Stark**Ware: **The centralized commercial entity, founded by Uri Kolodny and Eli Ben-Sasson, focusing on developing STARK-proof technology (aka, scaling)
Starknet: The aspiring decentralized network, built by StarkWare and the Starknet foundation, that leverages STARKs along with the rest of the components that make a blockchain.
If you’ve been in Ethereum a while (and have been paying attention to the chain-alignment tribal-warfare games) you’ve probably noticed the larger gap between StarkWare and the greater Ethereum ecosystem.
This should make sense from a technological perspective. Starknet is largely an independent piece of technology from Ethereum. It really just **uses Ethereum as a data-layer (although Starknet will also be composable with Ethereum assets too).
You could, in theory, settle Starknet on any L1, because StarkWare has built a piece of technology that is self-optimized.
This has triggered some of the ‘ETH-maxi’ types in various ways, and I’ll admit I’ve felt that misalignment with StarkWare in the past — how dare you not use the EVM!? Not to mention the perhaps questionable choices of investors (3AC, Alameda, Multicoin).
Main products are StarkEx, a standalone permissioned Validity-Rollup, and StarkNet, a permissionless decentralized ZK-Rollup.
What’s Cairo? Cairo is a custom-built programming language for the StarkWare ecosystem.