Starknet x Crypto Challengers AMA Recap

6 min readJan 13, 2024

Dear Crypto Challengers Community,

📍 Here is a recap of the AMA held with Starknet on 4th January 2024, a session where we got to know more about Starknet where the team answers the questions from Introduction and Twitter segment. The AMA session was consisting of Introduction segment and Twitter Segment.

🎃 Guest: Louis Guthmann — Ecosystem Lead @ Starkware
⏰ Time: 4 PM UTC
🏟 Venue:

Introduction Segment
- The host will introduce the guest and give a brief overview of their background. The host will then ask the guest a few questions about their work, their goals, and their vision for the future.

Twitter Segment
- The host will open up the chat to questions from Twitter users. The top 5 questions are selected and will ask guest to answer them.

Below is the recap of the AMA session that took place on 4th Jan 2024.

👉 Did you know? You can clap up to 50x. By clapping 50x you’re helping us to spread the recap.

Part 1 : Introduction Segment

Could you please provide a quick self-introduction for the community?

Sure thing. My name is Louis Guthmann. I have been in crypto for over 8y now and have been working at Starkware for almost 5y. Back in 2018, I got involved with the Ethereum Foundation and participated in writing the first specs for ZkRollups with the likes of Jordi Baylina (Polygon Hermez), Zac Williamson (Aztec), Alex G. (ZkSync) and many other you probably hear about. I joined Starkware in 2019.
Since then, I wrote EIPs (Ethereum upgrades) and for the last 2.5y, have been helping boostrap and organised the Starknet community

Can you briefly introduce the project STARKNET and how do you think you stand out among the competitors if there are any?

Starknet is the First general purpose ZkRollup to ever hit production. Starknet has been started and worked on by StarkWare, the company who made the blockchain backend of dYdX (v3, aka the version you all know about), Sorare, Immutable, Apex, Brine and many others.

StarkWare was created by my boss, Eli Ben-Sasson, who roughly invented the first useful Zero Knowledge protocol used in crypto.

As of its differenciations with the competition, Starknet uses a different VM and technology than all other rollups. We have our own language Cairo, which is optimised for performance and what we call Provability as opposed to Solidity and the EVM.

In some sense, we are the closest rollup to compete with Solana in the approach and the go-to-market.

Overall, we do away with the EVM and its shortcomings and rebuilt everything from scratch to get the max performance without tradeoffs

How Can Starknet Stand Out in the L2 Arena?

So I partially answered in the previous reply but outside of the pure technology, Starknet stands out mostly because of its dev community. All other rollups are competing for projects who build on all of them at once, Starknet attract devs that are interested by its unique capabilities.
On Starknet, a developer can benefit from
- Cheap computation
- Ability to have a lot of data in the transaction (think being able to do a lot of Inscriptions)
- Smart Accounts (aka Native Account Abstraction and the ability to batch many things in a single tx, think Approve + Swap + Revoke in a single tx)
- High Throughput
- L3s for cheap

As a consequence we attracted projects who were interested in
- improving UX (AVNU, Ekubo, Fibrous, Argent, Braavos)
- doing some very advanced operations (think running full games on the blockchain, not just NFTs, such as DopeWars, Loot Survivors and what all the Dojo people are doing: here a few examples:

Finally, people focus on advanced cryptography to push the boundaries of what can be done
- Trustless Oracle with Herodotus
- ZK ML with GizaTech
- Writing a full ZKEVM on Starknet with Kakarot

TLDR: Our tech stack attracted developpers who wants to push what one can do and use Proofs everywhere

Can you share the achievements Starknet team has made so far? What is the major achievement target Starknet is yet to achieve.

StarkWare has a team proved that Stark is the best current tech to scale blockchains (which has been acknowledged numerous times by Vitalik and the whole industry at this point).
But when it comes to Starknet, I believe our biggest achievement was to manage to create an organic community of devs and hard core believers that will push us and make improve the system.

Our next target is converting this thriving developer ecosystem into a success platform for businesses and applications to thrive. Get people to know that UX and projects on Starknet are worth their time and investigation and that there is indeed a lot to do there

This is what I am working on and what I want people to understand. Proof are the silver bullets of chains and Starknet is the chain of Proofs

Starknet don’t have a token yet. Could you please share a bit about the upcoming token? Is there any info you can share to the community for the upcoming drop if any?

Starknet does not use Eth itself to pay fees within itself as opposed to OP, Arbi and others

We will have our own token STRK and this token will act as fees mechanism for the network. Luckily, thanks to Smart Account you will be able to pay fees in USDC or Eth or any supported tokens but the network will receive underneath STRK.

This and our non support of EVM made some podcasters and people on Crypto Twitter claiming that we are the Least Aligned Ethereum L2.

We are not the Least Aligned, but we do things differently. We pay Ethereum for security and we pay Eth for data availability.

So if doing things differently is unaligment, then we are indeed 🙂

Part 2: Twitter Segment

How does Starknet’s unique use of zk-STARK proofs overcome the scalability trilemma faced by Ethereum and other blockchains?

For those who don’t know the said Trilemma is the following: one cannot have at the same time max Decentralisation, Max Security and Max Scalability

First let start with a paper I wrote about Scalability in 2021:

There is actually two types of scalability
- The Sequencer Scalability (aka how many txs one sequencer can manage with a predefined machine and the existing software stack)
- The Verifier Scalability (aka how many you and I can verify on our laptops and phones)

Just by this redefinition you start to realise that it is not a trilemma 🙂

The reason why traditional blockchains talk about a trilemma is that since they don’t have proofs, the machine run by the sequencer (aka the guy who makes money) is roughly the same than the one that you and I need to have to verify what the sequencer did.

This blows up the second you have proofs. Here is the proof

If you go to this website, and click on the buttom:

You will be able to verify the 15y of Bitcoin in less than a second

This site is powered by StarkWare tech and made in our programming language.

Starknet promise is to bring it to a much more sophisticated environment than Bitcoin and once you solve the scaling thanks to proofs,l you can optimise for decentralisation and security without sacrificing scale.

If Starknet is successful, how might it impact the broader landscape of blockchain adoption and mainstream user experience?

So, the best analogy I can give that Starknet aims to get best UX, low fees (even zero fees in some instances), low latency and the max scale without sacrifising security.
If/when we are successful, we will see a new internet where all websites will be running using Provable Servers which can natively manage money and will prove themselves to Starknet and Ethereum.

In the world of tomorrow, we won’t ask why using a blockchain but not using a Server that can manage money without any custody. And this is what Proofs and Starknet is optimising for.

And I am gonna bet that the first instance of this Provable Server will be Fully Onchain Gaming via Dojo and Cartridge

The AMA is now over!