Dusk Network Development Update — May
A monthly development update series created to embrace the transparency and inclusivity that we strive for at Dusk Network.
Time flies! A month full of interesting events and developments concerning the broad range of subject that the Dusk Network is being built upon. From research into post-quantum cryptography to novel transactional models, the office was filled with exciting developments (no pun intended).
The work on the Dusk Network protocol continues at full pace. The team had continued working on Bulletproofs, including a potential improvement to the construction of the proofs which can drastically decrease the verification time with a small cost in size increase of the proof itself.
The team has also been working on the tools supplementing the testnet, such as a GUI block explorer. The aim of those tools is to create the most user-friendly experience possible to be able to attract as many testers as possible to the launch of our testnet.
During the expansion of the formal proofs of the consensus, the team has discovered an attack vector previously unbeknownst to us despite never being unravelled during the testing, which required a slight modification to the protocol to patch up the potential vulnerability. The attack vector involved a theoretical model of an Adversary shuffling the messages before delivering to the nodes in the Agreement phase, which created a small probability of a fork. The vulnerability was patched by requiring the Provisioners to decline all the candidate blocks with certificates from differing Agreement phases than their own views would indicate. Unfortunately, the aforementioned discovery has skewed our timelines a tad, as we had to perform rigorous additional testing, which is still ongoing, to make sure that the modification does not have any adverse effect on the implementation.
The recent research in the field has revealed that utilizing ring-signature to obscure the identity of the sender in blockchains can be theoretically vulnerable to deanonymization attacks. Having recognized the issue with using small-sized sets, the team has been working on alternative transactional models capable of retaining the anonymity of the sender under any circumstances. We had identified two potential models applicable to our requirements: Lelantus and modification of the Zcash protocol. Aside from that, the team has been working on an additional transaction model enabling the user to obfuscate the values of the inputs from transparent outputs (a transaction output with a clear value). The latter model will enable the users to anonymously spend the block rewards, as well as allowing the team to build an Ethereum-like fee structure for the contract calls and is, to our knowledge, the first transactional model enabling the users to confidentially spend a transparent output. More details will be published after the completion of the security analysis.
Luke, our latest addition to the team, has been working on lattice-based NP-hard problems to eventually make the Dusk Network protocol quantum secure. While modern quantum computers are nowhere near the power required to break the current cryptographic primitives in accordance with Shor’s algorithm, the majority of the researchers in the field believe that the quantum computer with sufficient-enough qubit count will be available within the next two decades to make the modern cryptographic standards obsolete.
The team has made the following two modules public: the cryptography (dusk-crypto) and the Blind-bid proof (dusk-blindbidproof) modules. In addition to those two modules, we have also published an implementation of Poseidon (poseidon252), the fastest Bulletproofs-friendly hash function co-created by Dmitry Khovratovich, our Lead Cryptographer.
We will soon see a publication of the Blind-bidder add-on, an experimental Chrome-based extension that we will use to enable users to generate Blind-bids for the Block Generator nodes followed by the publication of the consensus module.
The team will also communicate the testnet participation-related bounty programme soon.
Finally, we had a gathering in the Amsterdam office last month, with almost the entirety of the tech team attending, where we discussed and worked on a wide range of topics related to the Dusk Network protocol and had a small team activity on one of the evenings. The team will update the community with the pictures and videos from the gathering very soon!
Dusk — Technology for Securities
Dusk streamlines the issuance of digital securities and automates trading compliance with the world’s first programmable and confidential securities.