Business 24 August 2018

Ed Drake

Ripple CTO claims XRP crypto coin ‘more decentralized’ than BTC

David Schwartz, chief technology officer at Ripple Labs, has published a paper claiming XRP cryptocurrency is actually more decentralized than Ethereum and BTC, in the latest attempt to persuade the skeptics.

The publication coincides with developments in the high-profile class action lawsuit against the firm and its XRP token, with the plaintiff Ryan Coffey alleging the tokens had been pre-generated, and that the Ripple model was essentially a “never-ending ICO.”

While it has emerged recently that Coffey has withdrawn the case, the doubters around Ripple are becoming increasingly more critical, both of the organization and its token.

In his report, titled ‘The Inherently Decentralized Nature of XRP Ledger,’ Schwartz argued that despite the growing criticisms, the XRP Ledger was moving in a more decentralized direction—in contrast to BTC and ETH, which are becoming more centralized.

“While [BTC] and Ethereum are becoming more centralized over time, the XRP Ledger is getting more decentralized,” he wrote. “The XRP Ledger is and always has been inherently decentralized because the users always retain the freedom to change their UNLs and the corresponding validators that they trust. Ripple’s validators do not wield meaningful power over the XRP Ledger.”

However, according to an independent study by Bitmex Research, the fundamentals of XRP remain centralized. It noted, “Since the keys were all downloaded from the Ripple.com server, Ripple is essentially in complete control of moving the ledger forward, so one could say that the system is centralized.”

Decentralization has become increasingly topical, after a ruling by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Ethereum could no longer be considered a security because it has become “sufficiently decentralized.”

XRP, on the other, the majority of which remains under Ripple’s ownership and control, appears to fail that test in the eyes of its critics, which could feasibly result in further legal problems for the firm in the future.

This lack of decentralization is also thought to have been one of the main reasons the token’s application to list was rejected by leading exchange service Coinbase.

Even with Schwartz’s paper, it seems there are many who remain unconvinced about Ripple’s claims to be decentralizing.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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