Blockchain Protocol Architect/Director

Kiva, San Francisco, CA

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About Us

Kiva is an international nonprofit working in more than 80 countries, with a mission of expanding financial access to help underserved communities thrive. We do this by crowdfunding loans for entrepreneurs, women and students on our kiva.org lending platform, and by addressing the underlying barriers to financial access around the world through innovative projects and partnerships. Our organization combines the culture and technological passion of an internet start-up with the compassion and heart of a nonprofit to create impact and opportunity at global scale. With offices in San Francisco, Portland, New York, Nairobi and Bangkok, Kiva’s team includes 100+ employees and 400+ volunteers worldwide. Our team is growing as we pursue exciting new opportunities to create a financially inclusive world.

About the Role

Recently announced at the United Nations General Assembly, Kiva is partnering with the government of Sierra Leone and the UN to build a “blockchain” identity and credit-scoring system to enhance financial security in Sierra Leone. The Blockchain Protocol Architect/Director will be a leader in this brand new Kiva Protocol team. From the ground up, we will build a global multi-tenant platform, initially deploying in Sierra Leone, but scaling across the world.

The Blockchain Protocol Architect/Director will report to the VP of Engineering.

You will:

  • Partner with other distributed systems engineers to develop a highly scalable cloud-based system
  • Provide technical leadership in developing and launching Kiva Protocol into the open source ecosystem
  • Bring thought leadership around Blockchain across the organization and externally to continue to develop our engineering brand
  • Partner with stakeholders across the organization to prioritize architecture decisions and tradeoffs with tight delivery schedules



  • 10+ years engineering experience, preferably in enterprise technologies
  • Deep understanding of OOD/OOP distributed systems; designing and developing large scale, high availability software preferably in Java
  • Experience analyzing data structures and algorithms and issues related to scale, security and availability
  • Experience working with crypto engineering or language and compiler design
  • Experience with designing, implementing, or deploying blockchains on one or more of the following platforms: Hyperledger, Ethereum, Bitcoin
  • Experience with and/or interest in some of the following areas:
    • Distributed Systems
    • Database and Large-scale Storage Systems
    • Operating Systems
    • Performance Analysis and Optimization


  • MSc or PhD
  • Working experience with Hyperledger
  • Working experience in smaller organizations and/or start-ups a plus

What We Offer

  • An amazing mission: Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty across the globe.
  • An opportunity to improve real lives, solve hard problems, and change the world.
  • Friendly, supportive, and adventurous environment with a team of engaged colleagues.
  • Casual, high performing work environment.
  • A comprehensive, industry-leading benefits package.
  • Opportunities to connect with and learn from colleagues and partners around the world.

A diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other is an integral part of Kiva's culture. We actively welcome people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives. We are an equal opportunity employer and a great place to work. Join us and help us achieve our mission!

We will only accept applications directly from candidates. Kiva will not be responsible for any recruiting agency fees, absent a formal agreement.

About Kiva

Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition. 100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors.

Want to learn more about Kiva? Visit Kiva's website.