Senior Staff Research Scientist, Blockchain - Visa Research

  • Palo Alto, CA, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

As the world's leader in digital payments technology, Visa's mission is to connect the world through the most creative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company's dedication to innovation drives the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and fuels the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.

At Visa, your individuality fits right in. Working here gives you an opportunity to impact the world, invest in your career growth, and be part of an inclusive and diverse workplace. We are a global team of disruptors, trailblazers, innovators and risk-takers who are helping drive economic growth in even the most remote parts of the world, creatively moving the industry forward, and doing meaningful work that brings financial literacy and digital commerce to millions of unbanked and underserved consumers.

You're an Individual. We're the team for you. Together, let's transform the way the world pays.

Job Description

We are currently focused on building world-class research teams in three key areas: Security, Data Analytics, and Future of Payment, and we are looking for outstanding and innovative researchers at all levels of experience as part of the Blockchain Research team.

Working on blockchain research at Visa is a unique opportunity at a time when the payments industry is undergoing a digital transformation, and with security technologies as the critical enabler for a growing number of emerging payment models and usage scenarios. We offer you the opportunity to be at the center of innovation in the payments industry and set the security direction for Visa and the future payment ecosystem.

The Position

As a Senior Staff Research Scientist you will work with a team to conduct world-class security research and contribute to the long-term research agenda for digital payments, as well as deliver innovative technologies and insights to Visa's strategic products and business. As an integral team member of the extended Research team, you will work on research and development activities with fellow researchers, and work closely with product and technology teams to ensure the successful creation and application of disruptive and innovative security technologies.

You will, in many cases, interact with different stake holders, senior executives, research scientists, software engineers and architects, as well as external parties like technology vendors, wallet providers, merchants, issuers and senior product regional managers. You will discover opportunities, propose research opportunities, create research plan, execute and implement the ideas. During the course, you will publish influential research papers and patents.

This role represents an exciting opportunity to make key contributions to Visa's strategic vision as the world-leading digital payments company. The successful candidate must have an outstanding academic track record in fundamental and applied research with participation in developing innovations. The candidate will be a self-starter comfortable with ambiguity, with strong attention to detail, and excellent collaboration skills.


  • Research and develop cutting-edge technologies to advance the scalability, performance, privacy, auditability of blockchain-based systems
  • Possess specialized expertise in multiples areas and capability to work independently
  • Directly lead team members to deliver innovative technologies, insights and products to Visa business units to resolve significant product pain-points and create new growth opportunities
  • Ensure technical team achieves implement annual goals and that projects are appropriately resourced
  • Interpret business issues and decide approaches to complex problems based on best practices, to impact how team completes tasks and delivers results
  • Collaborate with our partners in academia, industry and government on key initiatives to advance our security research agenda
  • Work with cross-functional teams (internal/external) that include representation from Technology, Product, Operations, Market Research, etc.
  • Foster in-depth and productive relationships at all levels with team members and clients internally and externally
  • Formulate business problems as research opportunity while ensuring key business drivers are captured in collaboration with stakeholders
  • Create a concrete research proposal including problem statement, benefit of the research and plan for the fast iterations
  • Have full ownership of research efforts and projects and represent the team on cross-functional deliverables
  • Champion the innovation across the organizations and industries as an expert in the subject, either by providing consulting or by contributing to technology talks and presentations
  • Implement the solution with prototype and early product by collaborating with other scientists and engineers
  • Work and partner with product delivery teams to fully implement the proof of concept and early product in Visa services and products
  • Document the milestones of research by delivering research reports
  • Present and demo the research on the regular basis
  • Deliver high-impact intellectual property values through research publications and patents
  • Work with IP team to identify patentable ideas in the research, as well as publication opportunities
  • Continue to learn the new payment technologies in Visa and across industries



  • PhD degree in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics, or equivalent field with a focus on security, cryptography, or distributed systems.
  • Expertise in one or more blockchain research areas: e.g. design and analysis of distributed consensus algorithms and protocols, game theory, applied cryptography, and/or their application to blockchain, payments, and cryptocurrencies.


  • Strong track record in research publications and impact in the research community
  • Very strong interpersonal, facilitation, and leadership skills along with effective communication (both written and verbal) skills and the ability to present complex ideas in a clear and concise way; ability to influence and develop relationships with key partners
  • Demonstrated ability to think outside the box and innovate
  • Demonstrated research project/program management experience is a plus
  • Experience in payments or related industry is a plus
  • Experience in multidisciplinary research and development is a plus
  • Experience in working on large scale of distributed and hybrid system, and/or large datasets is a plus
  • Strong knowledge of computer science and programming:
    • Strong understanding of algorithms and data structures
    • Extensive programming experiences in C, C++ and Python
    • Strong skills in high performance computing, including
    • Familiar with SSE/Vector instructions
    • Familiar with parallel computing (such as locks, futures and queues)
    • Understand the memory and cache locality and memory access patterns
    • Proficient with debugging, profiling and optimizing
    • Strong knowledge of Linux kernel internals
    • Understanding of sandboxing, process-level isolation, virtual-machine isolations and containers
    • Knowledge of distributed computing, including IPC, Socket, asynchronous programming and debugging programs in a distributed environment
    • Experience with Rust programming language is a strong plus
  • Security, cryptography, and blockchain expertise:
    • Moderate level of security experience, including knowledge of secure and defensive programming; understand security models and able to decide the basic examples that satisfy the security model
    • Moderate level of crypto experience, including knowledge of symmetric and asymmetric crypto algorithms, such as AES, SHA, RSA, EC, DH, PKI etc.

Additional Information

Travel Requirements This position requires the incumbent to travel for work 5% of the time.

Mental/Physical Requirements This position will be performed in an office setting.  The position will require the incumbent to sit and stand at a desk, communicate in person and by telephone, frequently operate standard office equipment, such as telephones and computers, and reach with hands and arms.

EEO Statement Visa is an EEO Employer.  Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.  Visa will also consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with EEOC guidelines and applicable local law.

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