Libraries, Reinforced Concrete, and Privacy DeFi - Dusk Development Update #30
By Toghrul Maharramov

May 06, 2021

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

Dusk Network is developing the privacy blockchain for financial applications. A blockchain-based ecosystem of programmable digital assets that meet industry compliance standards. Companies use Dusk Network to secure capital, trade assets, and access a full spectrum of financial services.

Key takeaways:

  • This month we have begun the public release of Dusk Network E2E RC libraries, so far including Poseidon, Hades, PLONK, Canonical, HAMT, nStack, and MicroKelvin.
  • The new hash function Reinforced Concrete consists of Bricks, Concrete, and Bars, and the team has already succeeded in implementing the first two components.
  • Our research department is working on a novel DeFi-related model that captures what Dusk Network is famous for: privacy.


E2E RC releases

The first four libraries have been released during the past month, and signal their version of the blockchain protocol we intend to go live with. We got MicroKelvin, the first toolkit for making advanced zero-knowledge-friendly data structures easy to implement, taking care of immutable storage. And together, Canonical and MicroKelvin manage how data is stored on-chain. This means that every other library release depends on their system level.

PLONK is the zero-knowledge proof system we use at Dusk Network, and comes with many benefits, one of which is always worth mentioning: constant verification times. This makes it the best-suited proof system for complex proofs and scalability. Poseidon in turn, is Dusk Networks’s hash function optimized for proof generation and validation, making it the most efficient zero-knowledge friendly hashing implementation.

You can read more on the recently released libraries in their respective articles or find the complete Dusk Network Release Candidate Schedule here.

Canonical v0.6

With the release of Canonical library (v.0.6), we have shipped the backbone of the communication between the privacy-friendly VM and the smart contract platform. The release improves upon several key points compared to its predecessor. Most notably, the removal of storage as an argument in the API fixes issues on annotations in MicroKelvin. This way, we can refactor the entire stack to be ported in a more efficient, rust no_std version.

As Canonical is the backbone of the entire stack, it was important to upgrade to v.0.6 before moving on to the other components.

💡 Annotations

Essentially, annotations attach information that describes how to store a certain structure. Using annotations, Canonical can act as a Foreign Function Interface and automatically translates code to the native system with its predefined set of annotations.

Reinforced Concrete

Dusk Network’s lead cryptographer Dmitry Khovratovich created a new cryptographic hash function that significantly increases the speed of verifiable computation. More specifically, it is a new PLOOKup algebraic hashing function that allows us to perform non-native lookups. In other words, operations that were too costly to execute before, such as recursion, are now becoming a possibility!

The team already achieved the first steps in implementing reinforced concrete. The new hash function consists of three distinct components, named Bricks, Concrete, and Bars, and has already succeeded in implementing the first two components. Bricks are solid algebraic components, whereas Concrete is a diffusing element that cements the bricks together. Bars are needed to ensure security with our BLS curve.

💡 BLS curve

A BLS digital signature, also known as Boneh–Lynn–Shacham, is a cryptographic signature scheme that allows a user to verify its authenticity. Signatures produced by the BLS curve are existentially unforgeable under adaptive chosen-message attacks, or simply put: provably secure


We have continued our efforts in the research department to clarify how Dusk Network can enhance the existing world of DeFi with its privacy features. While the impossibility of privacy preserving AMM has been discussed in the recent publication, our research efforts have diverted to the enablement of privacy-preservation after the completion of the swap. As a result, we have devised a model enabling “forward obfuscation”, made possible thanks to the unique feature of Dusk Network’s Phoenix: permitting the user to spend non-obfuscated outputs confidentially.

We define forward obfuscation as a scheme that guarantees eventual privacy-preservation, as long as the output is not deobfuscated. For example, let’s assume there exists an AMM trading pair consisting of two Confidential Token standard-based tokens: Token A and Token B.

Alice wants to swap X of Token A for Y of Token B. Alice initiates a swap with deobfuscated X of Token A. In other words, amount X of Confidential Token A is made publicly visible to enter the swap. After successful execution, she receives non-obfuscated Y of Token B as a result. Now, Alice can spend her newly acquired tokens again confidentially. This is called forward obfuscation.

Eagle Eye View - Roadmap

For a more thorough view of all the Dusk Network development components, please visit the Eagle Eye Roadmap.


The next sprint cycles, the dusk network development teams continue their work on testing and stabilizing the components of the E2E Release Candidate, or implementing additions onto Devnet that will ship to the Dusk Network in the upcoming releases.

With the core libraries done, the team focuses on porting RUSK, the Rusk Virtual Machine (VM), and the Rusk-ABI. Short for Application Binary Interface, ABI improves consistency across the board of all native function calls, as it works as an interface between smart contract platform RUSK and the Rusk VM. Once the VM and smart contract platforms are released, the team focuses on getting the genesis contracts operational.

In addition, our cryptographers will be finishing the Bars function of Reinforced Concrete. These are the low-degree polynomials used to add security to the hash function, best described as the steel parts that reinforce the entire construction to stand tall against certain potential attacks.


After the success of our first annual DuskCon event, broadcasted from Amsterdam to more than 1800 viewers, we continued on our path to increased community involvement. We have painted a broad-stroke picture in our latest ecosystem roadmap en route to Incentivized TestNet (ITN), and added some Dusk purple to the Binance yellow with a Community AMA and Trading competition.

And make sure to keep a watchful eye on our block explorer in the coming month. After the last round of Community QA Task Force’s approval, it’ll be accessible by the general public, and once 500.000 blocks are finalized, we’ll reach a new level of community interaction with ITN: A network open to anybody willing to participate.

With the $5,000,000 Dusk Grants Program we intend to increase developer involvement as well, and attract more of the industry’s brightest minds. Made possible by our healthy financial position, which can be found alongside much more in the latest Biannual Report!

About Dusk Network

Dusk Network is the privacy blockchain for financial applications. A new standard for compliance, control, and collaboration. Our mission is to enable any size enterprise to collaborate at scale, meet compliance requirements and ensure that personal and transaction data remains confidential.

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