Jun 24, 2024

Principal Engineer

  • Horizen Labs
Full time Back-end development Blockchain developer Cryptography Engineering

Job Description

Who We Are:

Our mission is to scale decentralized networks by significantly reducing the costs of zero-knowledge proofs. Founded in 2019, Horizen Labs is dedicated to building a more secure and equitable digital world at the heart of the decentralization revolution. Dedicated to elevating blockchain technology to unprecedented efficiency, we significantly reduce costs for proof verification without compromising security. Focusing on building next-gen, modular architecture, enhanced with composable zero-knowledge proofs, we are not just advancing the field - we are setting new benchmarks for performance, security and cost-effectiveness. At Horizen Labs, our people are our greatest asset, and we are creating a culture of empowered individuals who are eager to bring their ideas to life. We are looking for creative individuals to join our team of the best and brightest minds in the blockchain space. You will experience the exhilaration of joining a fast-growing and innovation-focused company. We believe diversity drives the innovation and engagement necessary to build a truly remarkable product. We operate on a hybrid model with a distributed global workforce who works in partnership with our satellite offices in New York City, NY and Milan, Italy. This allows us the flexibility to go to where the talent is. Are you ready to help us change the future with the next cutting-edge blockchain technology? Join us!

We are looking for an experienced and seasoned Principal Engineer who will play a critical role in designing, building, and optimizing our Web 3.0-enabled blockchain ecosystem. As a senior technical leader, the scope of your impact is significant & far-reaching, where you set technical direction, craft the company’s technical roadmap, and bring true innovation to the wider blockchain / crypto / software communities. You are still extremely in tune with day-to-day execution activities, where you will ship mission-critical products across various product teams, all while adhering to best-in-class coding standards and best practices. Our international team works in a stimulating and innovative environment, where technical expertise and experience contribute to the development of cutting-edge blockchain technology. You will be joining a small, deeply driven team of highly technical minds in a culture of openness and pragmatism, where you’ll work on challenging problems that span software engineering, systems design, cryptography, and computing.

What You'll Own

  • Lead the architecture, design, and implementation of various components of our blockchain ecosystem, including core L1 protocol components, L2 scaling frameworks, cryptographic toolkits, off-chain and multi-chain interactions, APIs, node infrastructure, and usability.
  • Be a major voice in setting the direction and goals for the entire engineering organization, especially in terms of project impact, quality, and engineering efficiency.
  • Continually craft and refine our high-level technical roadmap to scale across multiple dimensions of blockchain integrations, applications, and engineering operations as we grow.
  • Deliver innovative blockchain products from concept to reality, by working hands-on with senior engineers, cryptographers, and product managers to effectively resolve ambiguity, navigate through trade-offs, and ensure drama-free and on-time software launches.
  • Constantly influence engineering culture by raising the technical bar, increasing velocity, and advocating for higher code quality and engineering efficiency.  
  • Proactively identify areas of technical strategic opportunity, where you take intelligent risks that are fully aligned with the company mission and product goals.
  • Teach, mentor, grow, and provide advice to engineering managers, senior and junior engineers, product managers, project managers, and senior leadership. 

Skills and Qualifications

  • 10+ years of software development experience, especially with designing, building, and scaling multiple production services, components, and infrastructure. 
  • 5+ years of experience in a technical leadership role (such as Senior/Staff Engineer) setting technical direction, seeing mission-critical projects into Mainnet/Production, and supporting multiple production services over multiple years as they evolved to scale with user demand and challenges.
  • Strong experience owning multiple, months-long projects, including communication of progress, project dependencies, and risk mitigation directly with cross-functional stakeholders and partners. 
  • Deep hands-on experience with at least one major blockchain protocol (Ethereum, Bitcoin, Polkadot, Cosmos), which may include applied cryptography, consensus algorithms, UTXO/Account-based models, rollups, zero-knowledge proofs, zkEVM/zkVMs, peer-to-peer network topologies, and bridging mechanisms. 
  • Bachelor's, Master's, or Ph.D. degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, or related field.
  • Deep knowledge of programming languages (especially Rust and/or C++), tools, and frameworks required to successfully build and deploy production blockchain services, with prior experience selecting these tools and frameworks.
  • Infinitely curious and passionate about programmable blockchains and their role in the future of finance, privacy, and digital identity.
  • Excellent communicator (both verbal and written) who can effortlessly articulate the architecture of an entire system, influence others in relation to a large range of technical and business decisions, and create technical specifications that guide the implementation for other engineers.
  • A natural inclination to dive into understanding, debugging, and improving any layer of the stack. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Expert knowledge in Rust and/or C++, where you have designed, developed, and delivered several projects successfully into Mainnet. 
  • Collaboration with cryptographers to translate cryptographic primitives and protocols into efficient and secure Production-level code. 
  • Solid understanding of cryptographic primitives, protocols, and algorithms, including zero-knowledge proving systems, homomorphic encryption, and secure multiparty computation.
  • Deeply immersed in the latest advancements in cryptography, zero-knowledge proofs, and blockchain protocols, along with demonstrated ability to incorporate relevant findings into real-world products for the company. 

In compliance with New York City's Pay Transparency Act, the annual base salary range for this position should the applicant be based in NYC is USD 180,000 to USD 200,000. The range displayed reflects the minimum and maximum target for new hire salaries for the position should it be based in NYC. Our salary ranges are determined by numerous factors, including, but not limited to, role, level, experience, and location.

Horizen Labs is an equal opportunity employer.

Horizen Labs is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please send an email to recruiting@horizenlabs.io and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information.


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