Plonkup refactoring, documenting Rusk VM, and BLS12-381 - Dusk Development Update #35
By Toghrul Maharramov

Oct 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:

  • Plonkup refactoring & integration.
  • Micro-servicing BLS12-381.
  • Documenting the inner workings of the Rusk VM.



The RUST implementation of Plonkup in our tech stack has undergone a major refactor, essentially refining the details of Plonkup as they stand. Plonkup is a versatile technology, and having its specifications consistent with our code implementation will increase its efficacy significantly. Additionally, we’ve fixed several main bugs and refactored the Plonk API for consistency.

💡 Need a refresher on Plonkup?

Plonkup is a protocol originally created by Dusk Network’s Luke and Anoma’s Joshua. It describes how to integrate Plookup (which speeds up proving times) with PLONK (the Zero-Knowledge Proof system we utilize). Plonkup is an original work developed at Dusk Network that would make the next generation of PLONK proofs more efficient. In addition to this integration, it fixes bugs and helps write more tests.

Furthermore, there have been improvements to the Plonkup specification document, including analysis of the research paper and the coding.


E2E Release Candidate library releases

Before Dusk Network’s Incentivized TestNet goes live, our End-to-End Release Candidate must be feature complete: the E2E RC is a feature-freeze, and signals the version of the blockchain protocol that we want to go live with. To get there, each of the various libraries that make up the E2E Release Candidate must be made public. Prior to release, these libraries must be scrutinized and validated. This results in occasionally seeing multiple releases within a month or no public releases as we work towards finalization.

You can read more on our library releases in their respective articles or find the complete Dusk Network Release Candidate Schedule here.

Micro-servicing BLS12-381

Development on a new microservice that provides access to BLS12-381 elliptic curve signatures is underway. This aids in creating keys, aggregating keys, signing messages, and aggregating signatures. As it stands, the CGO interface currently used accesses these functions via Foreign Function Interface, creating a significant processing bottleneck. This new implementation would solve this bottleneck. Once the implementation is complete, we are comparing CGO to the new gRPC/protobuf microservice which, in prior work, has proven to be faster.

Between continuing with the existing CGO design or using a microservice on a UNIX domain socket, the latter is the shortest path to sufficient performance for the release. Furthermore, it is intended to replace all of the Go infrastructure code with RUST.


The research department continued to put its efforts into documenting the inner workings of the Rusk VM. The end goal was to finish it this week, but it became clear an extra week is needed to complete the VM specification. Extensive documentation is not only important if you’d like to involve others in your technology stack; it also prevents potential issues down the line (e.g. when working on smart contracts, or in attempting to make use of all the functionalities offered by the underlying VM). It is all about developer- and audit-friendliness.

This month has seen a whole lot of writing in the research department as they started with the documentation for the VM. Although not the sexiest activity, good documentation is of the utmost importance if you’d like to involve others in your technology stack, whether they are developers, stakers, or network users of any other sort.

Besides documentation, the team continued crunching their minds on the future possibility of implementing sharding. Heterogeneous sharding is worked on to improve the functionality of the protocol, and will also drastically improve the throughput of the protocol.

Eagle Eye View - Roadmap

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


Our development goals for the near future include the public release of Plonkup & implementation service integration for Rusk. In the meantime, refining Plonkup and reconfiguring the R&D team for what comes after its release and the finalization of Plonkup documentation. Subsequently, work will continue on an update of our consensus mechanism and sharding.


As September turned October, we were chosen to partner with TNW in their flagship Conference. Participants were able to buy their tickets in DUSK, and could’ve expected to (digitally) rub shoulders with international tech executives, venture capitalists, policymakers, authors, startups, and scaleups. Alongside Bux and Euroclear, we featured in a lively panel on Crypto Securities: making the disruption of capital markets a reality.

Missed the panel? We got your back, as we highlighted our aim to solve the trillion-dollar capital market’s frictions and inefficiencies in our latest blog Catapulting Capital Markets into the 21st Century.

We also welcomed two new additions, Moana and Eduardo, to our Research & Development department. The RUST programming language is vital to Dusk Network and our Zero-Knowledge Proofs system. In light of this, we were happy to officially announce Moana & Eduardo joining the RUST team to bolster development.

And it won’t stop there. We are currently onboarding more developers and are always on the lookout for exceptional talent. Interested in becoming part of the next financial revolution? Reach out to us here:

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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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