Zero Knowledge Web3 Jobs in San Francisco, California, United States

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Job Position Company Posted Location Salary Tags

Penumbra Labs

San Francisco, CA, United States

$63k - $112k

Pagoda

San Francisco, CA, United States

$72k - $100k

O(1) Labs

San Francisco, CA, United States

$63k - $100k

NEAR

San Francisco, CA, United States

$54k - $90k

Worldcoin

San Francisco, CA, United States

$170k - $250k

Worldcoin

San Francisco, CA, United States

$170k - $250k

Succinct

San Francisco, CA, United States

$62k - $77k

Succinct

San Francisco, CA, United States

$84k - $110k

Coinbase

San Francisco, CA, United States

$71k - $84k

Blockswap network

San Francisco, CA, United States

$80k - $110k

Ripple

San Francisco, CA, United States

Ripple

San Francisco, CA, United States

$74k - $110k

NEAR

San Francisco, CA, United States

Blockstream

San Francisco, CA, United States

$63k - $90k

O(1) Labs

San Francisco, CA, United States

$63k - $90k

O(1) Labs

San Francisco, CA, United States

$63k - $79k

NEAR

San Francisco, CA, United States

$29k - $50k

Brave

San Francisco, CA, United States

$11k - $60k

MobileCoin

San Francisco, CA, United States

$63k - $90k

0x

San Francisco, CA, United States

$39k - $50k

Core Engineer

Penumbra Labs
$63k - $112k est.
CA San Francisco, California, United States

This job is closed

What Penumbra is

Penumbra is a private-by-default proof-of-stake network. Penumbra provides private transactions in any kind of cryptoasset, using Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) to connect to other chains. It also has a novel staking mechanism that provides accountability for validators but privacy for delegators, allowing them to privately stake, earn rewards, and participate in governance. Finally, Penumbra provides ZSwap, a decentralized exchange integrated with its shielded pool. ZSwap provides sealed-bid batch auctions on the market-taker side and Uniswap-v3->

This is a condensed summary of the entire system; more details on the economic and cryptographic design of Penumbra can be found in the notes on the website, which – with your help – will eventually evolve into a complete protocol specification. (If something on the website is unclear, please let us know, we’d love to fix it).

What you’ll be doing

Penumbra is an early-stage project. There are lots of interesting things to work on:

  • System design and implementation for the node software. Penumbra’s node implementation will be written in Rust, using tower-abci to communicate with the Tendermint consensus engine. This will involve both design work defining the structure of the software, as well as the implementation work required to connect different components.
  • Cryptographic design for Penumbra’s shielded transaction system. This is based on the Zcash Sapling design, but adapted for a different proving curve (BLS12-377), and with various tweaks to enable functionality such as detection keys.
  • Design and implementation for IBC integration with the shielded transaction system, so that IBC transfers into Penumbra shield value, and transfers out of Penumbra unshield it. This involves specifying precisely what data is included in IBC messages, how IBC asset names correspond to shielded asset types, and testing interoperability.
  • Design and implementation for the staking and delegation system. Penumbra uses a novel staking design that treats bonded and unbonded stake not as two states of the same asset, but as distinct assets with a defined exchange mechanism. The economic design is complete, but the technical design details need to be filled in and implemented.
  • Cryptographic design and system integration for threshold decryption. Penumbra uses a verifiable, homomorphic threshold encryption scheme to aggregate flows of value between different parts of the system, and reveal only the total flow over some time interval, rather than amounts in individual transactions. For instance, new delegations to a particular validator are aggregated over each epoch, and swaps between a particular trading pair are aggregated in each block. This primitive currently exists as a sketch, and needs to be fleshed out and integrated with the interface to the consensus engine.
  • Design and implementation of client functionality. In a private blockchain, each user has a private portion of the chain state. This means that they cannot simply query a remote node for, e.g., an account balance. Instead, they need to have some kind of client infrastructure that maintains a picture of the state they have access to.
  • Design and implementation of ZSwap. The high-level design of ZSwap is largely complete, but there are still high-level questions to work out before it can be implemented. Implementation work involves integration into the consensus-driven state machine, as well as work to provide an library that allows managing positions and making trades and can be used to implement active trading strategies.
  • Cryptographic implementation. Penumbra’s shielded transaction system will involve a number of ZK-SNARK statements, each with a circuit. Because Penumbra provides larger (but still specialized) functionality than the original Sapling design, there are more proof statements to implement.

This is a big list, and it’s by no means expected that you would work on all or even most of these — any of these areas could individually constitute most of your entire responsibility for some time. If even one of these sub-projects sounds interesting, we’d love to hear from you.

Who you are

You have solid Rust experience

You’ll be working in Rust from day one. You don’t need to be a Rust expert (though you could become one on the job), but you should have a solid Rust background so you can begin meaningfully contributing to a nascent project within the first month or two of joining the team.

You have strong skills for public, asynchronous, remote work

Penumbra Labs is a remote organization, building in public. You should have excellent written and verbal communication skills to coordinate with and make your work legible to the rest of the team and – as the project grows – to outside collaborators and stakeholders. The COVID-19 situation remains uncertain, but, were it not for the pandemic, we’d ideally sync up in person about once per quarter.

You’re excited to build the systems you want to see in the world

You’ll be building new, decentralized infrastructure for economic coordination. You should be interested in thinking about how the systems you’re building reflect your values, and you should be excited about the challenge of trying to build solutions, not just analyze problems.

You have any of many different backgrounds and skills

The team that builds Penumbra will need deep technical expertise across a wide range of specialties. But it’s not necessary that each team member has expertise in all of those specialties, or particular formal credentials for their skills. If you’re excited by what you’ve read so far, please don’t hesitate to apply, even if:

  • you don’t have a university degree in computer science,
  • you don’t have X yX">ears of professional experience in Rust or Y years of experience as a programmer, or
  • you don’t have experience with cryptography, zero-knowledge proofs, blockchains, economic mechanism design, or any other specific domain details.

How to apply

Apply using the form with:
1. your name and pronouns,
2. your resume/cv,
3. a brief description of your interest in the role,
4. a sample or description of your technical work.

This sample could be public links to code you’ve written, or, if your best work has happened behind closed doors, it can be a description of what you built in enough detail for us to understand it. It’s fine if the best example of your work is in a language other than Rust, but in this case, please also include a sample or description of something you’ve built in Rust as well.

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