Alessandro Chiesa

Alessandro Chiesa is an Associate Professor at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne and a Co-founder and Chief Scientist at StarkWare — the developer of the permissionless Validity-Rollup ( network operating on . [1][2][8]


Alessandro Chiesa attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he studied for a Bachelor of Science - BS in Computer Science from 2005 to 2009. Afterward, he studied for a Master of Engineering - MEng in Computer Science and then a Doctor of Philosophy - PhD at the same institution and graduated in 2014. [1]


Alessandro started his career as a Postdoctoral Researcher at ETH Zurich from 2014 to 2015. His research spans the areas of complexity theory, cryptography, and security, and focuses on the theoretical foundations and practical implementations of zero-knowledge proofs. He later served as an Assistant and then Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley from 2015 to June 2023. [1][3]

As a Founding Scientist of the company, he co-invented the Zerocash protocol and is an author of libsnark, the leading open-source library for succinct zero-knowledge proofs. [1][3]


Alessandro co-founded StarkWare in 2018 alongside , , and . [3]

StarkWare Industries Ltd. is a  technology company based in Israel, focusing on developing technology and building products to solve the challenges of the  network. Besides the technology infrastructure, its main two products are StarkEx and .


StarkEx is the Validium L2 scaling engine on the   that is modified to fit specific permissioned , used for projects to deploy their ideas (mostly for trading use cases). , ImmutableX, DeversiFi, Sorare, Canvas, and many others are partners. This Specific L2 is where most protocols are built on, generating real trading volume and conducting transactions. [4]


 is built based on STARK as the decentralized L2 Zk-rollup. The layer is responsible for executing transactions while scaling without the security sacrifice of . STARK developers can write  and run them permissionlessly on Starknet. [5]

Starknet aims to achieve secure low-cost transactions and high performance by using the STARK cryptographic proof system. Starknet contracts and the Starknet OS are written in Cairo, a custom-built and specialized programming language. [5]


  • Okawa Research Grant, 2020[6]
  • MIT Tech Review Top 35 Innovators Under 35 (TR35), 2018[7]
  • Sloan Research Fellowship (2021)[7]


  • Libsnark, a C++ library for zkSNARKs, which is the leading open-source library for succinct zero-knowledge proofs. [6][7]

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Alessandro Chiesa

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April 28, 2024


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