Why Dusk Network?
Dusk Network aspires to lead the world’s transition towards an asset-backed token economy and regulated decentralized finance. The comprehensive mission is to empower users to exert complete control over the assets that they own. Since its inception, Dusk Network has grown from a small group of enthusiasts to a global community, with DUSK, being listed on more than 30 exchanges worldwide and widely recognized as the pioneering privacy blockchain for financial applications.
Dusk Network Updated Roadmap
Dusk Network follows a meticulous development program where features are grouped into well-defined phases, which are interconnected with each other. Although these phases outline a linear roadmap, it is worth noting that various teams work on different aspects and features simultaneously, regardless of the phase they belong to.
To achieve the vision of Dusk Network being the leading blockchain for regulated decentralized finance, we’ve carefully planned our product roadmap. Through extensive market research and validation from our partners, we identified a significant market opportunity for a blockchain that satisfies the strict requirements of security tokens, such as privacy, deterministic settlement finality and compliance. The roadmap is focused on delivering a secure, performant, and decentralized infrastructure to ace each of these requirements and unlock the inception of the internet of assets.
Our journey began in 2018 with the vision to create a Layer-1 Blockchain addressing the desired properties of a Security Token Blockchain: privacy, compliance and deterministic settlement finality.
To provide privacy guarantees in a scalable manner, we invested countless hours comparing all Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP) systems.
The SNARK-based PLONK system was selected as the ZKP with the most potential for scalable privacy, uniquely enabling confidential smart contracts thanks to its unmatched performance and property of universality, which removed the need for a multitude of contract-specific trusted setups.
Since its creation, Dusk Network’s Rust implementation of PLONK has become widely adopted by other blockchain companies and remains the most popular implementation to date.
As ZKPs take up computational power on the prover and verifier sides, the node infrastructure, consensus protocol and storage need to be tailored to these distinctive requirements.
This led to the development of a groundbreaking proof-of-stake-based consensus protocol (Segregated Byzantine Agreement) and its successor, i.e. Succinct Attestation (SA) agreement, the end result of intense research and development efforts. Unlike most proof-of-stake-based consensus protocols, SA does not allow the centralisation of stakes through stake delegation. Instead, SA encourages decentralization through an incentivisation scheme that rewards honest node participation.
This phase also saw the creation of many other novelties. Notably, Kadcast; Dusk Network’s structured message propagation protocol, that ensures that messages such as transactions are communicated efficiently and at a fraction of the load needed by equivalent blockchains.
Also deserving of mention is Phoenix, our novel transaction model that allows users to keep their privacy, even when they are dealing with public data, the official CLI wallet, and the many other libraries powering Rusk; Dusk Network’s virtual machine, and the rest of our comprehensive decentralized architecture.
Three and a half years of continuous efforts and hundreds of thousands of lines of code have been publicly pushed to our version control system before Dusk Network launched its public testnet in March 2022.
This marks the commencement of the first phase of our roadmap, Daybreak, and highlight’s the first crucial technology developments. During this time, we saw the involvement of our community within our ongoing Testnet, which incorporates the insightful suggestions of the Community Taskforce to help create Dusk Network’s ecosystem.
Building upon Daybreak, the Daylight phase introduces many incremental improvements designed to expand the utility, stability and functionality of the network.
This phase comprises the early steps to transition gradually toward decentralization. With Daylight, we foresee a gradual transition toward a community-run network, less dependent on Dusk Network's centralized infrastructure. With the ramp-up of our decentralization, we expect more complexity and higher stress on the network, which will likely bubble bugs and unexpected corner cases to the surface; we welcome this because every patch leads to a higher degree of security and robustness.
One of the most significant milestones undertaken in Daylight is the transition toward the first stable version of RUSK VM, a groundbreaking virtual machine with native zero-knowledge operations for transactions and even gas accounting. In our endeavor to grant developers the most performant, expressive, and future-proof smart contract platform, RUSK VM is seeing an engineering overhaul for tackling any challenge related to scalability and contract storage management.
This new version includes the industry’s latest advancements in WebAssembly, thanks to our close collaboration with the Wasmer Team, and a novel approach to memory management, data serialization, and smart contract computation. This led to a significant reduction in gas consumption for zero-knowledge operations. We believe that these enhancements will strongly improve the experience of everyday users.
It is important to mention that Daylight will soon launch an incentive program designed to create long-term engagement, stimulate deeper involvement in the protocol’s activities, reward bug reveals, and achieve a fairer and whale-resistant token distribution. This new reward program aims to drive community adoption and increase node participation on Testnet.
This incentive program will run alongside the Helios Grant program to accelerate the ecosystem tooling and infrastructure, pioneering research into topics such as Recursion, as well as funding ancillary projects. The goal is to create a wealth of real-world use-cases that will drive mainstream adoption.
In addition, the Web-Wallet will launch, signifying the industry’s first wallet allowing users to perform zero-knowledge operations directly from the browser. This will be key to enable frictionless access to confidential smart contracts in a privacy-preserving manner.
Daylight will set the stage for a fully distributed network and the basis for an entirely new application ecosystem, with even greater things to come in Alba and Aurora.
After Daylight decentralizes the system's core, Alba unleashes the power of confidential smart contracts. Developers will be empowered to create complete privacy-preserving applications thanks to the Confidential Token Standard (XC) shipped during this phase. A user-friendly development toolkit will be included to abstract away the intricacies of the underlying technology (i.e. WebAssembly, Zero-Knowledge, Rust, etc), and ease the deployment of simple confidential tokens.
With the integration of smart contracts, Alba marks a significant step forward in the capability of the Dusk Network, while enabling community experimentation with a new type of token. Developers and businesses from all over the world will finally be able to lay the foundation for a true confidential ecosystem: the internet of assets.
Security Tokens and Applications
Building upon Alba, Aurora focuses on security tokens and the associated functionalities, such as on-chain compliance framework, whitelisting capability and life-cycle management tools.
Aurora will harness the power of Zedger, the groundbreaking model for confidential security token transactions. Zedger is an essential building block for regulated financial products, which require the satisfaction of both privacy and compliance capabilities.
Once Zedger is operational, Dusk Network will be ready to fulfill its ambition to launch Confidential Security Contracts (XSC) and to become the first complete blockchain protocol with all desired properties of privacy, compliance and deterministic settlement finality.
Due to the public nature of open protocols such as Dusk Network, the Confidential Security Tokens will be available to anyone, igniting a highly scalable ecosystem of financial applications.
As a standard, XSC includes the capability for the contract administrator and its appointed third parties to audit the transaction history and power a real-time shareholder registry on-chain. On top of that, it includes compliance tools for life-cycle management and automation of corporate actions like dividend payouts. The exact specifications of the XSC are available on the resource page.
The arrival of XSC indicates the beginning of a new type of decentralized finance that caters to institutional grade organizations. Regulated Decentralized Finance (RegDeFi) is the primary motivation behind Dusk Network, and Aurora brings this to the industry.
We know how challenging it is to offer a holistic solution for regulations differing from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from product to product. Still, we have the ambition to roll out a complete platform to help a diverse range of partners easily configure their whitelists and compliance controls.
With this structure in place, the possibilities for companies to experiment with building products and tokenizing their assets on Dusk Network are endless. We expect this phase to spur a closer convergence between TradFi and DeFi, as each looks at getting involved in each other’s products using the RegDeFi framework powered by Dusk Network.