Senior Researcher, Cryptoeconomics
Monad Labs is a venture-backed startup building the Monad blockchain, a new high-performance EVM Layer-1 blockchain introducing superscalar pipelining to the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Monad introduces pipelining to improve bottlenecks in state access, smart contract execution, and distributed consensus to improve the performance-decentralization frontier and help decentralized apps scale.
Our team currently hails mostly from high-frequency trading and kernel driver development. Our technical founders met in 2014 at Jump Trading and have been working on low-latency scalable systems since then. After raising $19M from Dragonfly Capital, Placeholder Capital, Naval Ravikant, and other leaders in the crypto space, our team is hiring exceptional researchers and engineers who want to work on challenging problems that help decentralized systems scale.
We are looking for an exceptional Senior Researcher with significant academic and applied experience in economics, particularly in the context of permissionless blockchains. You will play a leading role in designing rules and mechanisms in Monad that keep the decentralized network running smoothly. You’ll be designing mechanisms that optimize for decentralization, economic security, spam prevention, compatibility with existing infrastructure, and ease of use.
You will work closely with our engineering team to design and test various mechanisms. You’ll draw on your extensive knowledge and opinions on mechanisms in existing blockchains to evaluate options for Monad’s design that optimize its security, decentralization, and performance. You’ll work on a variety of areas, such as transaction ordering, staking, and consensus. Most importantly, your work will help our team avoid security threats and the threat of centralization.
Your work will be vital to Monad’s success and will allow Monad to scale safely to hundreds of millions of users.
- Excellent knowledge of mechanisms and policies in existing blockchains, with strong opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of existing mechanisms. Example areas we’d expect you to have good knowledge of:
- Transaction ordering/MEV (both mechanically how MEV “works” in Ethereum, including architectural changes post-Merge, and its consequences, e.g. to decentralization)
- Staking and economic security (delegation economics; slashing conditions; stake pools)
- Consensus mechanisms (pBFT, tendermint, Gasper)
- Spam prevention
- Trustlessness and decentralization (light clients; merkle proofs; security guarantees of various L1s and rollups)
- Excellent knowledge of major DeFi primitives (AMMs, bridges, oracles, etc)
- Excellent technical communication skills
Required personal attributes:
- Extreme technical curiosity
- Attention to detail
- Resourcefulness and independence
- Clarity of thought
- Enthusiasm about learning and teaching
- Enthusiasm for Monad’s mission of enabling far more decentralized computation
- Previous experience at a L1 or L2 blockchain protocol
- Experience with applied cryptography
- Experience with distributed systems
- Experience with game theory
- Ability to code, e.g. for implementing simulations
What you’ll be doing
- You’ll design and evaluate mechanisms that optimize for economic security, decentralization, performance, compatibility with existing infrastructure, and ease of use. A few example areas include transaction ordering (PGA vs flashbots/PBS); staking; liquid staking; spam prevention; on-chain randomness; light clients.
- You’ll evaluate potential attack vectors and evaluate ways to mitigate the threat of attacks.
- You’ll advise the team on technical merits of other systems that are potential partners, such as bridges and DeFi protocols.
- You’ll stay up to date on mechanism design in other blockchains and develop opinions on various practices
- You’ll collaborate with our engineering team to design and test new mechanism options.
- You’ll write about your findings for both internal and public audiences.
Why work with us
- You’ll work on extremely challenging problems with massive potential impact
- You’ll work with and learn from a small, exceptional team
- You’ll receive a competitive salary and equity package
- You’ll shape the culture as an early employee and make impactful contributions from day one
- You’ll be part of a flat, results-driven organization
- Your work will be deeply impactful, enabling much cheaper and more efficient decentralized computation and ultimately paving the way for new dapps that improve many people’s lives.
Working at Monad Labs means doing challenging work on a high-impact problem with exceptional teammates.
Here are some of the people you’ll work with:
- James, performance engineering expert and system architect; previously designed and built ultra-low-latency systems for a top high-frequency trading team at Jump Trading;
- Ariq, expert at low-level firmware and software programming; previously a senior engineer at Arista Networks, where he served as lead maintainer on multiple linux kernel networking drivers for Arista EOS devices;
- Aashish, expert systems designer and hacker, previously the first engineer at Pattern Research, a leading crypto HFT firm, where he designed and built the entire trading stack from scratch
- And others (see bios on our our team page!)
We think you’ll enjoy working with us, and that you’ll find the work to be extremely impactful and challenging.
Salary and benefits
Minimum full-time salary of $200,000. (**This is not a guarantee of compensation or salary; a final offer amount may vary based on factors including but not limited to experience and geographic location.)
Monad Labs’ benefits include unlimited and encouraged paid time off; 100% medical, dental, and vision coverage; 401(k) participation; home office equipment stipend; monthly wellness/fitness stipend; and 11 company-observed holidays.
The majority of our team is in NYC and works together a few days a week. We are open to remote candidates, with a preference for candidates based in NYC.