2019 Sandbox Mainnet | Start Partner Integration & 2020 Goals
By Emanuele Francioni

Dec 31, 2019 - Amsterdam

31st of December | Using this post we want to share our excitement for Sandbox Mainnet! We look back on our most notable achievements of 2019 and provide a glance at what 2020 has in store.

2019 Sandbox Mainnet - Start Partner Integration and 2020 Goals

We are thrilled to announce that we have started the release of our Sandbox Mainnet. With this release we are able to provide commercial partners access to our platform in a controlled environment.

“Planning to issue Security Tokens? We facilitate integration with Sandbox Mainnet on a priority basis. Get in touch through our Sandbox Mainnet-webpage (click!)”.

With the commencement of the sandbox, we now launch the target environment where all the microservices forming Dusk Network’s node reference implementation are brought to life: Poseidon hash function, Phoenix and Zedger transaction models, Proof-of-Blind Bid and a novel Byzantine Agreement-based finality gadget forming Segregated Byzantine Agreement (SBA) consensus protocol, Smart Contract platform and Confidential Security Contract (XSC) standard. We consider these components of production-grade quality and therefore deploy them on our Sandbox Mainnet so that partners can start to develop Confidential Security Contract (XSC).

With the Sandbox Mainnet, partners get accustomed to our technology, and by gradually rolling out more features they can adapt to the new infrastructure and build the required libraries and knowledge. The sandbox is sealed away from community-facing components to speed up the process of XSC development from our partners. At the same time, we create the tools to ease XSC development as much as possible and will gradually transfer these tools to the public facing network.

Our intention has always been to ignite a stream of releases, deployed on a sequence of staging environments for a rigorous vetting process, where thorough security, performance and correctness audits take place. This stream of releases already began to commence this quarter, in time and as expected, in accordance with the kickstart of a delivery process spanning across different staging environments and culminating with the Sandbox Mainnet.

Sandbox Mainnet | The partner sandbox is a temporary, fully functional stage in which partners deploy XSC and on which other components of the network are introduced gradually. It is a controlled environment where consensus may be paused manually in case of issues.

2019 Sandbox Mainnet - Start Partner Integration and 2020 Goals

2019 | An Overview

What an exciting year it has been. We kick-started the year with our official End of Sale announcement, by which we secured a multi-year runway to build and improve the Dusk Network. Not a year later, our novel second-by-second vesting set-up has been fully concluded, and Dusk tokens are tradeable on notable exchanges like Binance, Bitfinex, and Bittrex Global.

We have not only developed the Dusk Network modules from Devnet to Testnet Shin to the release of Sandbox Mainnet and other modules in our staging environment, but also advocated a trust-less permission-less system on several blockchain events and trade missions, and acted as a bridge between zero-knowledge academics and our community by means of explanatory articles.

Most notable milestones of 2019.

  • With our private sale we raised roughly 8 million USD, and secured a multi-year runway to build and improve the Dusk Network.
  • The project got listed on notable exchanges like Binance, Bitfinex, and Bittrex Global.
  • Our novel second-by-second vesting set-up is fully concluded.
  • Our network developed from Testnet Shin to Testnet Rei to Sandbox Mainnet, and we have started the roll-out of controlled releases in the staging environment.
  • We joined the 2tokens initiative to join Legal & Regulatory bodies in the policy making related to issuance, digitization and exchange of financial assets and utility tokens.
  • Through Dusk Network’s admission to the Partners in Business (PIB) program, we have been endorsed to access the Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s global network of embassies, consulates, enterprises and the Netherlands Business Support Offices (NBSO).
  • We have nearly doubled in team size, including the addition of NED chairwoman Kavita Gupta.
  • In multiple series we explained the design choices and the economic model that represent the backbone of the Dusk Network to the community.
  • We made amazing technological progress, with breakthroughs ignited by the publication of our Whitepaper 2.0, Phoenix, Zedger, the XSC 1.0 standard, and releases of core network components such as our Zerocaf library, Kelvin, Blind-Bid Proof, Poseidon, which place our R&D efforts at the very forefront in the fields of cryptography, distributed computing and blockchain.
2019 Sandbox Mainnet - Start Partner Integration and 2020 Goals

2020 | Outlook

While development is characterized by a relentless pursuit of the right balance between different and sometimes conflicting goals (feature richness, performance, UX, etc), there is but one thing we do not compromise on: network security. Other than that, the efforts of the development team are driven toward

  • enabling commercial partners to start using the platform;
  • providing entry points to the network for the community;
  • promoting our innovations to create a bit of resonance in our target markets, with the aim to attract even more developers and partners.

We can’t take the risk of an all-or-nothing deployment of an immutable ledger, which is the reason why we have been stressing the incremental, expansive and gradual rollout of upgrades in our journey toward a secure and public mainnet.

We continue our development process in 2020

At Dusk Network, we follow quite a strict agile development process and release cycle. We strive for building the whole network incrementally, with features built in priority order. Component delivery is bound to happen in a controlled manner, to allow for the most secure way forward. Community facing components will be initially siloed away from the sandbox. They will nonetheless be operative. After a period of staging, the barriers of these siloes will fall.

Rather than following the same monolithic approach of the vast majority of other networks, we opted for a commutable architecture, where the different parts act as independent modules communicating with each other through a well-defined interface. This way, instead of a vertical technology stack, we strive for a horizontal network, in which almost every component can be swapped, upgraded, tested, staged and deployed separately from the others. There are several reasons why we opted for this configuration in the first place:

1) Minimize risks of integration | Dusk architecture is consistent with the so called microservices architecture, which is more suitable to tame the higher risk associated with rolling out new technologies that have never been released before (SBA, Private Proof-of-Stake, Phoenix, Zedger, Kelvin, PLONK, zero-knowledge Smart Contracts, and more).

2) Minimize risks of innovation | Dusk has been developed from the ground up. Unlike many other crypto projects, Dusk Network is not a shallow smart contract deployed on the Ethereum blockchain. Set to tackle the challenge of developing something truly unprecedented (a compliant, trustless and privacy-oriented network to handle regulated financial assets with no middleman), we had to develop most of our network tools pretty much from scratch. This means that we cannot avail of thorough operation history in a production environment. Hence, we plan ahead for risk mitigation and incorporate an architecture capable of isolating and upgrading/fixing faulty components without impacting the entire network.

3) Minimize risks of immutability | one point that we cannot repeat enough is that Dusk Network is not forkable. We cannot fork the network in case of problems (like in the case of “The DAO” hack). We have a true immutable ledger, which is the main reason for staging in various controlled environments.

4) Maximize Modularity | The Dusk development department consists of multidisciplinary teams working on components, each requiring different expertise. PLONK for instance, as a zero-knowledge proof system, requires specialized expertise in cryptography. Kadcast on the other hand, as a new P2P protocol for minimizing bandwidth, requires experience with network communications. It is just natural that these components find their way to production according to different paths and independently from each other.

5) Maximize Scalability | Because components are separated from each other and run within independent processes, they can be monitored and scaled independently. Bottlenecks are identified quickly and the overall architecture is more resilient.

2019 Sandbox Mainnet - Start Partner Integration and 2020 Goals

Dusk Network | 2020 Goals

With the release of our Sandbox Mainnet we enable our partners to start using the platform. It is our immediate goal to let commercial partners and regulators acquire confidence on Dusk Network and show them how our permissionless ledger is reliable, and even superior to the alternatives for powering non-negligible movement of assets.

As discussed in the introduction, we are creating an environment, as close as possible to its final, permissionless and decentralized form, where assets can already be officially deployed. Simultaneously, we aim to push out all those user-facing applications that compose a functional network.

Next steps include the token swap, and opening up the sandbox to the public. Finally, the launch of the trading venue completes the system and adds a secondary market for issued securities.

Dusk is about steady growth, sustainable business and real fundamentals. Our partners and stakeholders dwell within the context of traditional finance. They are unfazed by empty metrics and hype cycles, value technological stability and value propositions above all.

And so does the Dusk Network team.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your engagement and continuous support over the past year, and wish you all a beautiful and wonderful New Year!

About Dusk Network
Dusk Network is an open-source and privacy-oriented blockchain based on years of academic research. You can use Dusk Network to create smart contracts that control digital assets and securities.

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