Dusk Network Development Update — October

A monthly development update series created to embrace the transparency and inclusivity that we strive for at Dusk Network.

Toghrul Maharramov
Nov 4 · 4 min read

With Halloween and Bitcoin birthday celebrations out of the way, that time of the month has arrived again! An extremely productive month full of core protocol improvements and novel technique discoveries.

Development

The reference implementation of Dusk Network has undergone a major overhaul and is currently more stable and efficient than the one deployed on the current public Testnet. The overhaul includes various protocol upgrades that further strengthen the security of the network, and extensive testing harness which increases the efficiency of our testing module & coverage, and a healthy amount of bug fixes.

The second iteration of the Testnet has already been deployed on our internal Devnet with Testnet V2 ready to be publicly released in the upcoming days. We are going to communicate the release of the second iteration of the Testnet in a separate article, with our testers urged to keep an eye out for the announcement and upgrade their installation of the Dusk Network node implementation to be able to continue the public testing. Testnet V1 will be deprecated once the second iteration of the Testnet is made public.

With the core functionalities of the Virtual Machine implemented, the team has been busy working on and adapting the supplementary modules. We have made another strategic hire — Jan, our latest addition to the team, who has been busy working on the gas metering of the Virtual Machine opcodes, which will enable the team to define the concrete gas costs of external opcodes, such as zero-knowledge proof verification-related ones. The word opcode is an abbreviation of “operational code” and describes a machine-level computation instruction. Other team members have been concentrating on state storage and defining the storage management procedures within the Virtual Machine.

Research

Transaction models are a member of the set of unavoidable modules for any digital currency. Transaction models are responsible for the formalization of the transfer of ownership of an asset within the ledger. Our long-time readers might be familiar with two of the transaction model-related discoveries that were authored by our team members. One of them, a modification to the UTXO model utilized by Zcash, enabling users to confidentially spend non-obfuscated outputs has been formalized in an academic paper, which was submitted to a conference (more details will be communicated at a later date if the paper is accepted).

Aside from the aforementioned two novel techniques, the team has created an outline for another privacy-preserving account-based model, which serves a different purpose to an account-based model that we have previously proposed. The team is currently assessing the advantages and disadvantages of both of the aforementioned models, before proceeding with a decision on the one to be deployed within the state layer of the Dusk Network protocol.

The recent resurgence in the interest for zero-knowledge cryptography has sparked a wave of new proof systems (e.g. Plonk, Marlin, Supersonic) to be released, offering noticeable advantages over the previous generation of proof systems (e.g. original zk-SNARKs, Bulletproofs). In light of the aforementioned publications, the team has been assessing the recently released proof systems and been in constant communication with the respective authors of the aforementioned systems to have a better understanding of the advantages that each of the newly released proof systems brings to our protocol. The deployment of a new proof system would drastically decrease the proof generation and verification times while also decreasing the transaction sizes leading to an increased theoretical throughput of the protocol.

Community

The month has begun with a live coding session on Twitch, in which Jules, our Blockchain Developer, was busy revamping the deterministic sortition module, part of the Segregated Byzantine Agreement consensus protocol.

Part II of “Dusk Network Economic Model” series has been published, concentrating on the shortcomings of the current transaction fee policies and detailing the approach implemented in the Dusk Network protocol.

A team of engineers and developers from Dusk Network have attended the ZK proof event in Amsterdam. Hosted by Deloitte, and in collaboration with QEDIT, many industry leaders came together to discuss ZK cryptography in an effort to standardize the works to facilitate a more concrete benchmark that can be offered to enterprises.

Dusk — Technology for Securities

Dusk streamlines the issuance of digital securities and automates trading compliance with the world’s first programmable and confidential securities.

Toghrul Maharramov

Written by

I like researching consensus protocols, niche applications of cryptography and other stuff that nobody really cares about. Dusk Network.

Dusk Network

Dusk streamlines the issuance of digital securities and automates trading compliance with the world’s first programmable and confidential securities.

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