson, the co-founder, president and chairman of the board at Starkware, at Starkware Classes 2023, a two-day occasion that brings collectively the Ethereum neighborhood in Tel Aviv, Israel. In the course of the interview, Ben-Sasson mentioned web3 and cryptocurrency and what course blockchains ought to take sooner or later to achieve wider adoption.
Vadim: We’re going to begin with a easy query. Please introduce your self.
Eli: Okay, my identify is Eli Ben-Sasson. I’m co-founder and president of Starkware. I arrived at Starkware as a result of I used to be a theoretical laptop scientist, and I used to be doing analysis that led to Starks.
What do you consider the present state of web3? What’s your challenge consumption to the web3 and the cryptocurrency market?
So web3 proper now could be making an attempt to make use of blockchains, like Ethereum and Bitcoin, that are very dependable but additionally very clogged and gradual as there’s lots of demand for them. Starkware’s mission is to extend exponentially the size of those blockchains via math and cryptography.
How do you see the modular way forward for blockchains and Starkware’s place in it?
Blockchains are going to evolve into a complete bunch of islands which can be interconnected via one thing known as fractal scaling, which was invented by Starkware. Fractal scaling means that you can have many duplicate semi-blockchains which can be linked and have the identical safety as Ethereum via the facility of Stark proofs.
Inform extra about Starkware’s Prover.
The Starkware Prover, which we have now simply introduced we’re open-sourcing, is the engine that enables this scale and integrity to all come collectively. By open-sourcing it, we’re principally saying it is a public good that should be within the palms of everybody and can’t be restricted to at least one firm or entity. It’s going to be the engine that powers all this scale.
How massive is it going to be? What are your expectations about this product this 12 months and subsequent 12 months?
I believe that builders are seeing that that is actually the top recreation for scaling blockchains and is what can truly assist attain world demand. Builders are coming alongside and serving to propel it to one thing that shall be used for every little thing like buying your cup of espresso every single day, doing remittance funds throughout borders, reaching consensus on issues of social curiosity, and a complete bunch of different issues. I consider that is the top recreation for scaling blockchains.
Yeah, that’s attention-grabbing. I can see what number of builders at this convention consider on this expertise. So my subsequent query shall be about decentralized and web3: the identification discipline is heating up. What do you consider this development?
I believe decentralized proofs of humanity and decentralized identification are extraordinarily essential matters. We began with the proof of labor, which is actually good security-wise, however it’s very problematic when it comes to power consumption. We’ve moved to the proof of stake, which is best when it comes to power consumption, however it’s not the top objective. The tip objective must be proof of humanity and going again to at least one particular person, one vote. For that to occur, we have to have higher proofs of identification and proofs of humanity, so I actually hope this space evolves shortly over web3.
Do we want the machine for that or simply our pockets? So do you’ve any idea in your thoughts about this?
This can be a very powerful downside as a result of if there’s an financial incentive, individuals can try to mimic humanity. That is basically the Sybil assault. Because of this I believe the answer has to make use of social networks and graphs and depend on different people who find themselves already established to be people. Nevertheless, I don’t have an answer in thoughts, and I believe it’s an space of essential analysis to be performed.
Do you assume there’s a use case for NFTs and metaverse on Starkware?
NFTs have been an enormous development that has considerably subsided as a result of we’re inside crypto winter. I believe NFTs are right here to remain. Possibly the hype round them has rightfully gone down a little bit bit. StarkEx is already the best supply of NFTs over Ethereum. Over 95 million NFTs are minted over our expertise. I believe NFTs are right here to remain, however most likely the sort of hype we noticed a 12 months in the past doesn’t return, they usually simply are used for extra customary issues like tickets, taking part in video games, , proofs of precise attendance in particular person, and issues like that.
As we’re known as Metaverse Put up, inform us: What’s the metaverse for you?
I believe the metaverse is taking our social buildings and social interactions and placing them again in a peer-to-peer approach via the web, not counting on a centralized firm to mediate it. A real peer-to-peer social community that has integrity and safety, as you’d anticipate of a blockchain.
So is it going to be the entire house the place humanity can transfer to, or is it going to be one of many instruments we’re going to make use of?
I believe it’s going to be how we socially work together and the place our social supply of belief on the web is. We’ve our personal face-to-face interactions and our buddies, however lots of our life right this moment is completed on the web. I believe the place the place we’re we are going to connect social and financial worth to our presence on the Web goes to remodel into the metaverse, and it’s going to be decentralized. There’s not going to be a Fb or an Instagram that’s in management; it’s going to actually be peer-to-peer like Bitcoin or Ethereum.