1) Please tell us your name and about yourself?
My name is Emanuele Francioni, and I am an engineer with 20 years of experience in software development as a manager and lead architect. I have delivered multi-million dollar technology projects for top corporate organizations, such as TomTom, Commerzbank and Vitrociset. I am also a successful entrepreneur with a proven capital raising track-record and several patents published in the realm of distributed sensor networks, connected vehicles and blockchain technology. Currently, I lead an international, multidisciplinary team within the Dusk Foundation with a view to research and develop the Dusk Network.
2) What is Dusk Network?
The Dusk Network is a decentralized infrastructure focused on providing the sweet-spot between privacy and transparency in payment, communication and asset ownership transfers.
We believe that granting the appropriate confidentiality can encourage the adoption of decentralized systems over centralized ones. Taking the financial market as an example, leakage of market positions and trade history offers unfair advantages to competitors. That’s why trading firms are going to operate on decentralized markets if and only if their privacy is protected. At the same time, regulators will reject platforms with unsatisfactory auditing and KYC procedures. Dusk Network was conceived to solve this and other use case scenarios where privacy is an important enabler for the advancement of a truly decentralized economy. Other notable examples are the issuance of confidential security tokens, compliant with regulatory frameworks or the provision of channels for secure audiovisual conferencing and file transfer. Dusk Network uses its own digital currency, DUSK, for incentivizing permission-less participation to the network and transfer value securely among peers.
3) Tell us more about anonymous data sharing among peers and why Dusk is focused on this area of communication.
When the internet was originally created, many important components, like a customizable privacy layer, were intentionally kept out of the foundational protocols to avoid over-complicating the initial infrastructure. Throughout the years, third parties saw the business opportunity to offer such functionalities for a premium, contributing to the creation of the lucrative cybersecurity market. These companies understood very well that privacy is an absolute prerequisite for widespread adoption of any technological innovation both in the public and private sectors.
In this era of easily accessible mutually distributed ledgers, confidentiality is even more important. The lack of privacy in many blockchains practically translates to broadcasting transactions on open ledgers that may very well be the settlement of medical or legal bills, auction bids, wages or indeed, trade secrecy around supplier sources and pay rates.
With Dusk, we aim to enable privacy-oriented communications and data transfer in a safe and decentralized environment where content providers and network enablers are compensated for their contribution.
4) What is the current problem facing the confidentiality and compliance requirements for launching Securitized Token Offerings?
Current solutions are based on protocols and frameworks which were not intended to handle the strict KYC and privacy requirements connected to security trading.
With Dusk, we will develop a new token standard, with configurable privacy, which we intend to use to allow the issuance of confidential security tokens. The idea is to separate the confidentiality of the currency transactions (thus preserving the fungibility of DUSK) from that of asset ownership transfers, where the purchaser of an asset/security needs to satisfy KYC requirements at protocol level to complete an ownership transfer. The KYC procedure/provider is left to the token issuer and the asset purchaser has the capability of disclosing the transfer details to the authorities upon request.
5) What are the major features and services provided by Dusk Network?
The Dusk Network solves the problem of private and secure data transfer, low-latency transmissions and paying for time-unbound communications with cryptocurrencies. This enables the anonymization and decentralization of media-on-demand services, audiovisual conferencing, confidential file transfer, compliance of security tokens, and much more.
7) Do you have any current opportunities for investors?
There is an ongoing private placement and we are highly selective in picking the right partners to help us on our journey. Potential investors can e-mail email@example.com and include their desired investment amount and a brief pitch explaining their perceived value add.
8) Would you like to share your Token Economy with us, why is your cryptocurrency relevant for this project?
Power and financial gain are inversely correlated in the Dusk Network, which uses a novel consensus mechanism called SBA*. The system roughly knows two types of players; provisioners and nodes. Provisioners earn a steady ROI, and nodes compete for block rewards.
SBA* uses existing ideas such as Cryptographic Sortition, combined with concepts like stealth time-locked transactions in order to implement simple but secure communication that can be audited.
By splitting tasks based on intensity and relaying them to transaction and non-transactional nodes the network’s speed greatly increases, whilst decreasing the chance of a partitioned network, and guaranteeing a higher availability of the entire network. Using SBA* there is zero chance of an unintended fork of the blockchain, meaning there will be no doubt about what the main branch is. This translates into the appealing property of achieving transaction “finality” as soon as consensus is reached for a new block.
In addition to finalizing a new block onto the chain, Notaries are also responsible for a secondary procedure which generates the block rewards through a set of coin-base transactions, essentially minting new DUSK. This new DUSK will be sent to the address of the Block Generator – the successful lottery candidate. Provisioners do not gain their reward by winning sortition, rather they gain a fixed ROI at the end of a block. This ROI is also a coin-base transaction and is awarded to all provisioners, not just those who took part in this specific block committee.
Counterintuitively, the rewards paid are inversely proportional to the staked amount, where bigger stakes get proportionally less rewarded, with respect to smaller stakes.
This measure is novel and to our knowledge, not a viable option outside of the Dusk Blockchain. The motivation is twofold. Together with preventing the ‘’rich get richer’’ scheme, the intention here is to create a counter position between power acquisition, intended as the capability to influence block generation by being selected as part of the Block Committee, and currency, intended as the financial benefit acquired from running Provisioners.
Considering that SBA* is already protected from Sybil attack by making it probabilistically disadvantageous to dilute a stack into several balances, similarly, by reversing the proportion between rewards and stake, the system prevents financially motivated participants benefiting from organizing themselves into a few Provisioner pools at the expense of decentralization.
The block rewards, together with the provisioner’s ROI, will form the DUSK network’s inflation rate. You can read more on the DUSK network’s economy in upcoming articles focused specifically on how the whole network will operate economically, however, I can say that incentives will align with decentralization and early adoption.
9) The cryptocurrency market still remains volatile and currently experiencing downward trends, what will be the benefits for your crypto holders?
Research indicates that cryptocurrency returns are largely unaffected by the current market trend.
Ultimately, the benefits of picking high-quality projects with a strong team and long-term vision speak for themselves.
10) Could you tell us about your team and customer support?
We have a growing team of nearly 20 developers and engineers working on Dusk, and a small, highly efficient team of between 4 and 5 people (at any one time) who are focused on the business and fundraising side of things.
As our proposition is largely that of an ecosystem and a strong tech arm is key. However, a strong business arm is also important. Together with a solid legal partner, and have a team of very good advisors who will soon be announced.
Customer support around the project will happen through any of our social media channels, most notably e-mail and Telegram. We’re employing the best 24/7 community management team to make the Dusk Network community a success.
11) How Safe is Dusk Network, would you like to talk about your legal and security measures?
The Dusk Network is exclusively using established, appraised protocols and frameworks in order to achieve maximum security and scalability for the platform.
Everything we produce is, or will soon be, public and can be freely examined and vetted by the open source community.
Moreover, we have partnered with two major international research centers in order to provide open feedback to the cryptography embedded within the platform.
12) Do you have more information for our readers?
Of course! We have a website (https://dusk.network) and a Telegram channel (https://t.me/dusknetwork) where everyone is welcome to join and ask questions. Most of the developers are highly active in there and have a quick answer turnaround.
The whitepaper is hosted on GitHub (https://github.com/dusk-network) which will also host the codebase as soon as the first milestones are met and we are ready to deploy.