StarkWare, the zero-knowledge (ZK)-roll-up tech company, has officially open-sourced its new programming language compiler, Cairo 1.0, which will soon be supported on Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution StarkNet in Q1 2023.
It has been reported that the news was announced by StarkWare, the company behind StarkNet, in a November 25 Twitter post. StarkWare’s roll-up technology and recursive proofs offer the potential to compress millions of transactions on L2 into a single transaction on Ethereum. However, the project has been criticized for maintaining control over its IP, not least of all by its more open source-focused competitor zkSync.
However, StarkWare described open-sourcing Cairo as a “milestone move” in its quest to hand over more control and intellectual property rights to its community and developers. Cairo is a programming language written specifically to harness the power of zk-Rollups and validity proofs.
The report said that StarkWare stated that developers can now experiment with Cairo 1.0 by compiling and executing simple applications until it is fully supported on StarkNet in Q1 2023. At that point, Cairo 1.0 will enable faster feature development and allow for more community involvement, according to Starkware Exploration Lead and former Ethereum core developer Abdelhamid Bakhta.
“We’re continuing to open source the StarkNet tech stack, beginning with Cairo 1.0. We’re doing this in order to fulfill StarkNet's vision as a public good that anyone can use, and that the community can constantly improve. On a practical level this maximizes transparency about our code, and our coding process. And it strengthens the community’s ability to find bugs and improve the compiler. With each aspect of the tech stack that is open sourced, this sense of community involvement will grow and grow.”
Likewise, StarkWare added that because Cairo 1.0 makes every computation “provable,” StarkNet’s censorship resistance properties will be strengthened and it will also be better positioned to respond to denial-of-service attacks.
StarkWare’s STARK tech stack powers a number of Web3 projects including the decentralized exchange (DEX) platform dYdX (although this is moving to its own chain on Cosmos), nonfungible token (NFT) platform Immutable X and blockchain interoperability protocol Celer Network.
Thus, StarkNet has taken a gamble by using Cairo to speed up its solution, which is not natively compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Ethereum software tooling firm Nethermind built a transpiler called Warp that converts Solidity code into Cairo code.