IBC Protocol Architect

Interchain is a 20-person company which works on core blockchain technology. We’re headquartered in Berlin, Germany, but our team stretches from New York, NY to Ulyanovsk, Russia. We keep in touch through Github, Slack, and Zoom, and meet in person periodically (when COVID permits). All in all, the software we develop secures billions of dollars in value across many different systems, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We strive to build world-class software while having plenty of laughs along the way.

We’re looking for a Protocol Architect to help design and spearhead the next generation of the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC). IBC is an open-source protocol for end-to-end communication between heterogeneous distributed ledgers — in many ways analogous to TCP/IP, an open-source protocol for end-to-end communication between heterogeneous machines.

As Protocol Architect, you’ll be responsible for designing and specifying changes to IBC, and then working with software engineers to implement it. You’ll play a key role in identifying user needs and then architecting the right solutions through both specifications and code. If you’re so inclined, you can also get hands-on with the implementation, although that’s not a requirement: This role can be what you make of it!

Activities include:

  • Collaborating with other ecosystem researchers to design new IBC features, like multi-hop routing, or new IBC applications, like cross-chain validation
  • Writing English-language specifications for these features and applications, for use by implementation teams and community members
  • Working closely with stakeholders across the Cosmos ecosystem in order to ensure that IBC is meeting user needs and unlocking new use cases.
  • Reviewing implementations, chiefly in Golang but potentially in other languages, to ensure that they satisfy the specification.

There are no hard requirements on previous experience, but ideally you have:

  • Expertise in blockchain protocol design, and hands-on experience writing or implementing them. You have worked on blockchains (or other distributed or peer-to-peer systems) before, and you know not just how to use them but how to architect them.
  • Familiarity with low-level networking protocols, a strong understanding of cryptography, and solid understanding of security principles in distributed networks. You know how to think through attack vectors, and you know how to choose the right cryptographic libraries or primitives for the job.
  • Deep experience in software engineering, product management, or both. Although this role doesn’t necessarily involve a lot of programming, you’ll be working closely with engineers and product owners.
  • Great communication skills. You speak and write with clarity, and have a high degree of empathy. You are comfortable working with people across company and cultural lines and can collaborate with strangers over the internet.
  • Experience in open-source development, stewardship, and/or maintenance, especially for a piece of software with substantial community involvement and a diverse contributor base.
  • Curiosity and a desire to learn new things. You are keen to continue honing your craft, and you’re not afraid to jump into an unfamiliar area.
  • A taste for simplicity. You know how to choose good abstractions and make sensible choices around 3rd party dependencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to take ownership. You finish what you start and keep a high standard of quality. You take pride in your work.
  • A home base within our working timezones. You are probably based in a timezone between UTC-5:00 (New York) and UTC+3:00 (Moscow).

Not sure if you're a fit? Please feel free to apply anyways, and we'll take it from there.

Interchain GmbH believes that great people come from a broad range of backgrounds, and that the diversity of our team is one of our strengths. Discrimination has no place at Interchain GmbH and we do not discriminate on the bases of race, color, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. We are committed to fighting bias and discrimination in our workplace and in our communities.