Rusk, Zedger, and Block Explorer - Dusk Development Update #31
By Toghrul Maharramov

Jun 07, 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 continued the public release of Dusk Network E2E RC libraries. new additions including Genesis Circuits, Rusk-ABI, Dusk-ABI, and Rusk VM.
  • With the release of Rusk VM, we have all components for the first zero-knowledge cryptography-friendly VM in place.
  • Thanks to the QA Task Force, we now have an Explorer ready for public release once the blockchain team signs off on our public Testnet.


E2E RC releases

Another four library releases have commenced in May, and signal their version of the blockchain protocol we intend to go live with. With the release of Rusk VM we have all components for the first zero-knowledge cryptography-friendly VM in place. The Dusk-ABI handles efficient communication between the VM and the Rusk smart contract platform.

💡 The Rusk-ABI is a higher-level interface built on top of the Dusk-ABI that enables the smart contract platform to access host functions that are specific to our VM, and not native to WASM. Both ABIs make it a lot easier for smart contract developers to interact with the Rusk VM.

The Genesis Circuits are what give the genesis smart contracts their zero-knowledge power (Genesis blocks are instantiated during the first block of the protocol), and are especially important for the Bid and DUSK contracts. The DUSK Contract (a.k.a. Transfer Contract) makes it possible for DUSK to be transferred by smart contract, as would be the case with any other asset deployed on-chain. This way it becomes possible to manage one global state, excluding any occurrences of race conditions.

The team is currently preparing the DUSK Contract release, which takes a little while longer to align with the latest protocol specification. You can read more on the recently released libraries in their respective articles or find the complete Dusk Network Release Candidate Schedule here.

Rusk side business

In delivering the RC libraries associated with the Rusk VM, the development team had to update the entire stack to the RC Canonical version and port it to no_std. Now that all components are up to date, we benefit from the team’s latest improvements in circuit asset management and WebAssembly (WASM) smart contract interactions.

It took the team quite some time to solve for the latest enhancements and existing tech-debt, although implementation of the right design principles does speed up our development process in the long run. The same goes for a major upgrade the team made to our smart contract and circuit tester. The new test framework will improve quality and development speed.

Reinforced Concrete

This new cryptographic hash function created by Dusk Network’s lead cryptographer aims to significantly increase the speed of verifiable computation in Dusk Network. Last month the team finished the final bars component for a completed in-circuit end-to-end (E2E) hash function, which is currently being benchmarked against its predecessor Poseidon.

💡 Learn more about Reinforced Concrete (link)

Reinforced Concrete involves using our new integrated PLONK and PLOOKup prover to check algebraic constraints. This solution brings us two distinct benefits. Namely, provable high levels of security, and it solves the issue of expensive in-circuit hashing. Why is this awesome? Operations that were too costly to execute before, such as recursion, are becoming a possibility with Reinforced Concrete.

Testnet and Devnet stability

This month the team has been stress-testing Devnet and Testnet stability in preparations for the upcoming public Incentivized Testnet (ITN). A redesign of the voucher seeder and peer-to-peer (P2P) components improved stability and reusability, simplified the testing process, and reduced the potential for bugs and attack vectors even further. So far we’ve been able to remain stable while sustaining 30 Transactions Per Second (TPS). After a sufficient amount of internal testing, we’ll begin our countdown to the 500K’th block and commence with public testing.

Block Explorer

In the background we see the bond between the UI/UX team and the community Quality Assurance (QA) Task Force strengthen, as their joint efforts are coming to fruition. So far they jointly worked on incremental releases of the Block Explorer, with minor bugs being fixed and features updated. Thanks to the QA Task Force, we now have an Explorer ready for public release once the blockchain team signs off on our public Testnet.


The main item of investigation in the research department this month has been Zedger, the cornerstone of the Confidential Security Standard (XSC). While they continued writing the Zedger paper, they have been particularly busy analyzing some deanonymization attacks via certain Zedger-specific vectors.

With timing-based deanonymization attacks, the team has looked into any vulnerabilities that could arise from Zedger’s design. As it turns out, no critical attack vectors that could possibly lead to added risk of deanonymization have been found, and no additional solution is required.

While Zedger naturally preserves privacy less strictly than our other transaction model Phoenix (due to additional auditability requirements), this exercise demonstrated that Zedger is currently not more vulnerable than originally anticipated.

Eagle Eye View - Roadmap

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


In the next sprint cycles, the Dusk Network development teams will 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.

The Dusk Network teams will continue the gradual release of all the smart contract platform libraries. Next up are the four different Genesis Contracts, the embedded domain-specific language (eDSL) Cake!, and Rusk.

In addition, we can’t wait to publish the benchmarking results for Reinforced Concrete’s in-circuit hashing. Also, the blockchain team will be closely monitoring Testnet before signing it off for release, as we finally unveil our long-awaited block explorer with the wider public.


On June 1st we reached a major milestone, as we opened up a new way for talented developers and visionaries to join us in our mission to change the financial ecosystem for the better. With the $5,000,000 Dusk Grants Program we aim to boost ecosystem tooling, research, and the creation of new applications on Dusk Network.

The first time we unveiled our plans for a grant program was at the first official virtual Dusk event dubbed DuskCon 2021. For those that missed out, or would like to sit back and enjoy the conference a second time, the full event can be found here. Prefer a nice read over watching a video? Read all about tech and business development in our 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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