Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution StarkWare announced plans to open up its proprietary Starknet Prover code under the Apache 2.0 license, which has processed 327 million transactions and minted 95 million non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to date.
The prover is the crucial engine that Starkware uses to accumulate hundreds of thousands of transactions and compress them into a small cryptographic proof written on the Ethereum blockchain.
“We think of the Prover as the magic wand of Stark technology. It beautifully generates the tests that enable unimaginable scaling,” said Eli Ben-Sasson, president and co-founder of Starkware.
Eli Ben-Sasson presenting at the 2023 Starkware sessions. Source: Cointelegraph
Starkware has faced criticism from the crypto community and from competing solutions like ZK Sync and Polygon for clinging to the IP behind its technology, which contradicts the open-source and interoperable ethos of blockchain.
Making the tester open source under the Apache 2.0 license will allow any other project or network, or even database or game developers, to use the technology, edit the code, and customize it. The technology was released in 2020 and is already being used by ImmutableX, Sorare and dYdX.
A sneak peek at the 2023 Starkware sessions. Source: Cointelegraph
Avihu Levy, Starkware’s head of product, was reluctant to commit to a time frame for tester open source, but said it would happen after the token launch and Starknet decentralization. However, he agreed that it would be possible this year.
“We want to move forward with a decentralized and permissionless network and that means you need to have this critical component,” he revealed speaking to Cointelegraph.
Levy said the decision to open-source the tester showed Starkware was becoming more confident in its technology, and said it would also allow projects to be more confident in using it as a crucial part of their protocols.
“At StarkEx, it is sometimes considered vendor blocking or blocking. So the engagement was not just a business engagement, it was a technology engagement with StarkEx,” he explained.
“This is a strong sign that you’ll have everything you need to run it yourself, independent of Starkware.”
Starkware has already opened its programming language and its EVM Cairo 1.0 competitor, Papyrus Full node, and is in the process of opening its new sequencer.
Related: StarkNet Revises Cairo Programming Language to Boost Developer Adoption
Ben-Sasson launched the Starkware Sessions conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday, which organizers say was the largest layer 2 conference held so far.
“This is a historic moment for scaling Ethereum,” he told some 500 developers and guests. “It will put Stark technology in its rightful place, as a public good to be used to benefit everyone.”
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