StarkWare LTD, the company behind the L2 privacy solutions zkSTARKS and StarkEx, has announced a Turing complete platform called Cairo.


Cairo is the “first production-grade platform for generating STARK proofs for general computation”. Everything from their Reddit Bake-off submission to their upcoming deployments of DeversiFi, Immutable, and dYdX, all is written in Cairo.

The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-off was the first time when StarkWare deployed Cairo with upcoming deployments including:

Since each partner of StarkWare has different computation needs, Starkware created a flexible swiss army knife platform in the form of Cairo. Cairo stands for CPU Algebraic Intermediate Representation (AIR) and includes a single AIR that verifies the instruction set of this “CPU”.

Cairo comes with a single AIR that can verify any Cairo program. The Cairo AIR verifies the computational integrity and the correctness of the post-execution state of the system. With Cairo, new business logic doesn’t require a new smart contract. It only requires a different Cairo program.

Cairo programs are written in an assembly-like programming language (called, Cairo as well) with features like memory, function calls, recursion, and branching conditions. The team has created powerful development tools including a compiler from the Cairo language to Cairo byte code, a virtual machine that simulates Cairo executions, a debugger, IDE integration, and the single Verifier smart contract written in Solidity.

Cairo’s AIR is relatively simple, which leads to efficiency and low amortized costs, for both the on-chain Verifier and the off-chain proving service. It also leads to increased security, because auditing a single simple AIR is safer than auditing multiple complicated application-specific AIRs.

The team plans to release new generations of Cairo frequently. These will offer enhanced functionality, better performance, and powerful optimizations. Currently, the team is “dog-fooding” Cairo and improving it on a weekly basis with the help of their partners”.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on Cairo. You can do the same by following Starware on Twitter.