Protocol Labs (S14)
Protocol Labs makes internet protocols: IPFS, Filecoin, and more.

Research Scientist, CryptoNetLab

Remote - Research Development / Remote
Full-time
About Protocol Labs

Protocol Labs is an open-source R&D lab. We build protocols, tools, and services to radically improve the internet. Our products serve thousands of organizations and millions of people.

Our projects include IPFS, Filecoin, libp2p, Sourcecred, and many more. Today, we are focused on the Web3 space. Our projects center on distributed systems, cryptocurrencies, cryptography, and game theory. Long term, we hope to establish a lab capable of repeatable innovation, and we aspire to R&D breakthroughs that make human existence orders of magnitude better.

We are a fully distributed company. We have over 100 team members, we work with thousands more in open source, and we collaborate with 100+ organizations.

See our projects: https://protocol.ai/work/ and our labs: https://research.protocol.ai/

About the role

Seeking an experienced cryptographer to help us research and develop state of the art cryptosystems to upgrade the internet.

Research at Protocol Labs

This isn't an ordinary Research Scientist position.  Your expertise is mostly driven by both a hunger to learn and a need to work toward solving important problems.  Our research scientists are granted both the freedom to develop their knowledge by working on novel applications, and a responsibility to contribute those skills toward advancing the flagship projects of Protocol Labs.  You’ll feel at home working with us if your knowledge and optimism enables you to name a few unusual possible approaches when you’re first presented with a problem that people often consider intractable. 

We see cryptography often acting as the last line of defense in a world that’s rife with malicious actors.  We examine a broad spectrum of potential projects, like Filecoin, that rely on providing various cryptographic guarantees to users.  Achieving these guarantees in practice often requires drawing from or advancing the frontiers of cryptographic protocols.  As a result, we seek cryptographers who can discover, conceive, incorporate, and implement new techniques.

As Research Scientist at Protocol Labs you will…

  • Participate in cutting-edge research in cryptography and blockchain technology.
  • Develop novel systems and protocols while studying and learning from existing ones.
  • Work with the development team on turning research into implementations. 
  • Work with external teams to oversee development and maintenance of cryptographic libraries.

You may be a fit for this role if you have...

  • MS or PhD degree in Computer Science or Mathematics with an emphasis on developing and implementing cryptographic protocols, or equivalent practical experience.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience contributing to research communities and/or efforts, including publishing papers at conferences.

Bonus Points If...

  • You have a record of demonstrating state-of-the-art innovation in cryptography with a proven publication record or project history.  
  • *Potentially including but not limited to authenticated data structures, elliptic curve pairings, authenticated encryption, graph traversals, pebblings games, and zero knowledge proofs. 
  • You have demonstrated the ability to design and execute on a research agenda.
  • You have experience setting up and managing research collaborations or contractors.
  • You’ve implemented novel crypto and would feel comfortable overseeing others doing the same.
  • You believe that you don’t understand something until you can explain it to a six-year-old, and your experience mentoring or writing technical explainers or blog posts demonstrates that you test your understanding against this metric. 
  • You have programming experience and proficiency in one or more of the following: Go, Rust, JavaScript, C, C++, Haskell, OCaml.
  • You have dice specifically for generating hand-crafted, artisanal entropy.

What’s it like to work at Protocol Labs?

Protocol Labs mission is to improve humanity’s most important technology, the Internet. We build protocols, systems, and tools to improve how it works. Today, we are focused on how we store, locate, and move information. Our projects include IPFS, Filecoin, libp2p, and more.

As a distributed team, we hire anywhere in the world, and at various levels of experience (entry, senior, staff). We look for people with unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds.

We have a great benefits package, including parental leave, contributions to your retirement, competitive pay, and unlimited time off. For U.S.-based employees, we also provide platinum-level health, dental, and vision coverage for you and your family.

Technology

  • We use standard platforms for most of our systems: Golang, Rust, Javascript, Node, etc.
  • We are open to: Haskell, Clojure, ML, OCaml and more in some domains.
  • We develop new platforms: IPFS, Filecoin, libp2p, and more.
  • We haven't yet developed a new programming languages, but we're liable to eventually. (likely for distributed systems or for blockchain smart contracts -- both are a mess).
  • We develop and maintain key open source libraries used by lots of other projects and businesses.
  • We run a few high-traffic and mission-critical services (IPFS Gateway, Drand, and a few other systems).
  • We work with many other organizations in the IPFS and Web3 ecosystem.
  • We work on some extremely interesting deep CS problems (in distributed systems, networking, cryptography, game theory, peer-to-peer, blockchains, and more).
  • We build a lot of tools, libraries, and services along the way.
  • Join us if you have a passion for engineering, for computer science, and for pushing frontieers.

See our projects: https://protocol.ai/work/ and our labs: https://research.protocol.ai/

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