As 2023 draws to a close, we are pleased to announce our second round of mainnet deliverables are now live!
The web wallet and node are two vital products that lay the foundation not only for our mainnet release (scheduled for early 2024) but that also make Dusk the industry-leader in the space of privacy and onboarding the trillion dollar real-world assets market.
The web wallet revolutionizes user and developer interaction with in-browser privacy, zero-knowledge proofs, and unprecedented extensibility thanks to its novel driver-based engine. The Node release signifies the birth of the first and only blockchain with privacy smart contracts, immediate finality, and a global shared state. All while ensuring timely progress towards our eagerly anticipated Mainnet.
Let’s take a deep dive into what each of these deliverables entail, why we needed to make our own, and how it fits into the broader Dusk vision and ecosystem.
Web Wallet - The First Complete Client-Side Operating Ecosystem For Privacy Smart Contracts
Dusk's web wallet is an unprecedented breakthrough, addressing the complex challenges of privacy smart contracts with a comprehensive client-side operating ecosystem. Traditional barriers of space, performance, compliance, and UX for confidential smart contracts are now history. This wallet goes beyond mere transactions; it's a multi-threaded platform where developers deploy and users interact with custom 'drivers'—specialized logic for each contract—seamlessly and on-chain.
The web wallet revolutionizes interaction, allowing parallel execution of contracts and easy installation of user-centric extensions. Integrated with Citadel, Dusk's advanced digital identity protocol, it ensures privacy and compliance are never compromised.
In summary, Dusk's web wallet isn't just an innovation; it's the first true client-side operating system for privacy-centric blockchain applications, redefining the landscape of what web wallets can achieve.
As a nice addition, it is compatible with cold storage wallets that support BLS12-381 and Schnorr signatures.
- Solves high space requirements for privacy - The "circuit descriptor" solves the problem of the staggering amount of data needed by privacy smart contracts: from > 100Mb per operation down to ~100Kb
- Solves heavy performance hurdles related to proving on the web - thanks to the Phoenix transaction model which engineered a way to use prover services
- Solves compliance - by enabling out-of-the-box support for Citadel, Dusk ZKP digital identity protocol
- Solves native UX for smart contracts - (Privacy) smart contracts on Dusk will be deployed together with a "driver" that will plug in directly onto the web wallet. Users can install the driver and the web-wallet will be automatically extended with smart contract-specific operations
- Solves inefficient synchronization of privacy data - Thanks to the unique memory model of Dusk's VM - Piecrust - the Web Wallet can avail of client-side data sharding: it can synchronize with only the state a user is interested in and immediately trustlessly verify that that data is correct
- Solves parallelization of client operations - Each smart contract driver runs in a dedicated and isolated thread
- Solves upgradability and extensibility - Developers can easily keep their clients up-to-date by deploying updated versions of their smart contract drivers. The Web Wallet will be immediately notified and the user can decide to adopt the upgrade
The Web Wallet Enables A Complete Ecosystem With Privacy & Compliance Built-In
Why have other blockchains fallen short on privacy?
The answer is simple: building an inherently private and compliant ecosystem is extremely hard. It is a complex challenge that Dusk has tackled with a painful cycle of trial and error.
For instance, the team had to solve the issue of bulky (>200Mb) prover keys required by confidential operations. Thanks to our circuit descriptor technology, prover keys can now be shrunk into a few Kb and sent to a prover. This solves one of the major blockers of privacy-preserving smart contracts: each privacy smart contract would include multiple circuits, and each circuit would require hundreds of Mb of precompiled data (i.e. the so-called prover key).
Another blocker would be the difficulty to synchronize the wallet brought by the need to verify each single confidential transaction since genesis. We solved that too, by availing of the amazing memory model of Piecrust VM which allows hyperfast synchronization.
How is the Web Wallet enabling a whole privacy smart contract ecosystem?
Each obstacle faced and learned from has brought us closer to our goal, not just to create a web wallet, but an entire platform that sets the standard for privacy smart contracts.
We solved all issues we faced, not only for ourselves, but also for all other developers too, so as to enable them to streamline their deployment on the chain as well as on the wallet too.
No more will users have to hop on different platforms and blindly allow their wallet to interface with external UIs. Developers will be able to deploy their smart contract and a “driver” that the user can directly install on the web wallet. By installing the driver on the web wallet, the user will extend the wallet with the native way that the developer intended for interacting with her smart contract.
What are the building blocks for compliance?
Our wallet's in-built flexibility and support for Dusk's Citadel protocol ensures that compliance is not an afterthought but a foundational feature directly linked to Dusk’s digital identity. This ensures that the wallet can avail of a privacy-preserving digital identity. This makes it easy to comply with any auditing required by regulations (such as MiCA or Mifid II) through the bare minimum selective disclosures, without clumsy band-aids like sharing view-keys or deanonymizing the transaction history.
In practice, future organizations or dApps don’t need to worry about KYC/AML compliance, which is unified directly within the web wallet architecture. This is the enabler for a true RWA ecosystem where users interacting with their assets and smart contracts are legally enabled to (without having to disclose information about identity or any other personal details).
What about the upcoming Dusk Economic Protocol?
The web wallet makes the use of a novel economic model possible. The economic protocol (an upcoming roadmap deliverable) will provide the opportunity for smart contract to levy the gas costs for and/or apply a fixed fee to the users. This is unprecedented in the blockchain world and signifies a paradigm shift for the UX as well as turning dApps into actual decentralized services. The consequence of the new economic protocol are far reaching and open unprecedented future opportunities, such as the capability to automate the execution of smart contracts. Think of implementing on-chain limit orders, or event-based transactions.
The wallet is predisposed for this too and will automatically include the upgrade as soon as the economic protocol will be implemented and deemed secure.
Dusk's web wallet stands as a beacon of innovation and determination. It's not just a product; it's a platform shaped by experience, designed to empower developers, and built to usher in a new era of blockchain adoption where privacy and compliance are not just included but celebrated.
The Node: The First Private and Shared State
Next up we have the node.
The node, often called Rusk, is one of the key foundational components of the Dusk blockchain, and, just like the web wallet, comes with plenty of not-seen-before features and innovation.
Let’s take a look at some of the key features and capabilities of the Rusk node, as well as what they mean for the Dusk blockchain.
- Instant and irreversible finality
- Infinitely scalable
- Asynchronous catch up
- Private spending of public coins
- Privacy, confidential smart contracts with a shared state
Succinct Attestation Consensus: Immediate Finality and Infinite Scalability
Succinct Attestation (SA) is a unique Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, invented by Dusk CEO Emanuele Francioni, that guarantees near-instant and irreversible finality. Once a transaction is processed, it is final. No take backs.
This is a requirement for compliance, and provides certainty when proving ownership.
Not only does the SA consensus provide irrevocable finality, but it is also able to guarantee the same resilience and better performance compared to other well-known blockchains with similar consensus mechanisms, with a fraction of the participation. As an example, one popular blockchain needs more than 2000 nodes to reach the same security that Dusk guarantees with 2 rounds of 64-out-of-100 participants.
Our implementation scales infinitely and has no verifier upper limit. Tendermint (Cosmos) has an upper limit of 100 verifiers, as an example. There is no cap to how many people can be verifiers, and there’s no limit to the expansion of the blockchain.
Another key highlight of the Rusk node is that if for some reason the nodes should stop being synced, the network would quickly sync itself up and regain a unified state.
"Traditional blockchains struggle with consensus mechanisms, which need either thousands of nodes to achieve an acceptable level of security, require expensive backends, or can’t ensure enough participation. Dusk's Succinct Attestation changes the game: it's faster, leaner, scalable and achieves finality with much fewer attestations. It's not just an improvement. It's a complete overhaul of how consensus is achieved in the blockchain world". - Emanuele Francioni, CEO and Founder
Private Spending of Public Coins: A Private But Shared State
While private spending of public coins might sound like an inverse Communism, it’s actually an incredibly novel and powerful breakthrough that Dusk has made; users can privately transact publicly available assets.
This is made possible by the Phoenix transaction model, another Dusk innovation, and finally gives users, institutions, and developers the ability to have a decentralized, permissionless, and trustless network that can be used for meaningful transactions, providing privacy, compliance, finality, and speed.
Dusk is the only blockchain that ensures privacy, confidential smart contracts, and a shared state with one single source of truth.
Upgradability: Upgrades Without Redeployment
The final innovation we will touch on today is the upgradability of the blockchain thanks to the node.
Traditional software is upgraded all the time, blockchains and smart contracts are much harder to upgrade, and often require being redeployed, which is obviously not practical and is quite frankly unacceptable to any serious institution or organization dealing with real-world assets.
Imagine if your bank had to issue you with new money because their system got upgraded?
The Dusk blockchain can be upgraded via smart contracts by the controller, and requires no forking or redeployment to make this possible.
This means that we can upgrade the blockchain, fix bugs, and add new features if required, without users, institutions, or their clients having to get a v2 (or v3 or v4) for their tokens.
This is massively important, and provides the smooth experience that we all expect when it comes to real-world assets.
To Conclude: Solving Impossible Problems
Dusk is solving unseen and unsolvable problems;
An in-browser web wallet that can be infinitely customized, and compute ZKPs?
A node that provides privacy within a shared state and can be upgraded?
Both of these innovations are unheard of, and make Dusk an industry-leading blockchain that is uniquely positioned to not only capture the interest of traditional finance, but also provides crypto native developers with a unique set of tools to build privacy preserving protocols with no compromises.