Cryptography Engineer



Other Engineering
New York, NY, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Come join Irreducible as we accelerate the ZK revolution by supporting web3 networks with reliable and cost-efficient proof generation. We’re a high-performance cryptography startup (with an exciting hardware twist) looking for a talented Compiler Engineer. A more technical description of what we do is below!

About the role:

As a Cryptographic Software Engineer at Irreducible, you will contribute to internal and open-source zk-SNARK proving codebases, analyze their performance, and propose and implement optimizations.

Your days may include to modifying and refactoring the codebases to utilize hardware coprocessors, reading and implementing zero-knowledge cryptography research, reverse engineering high-level algorithms from open-source software and smart contracts, and designing or analyzing arithmetic constraint systems for verifiable programs.

Team members work closely with the FPGA engineers to specify algorithms implemented in hardware, and with the systems software engineers to interface efficiently with hardware acceleration units.

Locations supported:

We’re looking for candidates who are located between the USA East Coast and Central Europe time zones. Although we’re a globally distributed company, ensuring the team works in cohesive time zones is essential to our goals. Additionally, the company plans to get together ~one week per quarter in either New York City or Europe.

Necessary Qualifications:

  • Strong knowledge of Rust and/or C++

  • A deep passion for technology, software development, and secure computing

  • Demonstrated ability to deliver software projects from inception to completion

  • Understanding of algorithm design and computer architecture

  • Experience writing multi-threaded, concurrent software

  • Ability to think across layers of abstractions

  • Mathematical aptitude, especially in linear and abstract algebra

  • Experienced and well-versed in Linux, version control, scripting, and build systems

  • Understanding of technology tradeoffs and a pragmatic approach to problem solving

  • Strong written and verbal communications skills

Bonus Qualifications:

  • Experience modifying and contributing to open-source codebases

  • Experience implementing high-performance software and distributed systems

  • Experience implementing compilers

  • Experience implementing low-level cryptographic primitives

  • Experience programming embedded systems

  • Experience with computer algebra systems such as SageMath

  • Understanding of mathematical and cryptographic proof techniques

  • Understanding of cryptographic proof systems, zero-knowledge cryptography, elliptic
    curve cryptography, and symmetric cryptography

About us (deep dive):

We're building out a high-performance, cost-efficient compute stack for advanced cryptographic proofs, specifically zk-SNARKs. Verifiable computing with zk-SNARKs is taking off as a solution to the scalability and privacy limitations that today's blockchains suffer from. A new wave of blockchain protocols that use zk-SNARKs to prove smart contract executions, such as Polygon zkEVM, Starknet, and zkSync, are already in production. We believe there is a big market opportunity to generate proofs for these networks at scale in a cost-effective way [1]. There are lots of interesting performance engineering challenges we need to solve to keep up with the maximum device throughput.

We take the approach of co-designing hardware and software systems to accelerate SNARK generation end-to-end. Our first-generation tech stack uses FPGA accelerators running custom digital logic tailor-made for our use case [2].

We also conduct cryptography research to identify computationally efficient algorithms for verifiable computing. These research efforts produced a novel cryptographic construction based on towers of binary fields called Binius [3] [4], which we are currently developing into a production-grade system.

Our team has cross-domain expertise and includes hardware designers, low-level systems software engineers, cryptography engineers, and data center specialists, several of whom worked in HFT previously.






NOTE: We can not sponsor visas of any kind at this time.

We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace where talented individuals can thrive and grow. We value the different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds that each person brings to our team. Even if you don't fit 100% of the job's necessary qualifications, we'd still love to hear from you.

Know someone who could be a fit? Feel free to pass along a link to the role: