Dusk Network Development Update - November 2020
By Toghrul Maharramov

Dec 07, 2020

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:

  • The implementation of our own stand-alone ElGamal encryption scheme has been completed, it follows our prior implementation of ElGamal with PLONK and allows us to have our provable encryption operations in zero-knowledge.
  • We started implementing PLOOKUP ahead of schedule. PLOOKUP speeds up proving times of existing circuits and provides a foundation for additional innovative features down the line, such as recursive proof verification.
  • This month’s research has been primarily focused on how we can use existing layer-2 primitives such as Zk-Rollups to realize a layer-2 DEX protocol.


This month we implemented our own stand-alone ElGamal encryption scheme. ElGamal is an asymmetric encryption algorithm that is used a lot in XSC operations, and allows two parties to share secret information without it being subject to eavesdropping by a third party.

Implementing ElGamal was a two-step process. The stand-alone implementation follows our support for ElGamal by the PLONK proving system. Now, with this step, we have all the prerequisites to encrypt data prior to proving the correctness of encryption. The significance of this component is explained in our recent demo on Provable Encryption.

There are three separate stages, being

(1) Key propagation, where party A should use their private key to generate a public key;
Encryption, where party B encrypts its message using the public key of party A; and
Decryption, where party A uses its private key to recover the message from the cipher.

Elgamal is designed with the JubJub curve to benefit from highly efficient cipher operations, which in turn allows us to have our provable encryption operations in zero-knowledge.

We have commenced implementing PLONK with lookup tables, aptly named PLOOKUP, to improve efficiency across large circuits. PLOOKUP enables us to retrieve values computed in-circuit from pre-computed lists of combinations to speed up proving times for complex circuits.

Additionally, it makes it viable to include recursive proof verification, in which a proof can verify itself, another proof, and even multiple proofs, thereby reducing the amount of data that needs to be stored on the blockchain. A practical example would be the use of zk^2-Rollups in a Layer-2 protocol. In this case, confidentiality of the transaction is provided via a zero-knowledge proof that is verified inside another zero-knowledge proof (we utilize the succinctness feature of the SNARKs) in order to compress numerous transactions in a block into one single proof accompanied by some metadata.

The team has formalized and upgraded the underlying network architecture for the consensus protocol. Thanks to the formalization, we discovered a potential edge case vulnerability affecting the consensus message retrieval and have implemented a fix for it. The network architecture upgrade creates a more stable environment for the consensus to rely upon, improving overall efficiency of the consensus protocol.


This month’s research has been primarily focused on realizing a Layer 2 DEX protocol that meets the requirements of a decentralized and non-custodial exchange capable of trading Dusk-based tokens. Specifically, we’ve been building upon existing Layer 2 primitives, such as zk-Rollups, zk^2-Rollups, zk-Plasma, and others. This way, we are able to create all that is needed for a very efficient decentralized exchange model that is capable of providing provable security, transactional privacy, non-custodial trading and instant settlement finality.


On December 9th 2PM CET we’ll be opening up the floor again to any and all questions from the community in the first CryptoBenelux AMA. Plenty to talk about as this month has seen the release of the news that Dusk Network has become a shareholder of the NPEX stock exchange, following an extensive partnership period during which the companies developed pilot projects aimed at launching innovative financial products.

Part III of our DeFi series
, A digital EU Securities Market, dives into the opportunities and future role of blockchain technology in regulated markets. This article follows previous DeFi focused articles, An Introduction To DeFi and Decentralizing Exchanges.

Last month we released the Biannual Report 2020. This 25-page report, provides a comprehensive overview of both our technical and business progress, while also touching upon our financial position, collaborations, staking statistics, and vision for the financial ecosystem of the future. The report functions as both an invaluable resource to get up to speed and as an overall assessment of dusk Network.

The Economic Model Paper and the supplementary document Insights & Highlights provides additional context to understand the dynamics of Dusk Network's tokenomics.

Dusk Demos

We strongly believe that privacy and compliance will be of vital importance for blockchains to play a central role in the financial ecosystem of the future. This is why we continue to put out valuable technology demonstrations and explanations through video content and articles. Our latest demo covers Provable Encryption and how privacy-compliant blockchain technology can facilitate audit trails for regulatory compliance.

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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