L2 is crucial to Ethereum decentralization, censorship resistance, says researcher


Ethereum layer-2 scaling platform StarkWare has officially launched the StarkNet Foundation with the introduction of a diverse board that aims to safeguard Ethereum’s decentralization and censorship resistance.

Seven individuals, including key members from the Ethereum ecosystem and wider cryptocurrency space, will head up the non-profit entity. An announcement shared with Cointelegraph outlined the role of the StarkNet Foundation in ensuring the maintenance and security of StarkNet’s network as well as its development and expansion.

Cointelegraph reached out to Eric Wall to unpack his appointment to the Foundation’s board. Wall is a blockchain researcher and whistleblower who has exposed systemic flaws in high-profile cryptocurrency projects. Wall also acts as an advisor on cryptocurrency to the Human Rights Foundation.

Wall highlighted systemic efforts to help Ethereum continue scaling through layer-2 innovations as key to the ongoing success of the smart contract blockchain network:

“Since Ethereum is the most important DeFi chain we have, I care a lot about making sure that it sticks to the ethos of decentralization and censorship resistance. This battle is fought at the baselayer, but must also be fought at the layers above.”

Wall told Cointelegraph that his motivation to join the Foundation was to ensure that ‘one of Ethereum’s most important second layers’ did not neglect the ethos of the underlying blockchain:

“StarkWare is probably the most important player in the ecosystem in pioneering validity proof systems that many believe are absolutely central to Ethereum’s scalability endgame, and StarkNet is the general-purpose platform leveraging that technology”

Wall highlighted the Foundation’s role in managing relationships with ecosystem partners and developers as well as allocating grants. This includes ensuring partnerships are in the best interest of StarkNet users and are aligned with ‘the fundamental ethos of neutral open-source engineering’.

The Foundation will also focus on StarkNet technology education to help developers learn how to build Decentralized Applications (DApps) using StarkWare’s proprietary STARKs (Scalable, Transparent ARgument of Knowledge) proof system.

Related: StarkWare nets $100M as investors bank on layer-2 success

The Foundation’s board also includes StarkWare CEO and co-founder Uri Kolodny and StarkWare’s president, co-founder and computer scientist Eli Ben-Sasson. Computer scientist and StarkNet advisor Shubhangi Saraf, blockchain developer and Nethermind founder Tomasz Stańczak, former United States deputy chief technology officer Andrew McLaughlin and award-winning lawyer Heather Meeker make up the rest of the leadership group.

As previously reported, StarkNet is a decentralized layer-2 validity rollup that aims to scale the Ethereum network while maintaining its security and decentralization. It addresses what is known as the ‘blockchain trilemma’ coined by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

The StarkNet Foundation will manage 50.1% of the ecosystem’s initial token supply to guide the network’s allocation of resources. The funds will be used to support StarkNet’s community of users, developers and researchers, which contribute to the ecosystem by creating infrastructure, tools and applications.