About Thor

Hello Internet!

You’re at the one and only remaining blog of Thor Kampefner, my posting destination for long-form cogitation, rendered sufficiently fit for public dissemination. This about me was last updated Jan 2024, and is irregularly updated.

I am an independent cryptography engineer and educator. The range of posts you’ll find here will generally trend toward cryptography, science-fiction, or other assorted hot takes. I find writing is seldom paralleled for mind clarification and expansion, and enjoy writing while procrastinating on “real work”, to figure out what I actually believe, or just for fun.

As of Jan 2024, most of my attention is going toward Pebble Stark, my reverse-engineering of the Starkware Stone prover, which prove the trace of CASM (compiled Cairo) programs.

Some of my previous projects:

  • Built Uncloak, a fledgling cryptography wiki and cryptography engineering course, aiming to increase the accessibility of cryptography engineering as a discipline for interested software engineers, supported under a grant by the Ethereum Foundation.
  • I really like Obsidian, which made it possible for to leave the Church of Emacs. In gratitude for my freedom, I wrote an obelisk to Obsidian (a guide), which people seem to like.
  • Co-organized ZK Hack Lisbon and ZK Hack Istanbul, a series of zero-knowledge hackathons.
  • A Zero Knowledge cryptography study group with the good Dr. Justin Thaler, which you can find through the zkHack discord server.
  • Cowriting the ZK Mesh cryptography newsletter with Anna Rose of the Zero Knowledge Podcast, which I highly recommend as a source for independent technical discussion in the blockchain space.
  • Led cryptography engineering at entropy, a trustless, chain-agnostic asset custodian, built with threshold signatures, and the Substrate blockchain building framework.
  • Wrote assorted standards for the Near NFT world most notably royalties. NFT Royalties on Ethereum are a sort of non-standard backwards compatibility issue, and are mostly hacked around by centralized NFT marketplaces, which causes issues for NFT creators.
  • Cryptography engineer at Matter Labs, a zero-knowledge rollup Ethereum layer 2.
  • Paper: Combining GHOST and Casper - coauthored a mathematical security paper with my mentor Yan Zhang analyzing the security and liveness properties of the Ethereum 2.0 beacon chain consensus protocol (it secure, it synchronously live, it even plausibly asyncronously live!)
  • In 2017, Thor moved to the bay, ran the San Francisco marathon, and never did Thor feel the need to run a marathon again.