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Academic who led Mina Protocol development joins Cardano builder IOG as Head of Applied Cryptography

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Input Output Cardano

Dr Vanishree Rao takes on new role, bringing extensive blockchain expertise to the software developer

November 3rd, 2022: Input Output Global, Inc. (IOG), the software research & development company behind world-leading sustainable blockchain platform Cardano, has appointed Dr Vanishree Rao as its Head of Applied Cryptography. 

Dr Rao is a renowned academic who helped build the Mina Protocol, a privacy focused blockchain based on Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (zkSNARKs), while she was Lead Cryptographer at O(1) Labs. She has also held high-level cryptography roles at companies including the Intertrust Technologies Corporation, and was a Research Scientist at Xerox PARC, where innovations including the Ethernet and laser printing have been developed, working on various government-funded and industry-need driven projects.

Dr Rao currently acts as a technical adviser to various blockchain projects, including Horizen Labs, Space and Time and Berkeley Blockchain XCelerator. She obtained her PhD in Cryptography from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) under Professor Amit Sahai, where she co-authored papers on various topics, including zero-knowledge proofs and multiparty computation, while her thesis solved a long-standing open problem of non-interactive multi party key exchange. 

In her new role at IOG, Rao will play a key role both in the practical application of existing research and also working on building out further published works in this area, as well as helping to develop and grow the company’s zero-knowledge proof expertise

Romain Pellerin, Chief Technology Officer at IOG, said: “Dr Rao has worked on a range of innovative blockchain technologies across her career and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be invaluable to IOG. We’re delighted to have her on board and can’t wait to see the positive and lasting impact she will have on the course of the company.”

Dr Vanishree Rao, Head of Applied Cryptography at IOG, said:

“The expanse and the depth of technical leadership from IOG is like no other in the blockchain space, something I can say with genuine experience having relied on the sound frameworks created by the team here when building the consensus protocol for the Mina blockchain.

“It feels surreal when you become part of a team that you respect so highly. To work alongside renowned industry leaders such as Aggelos Kiayias, IOG’s Chief Research Scientist is an honor, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help build on the successes to date and to positively influence the cryptography designed and implemented across the products we are building here.”

About Input Output Global, Inc.

Input Output Global is a research and development, and product engineering company, committed to using peer-to-peer innovations to provide 21st century services to the 3bn people who don’t have them.

We build blockchain based products for governments, corporations and academic institutions and upskill people across the world, empowering them to solve the most pressing problems faced by people in their countries.

We have core beliefs in decentralization and the right to privacy, and stand opposed to centralized control and bureaucracy.

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