General - About Dusk Network
- What is 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. Companies use the Dusk Network blockchain to issue tokens, trade and collaborate via smart contracts. Dusk Network combines the versatility of smart contracts that can be found on Ethereum, the privacy of ZCash and a consensus algorithm developed in-house known as Segregated Byzantine Agreement (SBA) to create a platform that supports security tokens and privacy-respecting financial applications. An innovation that opens up entirely new use cases to millions of users. Read more about the technical architecture.
- Is it a permissioned ledger?
No. Dusk Network aims to be an open source, public and permissionless ledger. Blockchain should be available to companies of any size. We aim to promote decentralisation and development support from and not lead to vendor lock-ins.
- Is it a platform?
Similar to Ethereum, Dusk Network is a layer-1 blockchain platform. Developers can use the privacy-oriented Dusk Network to deploy financial applications with the peace of mind that user- and transaction related data remain private and anonymous.
- What is the story behind Dusk Network?
Early 2018, tech experts Emanuele Francioni and Fulvio Venturelli joined forces with business experts Jelle Pol, Pascal Putman and Mels Dees to create the Dusk Network privacy infrastructure. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the team quickly expanded with renowned developers and industry talents, as they embarked on their mission to revolutionize traditional financial markets with the power of blockchain. More on Dusk Network history in the ‘about us’-section of the website here.
- What's the target audience?
Businesses are the intended end user of Dusk Network solutions. Dusk Network aims to address the many regulatory requirements posed by financial markets. In general, (large) financial service providers, financial institutions, tokenization platforms, and consultancy and legal boutiques have a need for privacy-preserving blockchain technology. Some of the use cases include confidential security tokens, digitization of share registries, and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications. Read more about Dusk Network’s use cases here.
- How do you generate revenue?
Dusk Network is a layer-1 protocol that can be used by any party looking to capture its benefits. A small percentage of block rewards goes to a long-term development fund with the aim of providing a recurring budget for technical development and maintenance. Block rewards and transaction fees incentivize the nodes to keep the network secure. Thanks to the $USD 8M initial funding round we have secured a multi-year runway, and with it, we are able to deliver a privacy-respecting blockchain for enterprise-grade solutions, and much more. Going forward many new revenue generating business models can materialize. What this will be exactly depends on a number of variables, including: the general state of blockchain adoption in the world, the competitive edge versus other blockchain solutions, changes in the regulatory landscape, partner integration fees, the need for custom applications built on Dusk Network and more.
- Is there a roadmap?
You can take a glimpse at the roadmap here. The dynamic development roadmap provides a glimpse into what will be made available in the next wave of releases. Additional features are added continuously and selection is based on their priority order.
- Do we have a company culture?
Yes we do. We believe that it's important that everyone shares the same set of values that characterizes Dusk Network as a company. Shared ethos at Dusk Network includes our belief in transparency and a hunger to challenge each other. Read more about Dusk Culture here.
- Can I work at Dusk Network?
We post open vacancies on the job page. Even if we are not advertising for it, we welcome spontaneous applications for the position that you desire. Take me to the job page.
- How are Nodes incentivized to participate?
Nodes earn DUSK through a combination of block rewards and gas fees. For the exact details, stay tuned for the release of the ‘Economic model review paper’. The nodes in the network are Block Generators and Provisioners who are tasked with providing security to the network. Block generators run relatively light operations and compete for candidate block generation. Provisioners perform block selection, reduction and agreement in order to keep the network running and prevent fraud. Block rewards reflect the work performed for each of these functions.
- Can I run a Dusk Network node?
Yes. You can run a testnet node right now. Dusk Network features a novel proof of stake consensus mechanism. Once the major refactoring is completed future possibilities will open for public participation in the network.
- What are the requirements to set up a node?
The node specifications for testnet Rei (レイ) were released on Github. Although minimum specifications are sufficient, we advise participants to adhere to the recommended specifications for better performance. More on setting up nodes for testnet Rei (レイ) here.
- How much DUSK would I need to set up a node?
Although precise parameters are not publicly released yet, we promote decentralisation and aim for the Dusk Network blockchain to be inclusive, meaning that financial thresholds should be achievable by most. To promote true decentralization there are lower and upper bounds in regard to the amounts a single node is allowed to stake.
- Where can I find an overview of all the tech components?
The Dusk Network layer-1 blockchain protocol consists of many interconnected parts that can be quite difficult to understand on their own. Plonk, Phoenix, Kadcast, Kelvin, Zedger, are just a few of the cornerstone components of Dusk Network. Interested to get an overview of how it all works together? Explore our explanation of the technical framework in this article.
Confidential Smart Contracts
- What is a confidential smart contract?
A confidential smart contract is an agreement between multiple parties expressed in code. Smart contracts are executed by the blockchain and help verify, facilitate and record transactions. These transactions are private and irreversible. The 'XSC' confidential smart contracts guarantee strict data privacy and enable companies of any size to use public blockchain technology.
- What is a ‘XSC’ confidential security contract?
A confidential security contract, or ‘XSC’, is a confidential smart contract specifically designed for the issuance of security tokens. It is a customizable framework for implementation of the right set of privacy and obligations (think whitelisting, voting, or dividend payments). This is extremely helpful for organizations seeking to issue tokens, as these contracts do not have to be created from scratch. The improved standard (XSC 2.0) ships with a more granular control of contract governance, inter-contract interaction functionality (including whitelisting contracts), and a revised dividend payout methodology.
- What are permissioned tokens?
Permissioned tokens are created on Dusk Network with the security token standard (XSC 2.0) and bring a superior level of control to management of issuing companies. As opposed to non-permissioned tokens, issuers can adhere to regulations, for example to add whitelists of individuals approved for holding and trading of the token.
- What can you do with ZK-Smart Contracts?
The Dusk Network Smart contract platform enables users to program smart contracts, power new decentralised applications (dapps) and set parameters for compliance and control. Dusk Network is the first blockchain with native confidential smart contracts that run on a Virtual Machine.
- Can a Virtual Machine operate in privacy?
What is unique about the zero-knowledge (ZK) smart contract platform is that it leverages the ZK proof system PLONK, the output-based transaction model Phoenix, and Kelvin - the in-house developed storage method (for modeling optimized data structures). This all culminates into the world’s first zero-knowledge virtual machine (Rusk). ZK Smart contracts are executed in WebAssembly (WASM), and the Rusk VM Host operates as the mediator between the VM and the outside world, offering foreign functions and injecting gas into operations. So yes, even gas fee refunds, block rewards and other related transactions are obfuscated and done in privacy.
- Why Segregated Byzantine Agreement (SBA)?
The two most used consensus algorithms face severe drawbacks. Proof of Work (PoW) is energy inefficient and leads to miner centralization, whereas Proof of Stake (PoS) also favors centralization on the basis of larger stakes. For these reasons, we deemed them both inappropriate for our purpose and created a novel and superior alternative: Segregated Byzantine Agreement (SBA).
- So how does Segregated Byzantine Agreement (SBA) work?
SBA is a permission-less Proof-of-Stake protocol with statistical finality. SBA improves upon Proof of Stake by means of transaction finality (making it in-forkable), deanonymization of stakes (zero-knowledge privacy), and promoting honest decentralization (reputation module and diminishing returns on higher stakes). SBA is made up of a single loop containing three phases: (1) Block Generation, (2) Block Reduction, and (3) Block Agreement. For the leader extraction corresponding to each phase SBA relies on the Proof of Blind Bid protocol. Read more on the consensus mechanism in the Dusk Network whitepaper.
- What is Proof of Blind Bid?
In 2019 we released the Proof of Blind Bid consensus mechanism, by then the world’s first privacy Proof of Stake implementation. It is a Private Proof-of-Stake leader extraction mechanism which leverages the power of the state-of-the-art zero-knowledge proof system to allow the participants to compete for the block producer rights without revealing their respective identities or the amounts being staked. This is important to prevent collusion and to further strengthen the security of the network.
- What are Block generators?
Block Generators compete for a slot to produce a candidate block through a novel mechanism called Proof-of-Blind Bid (PoBB). Proof-of-Blind Bid is a Private Proof-of-Stake leader extraction mechanism which leverages the power of the state-of-the-art zero-knowledge proof system to allow the participants to compete for the block producer rights without revealing their respective identities or the amounts being staked. This is important to prevent collusion and to further strengthen the security of the network.
- What are Block provisioners?
Block provisioners compete to participate in committees responsible for selecting a uniform candidate block and finalizing it. In an optimistic scenario, the block is finalized after three committee steps, with a committee size of 64 for each step and an honesty ratio of >3/4. Each DUSK staked is treated as a separate node, meaning that a single consensus participant can be elected more than once during the same step.
- How is it possible to create a privacy-respecting blockchain with smart contracts?
Simple, we have zero-knowledge everywhere. From a technical point of view, we are implementing zero-knowledge cryptography in all of Dusk’s core processes to guarantee strict data privacy, a requirement for the compliant issuance of security tokens and other financial applications. And when we say all of Dusk’s core processes, we mean it. Proof of Blind Bid uses ZK to achieve privacy Proof of Stake. Phoenix uses ZK to guarantee strict data privacy, even for non-obfuscated outputs such as block rewards and gas fee refunds, and RUSK VM uses ZK to achieve zero-knowledge smart contracts. Dusk Network is the world’s first layer-1 protocol with native confidential smart contracts. Read more on the privacy-respecting components here.
- Why are we utilizing the zero-knowledge proof system PLONK?
PLONK is the latest and most recent advancement in zero-knowledge cryptography. Major benefits of PLONK include: (1) It is safe as can be, thanks to an updatable reference string, (2) It is fast where it matters, both prover and verification times, and (3) It is scalable thanks to its universal reference string. Watch the developer demo on PLONK for a more in-depth understanding.
- What are Plonk gadgets?
It is important to know that the Dusk-Plonk library is set-up in a fashion that makes it as easy as possible for Rust developers to tap into zero-knowledge and use it in their projects. This means that developers do not only have a TurboComposer at their disposal, we have also created additional gadgets that facilitate easy re-usage of built circuits with different values. The TurboComposer provides an intuitive tool to create your own circuits, and use the Plonk library directly as a dependency in your projects.
- How is Kelvin helping us in terms of blockchain storage?
Kelvin is created by Dusk Network, and has been an indispensable tool for modeling truly blockchain-optimized data-structures that are used by the transaction model and the smart contract engine. Kelvin reduces the overhead caused by database structures that are designed for mutable data (as opposed to the immutable data / append-only data we need for the blockchain use case). Read more on Kelvin here.
- Why do we have two transaction models, Phoenix and Zedger?
Phoenix is a novel transaction model that evolves the UTXO model proposed by Zcash and extends the functionality to non-obfuscated outputs. Being the first to tackle privacy-preserving (or confidential) smart contracts, Dusk Network has also been the first to experience the unsuitability of existing transaction models to preserve privacy. Though extremely suitable for privacy, for the case of security tokens we needed some alterations. Which is why we created the hybrid transaction model Zedger. It is the first transaction model with built-in support for trust-less, yet compliant, settlement and redemption of securities transactions. It provides the added functionality we need in security tokens (confidential security contract ‘XSC’). For example, Zedger prevents pre-approved users from owning more than one account, or supports dividend distributions and voting. Read more on the transaction models Phoenix and Zedger here.
- What is DUSK?
DUSK is the native token that fuels the network. Businesses use DUSK to pay for network services, such as deploying and running a smart contract, transferring DUSK or XSC based security tokens. For each transaction submitted to the network, DUSK is used to compensate network nodes for bandwidth, verification, and storage. At the moment there are two placeholder DUSK tokens, namely ERC-20 and BEP-2.
- Where can I buy DUSK?
Dusk Network is listed by the world's leading cryptocurrency exchanges. You can find more details on www.coinmarketcap.com.
- When can I trade my ERC-20 or BEP-2 placeholder token for native DUSK?
A complete token swap will be facilitated once the refactoring of the sandbox mainnet is completed and thoroughly tested. The Native DUSK milestone can be found on the dynamic development roadmap.
- What is sandbox mainnet?
With sandbox mainnet we are able to provide commercial partners access to the platform in a controlled environment. It is a temporary, fully functional stage in which partners deploy smart contracts and on which other components of the network are introduced gradually. Read more on the sandbox here.
- When did the sandbox mainnet go live?
Commercial partners gained access to the sandbox mainnet on 31st of December, 2019.
- Why can’t I get access to the sandbox mainnet?
If you're a commercial party seeking to develop on the Dusk Network mainnet you can apply as an integration partner. If not, then unfortunately the sandbox environment is not for you. Don’t worry, after the refactoring of the zero-knowledge proof system and final auditing we will gradually introduce public-interfacing parts.
- Why is it important to give partners access in a controlled environment?
Reasons for sandbox environments are two-fold. First, as a solution for enterprises, we can guide early partners to tap into the power of the Dusk Network blockchain. By granting them access to a controlled environment they can safely deploy confidential smart contracts while we gather important insights about how users interact with the blockchain. It provides a safe and harmless environment for testing while the technology is maturing. Secondly, it enables us to kickstart adoption, while we continue our work of creating additional features and improvements.
- Where can I find partners operating on Dusk Network?
Dusk Network is blockchain for financial applications. Most financial service providers operate in a strict regulatory environment, with many competitors and stakeholders. We are aware of their needs, and respect the fact that we cannot disclose partnerships or commercial agreements with these partners until the collaboration matures. Which is why some of our partners are publicly known while others choose to explore, test, pilot, deploy and develop privately. This way they can explore the technology while having the peace of mind that they can consult the industry about their progress at their own pace. For an overview of use cases and public case studies please visit the use cases page.
- How can I apply for the partner program?
If you are interested in using the Dusk Network blockchain platform as a commercial partner we strongly encourage you to reach out and apply for integration here.
- When can I expect public-interfacing components on the mainnet?
There is no date set on the gradual release of the public-interfacing components. For a more detailed understanding of the upcoming technical releases please check out the dynamic development roadmap, where milestones are continuously added and prioritized.
TestNet Rei (レイ)
- Where can I find information regarding Testnet Rei (レイ)?
Testnet Rei (レイ) is the second iteration of the publicly-available implementation of the Dusk Network protocol. This iteration addresses stability issues and refines the user experience for node operators. It features an all-new upgraded design for the consensus implementation, as well as a more user-friendly way of managing the node and using the wallet. Find all information on Testnet Rei (レイ) here.