Dusk Network to use Grants program for Zero-Knowledge research
By Mels Dees

Nov 18, 2021

Grants Program Update

A few months ago, Dusk Network opened its grant program to applications from the community and beyond. The initiative has since received a lot of attention from developers and researchers, with a significant number of applications hitting our inbox within the first week.

Our aim with this Grants Program has always been to engage projects, developers, researchers, academics, and community organizers in accelerating the growth and accessibility of the Dusk Network blockchain platform. Today’s announcement of the first two grant recipients is only the first step in fulfilling that aim.

Focus Areas

Although the program is open to anyone and everyone, applications need to be relevant to Dusk Network. Specifically, we are looking for initiatives in the areas of tooling & improved network infrastructure, the latest advancements in industry research, and use-cases/applications suited to thrive on Dusk Network.

With this in mind, we are excited to share the first projects to have started under the umbrella of the Grants Program.

1. Zero-Knowledge Recursion Research

    With the implementation of the new proof system PLONKup, we’ll be among the industry’s first to benefit from significant performance improvements with reduced proving times. This will open up use-cases that were previously thought impossible or impractical.

    However, we believe with the right research team we can take development of Zero-Knowledge technology even further.

    That is why we are collaborating with (and bestowing our first grant to) Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona alumni Javier Silva and Xavier Salleras, with the goal of furthering research on Zero-Knowledge Recursion, in particular. They will be joining fellow researcher Marta Bellés on the topic of recursive proofs.

    Who are Xavier & Javier?
    Xavier Salleras is a cryptography researcher working mainly on Zero-Knowledge Proofs. He is also a PhD student in Applied Cryptography at Pompeu Fabra University, the developer of ZPiE (a C implementation of Groth16 and Bulletproofs Zero-Knowledge proving system), and an adjunct professor of Cryptography & Security.

    Javier Silva is a mathematician with a PhD in Cryptography. During the PhD, he worked on improving the efficiency of Zero-Knowledge Proofs and building post-quantum cryptographic primitives based on isogenies of elliptic curves. He has published 6 papers on these topics, and is currently an adjunct professor at Pompeu Fabra University.

    By combining their extensive knowledge with Dusk Network’s own team of researchers and developers, further study and work towards recursion of Zero-Knowledge Proofs can flourish, with a special focus on the PLONK proving system.

    Research is set to include the topics of:

    • 1-Level recursion | This would allow for a validity proof of one single blockchain block.
    • Multi-block validation via aggregation of proof | This would allow the verification of validity of several proofs by validating one single proof.
    • ZK-squared rollups | An intermediate step between 1-Level recursion and unbounded recursion.
    • Unbounded recursion | This includes chain interoperability and more efficient & secure state sharding.

    2. Zero-Copy Deserialization rkyv

      Another grant has been allocated to rkyv, as we’re now officially supporting the library in the capacity of a platinum sponsor.

      rkyv (pronounced ‘archive’) is a zero-copy deserialization framework built entirely in the RUST programming language. Its primary feature is that it’s ‘zero-copy’; this means that the act of ‘deserialization’ of data is as simple as casting a pointer, with serialization occurring in a way that makes its in-memory representation the same as its archived representation.

      In the case of Dusk Network’s implementation of rkyv, this method of deserialization greatly decreases load times and uses as little memory as possible. Encouraging further research will spur on new technological advances and increased optimization down the road.

      More to come...

      Potential grant recipients are thoroughly vetted, meaning the process of selection can take some time. If you've already applied for a Dusk Network Grant through our portal, please be patient as we go through the requisite steps of the process.

      Stay tuned for more grant recipient spotlights in the future, as we continue to provide some of the most innovative and beneficial projects in the industry with the funds they need to revolutionize the space.

      About Dusk Network

      Dusk Network is an open-source blockchain for financial applications. Data protection and privacy preservation play a major role in Dusk Network, as well as its design for regulatory compliance.

      The blockchain is eco-friendly, thanks to its Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism; a novel and efficient method of reaching agreement on the current state of the global ledger.

      Notably, the blockchain supports privacy-friendly smart contracts. Companies use the Dusk Network to power financial applications, issue tokens, trade and collaborate on a global scale. Dusk Network is built by a team of experts from Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

      Share this post

      Subscribe to our newsletter

      Dusk on GitHub Download Whitepaper