Ripple‘s CTO, David Schwartz, has published an article on the advantages of the XRP Ledger. The publication, entitled “Beyond Proof of Work: the XRPL Consensus Solution”, seeks to contribute to the discussion on the “advantages” of alternatives consensus algorithms, such as XRPL’s, in comparison to the Proof-of-Work algorithm on which Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain operate.

Therefore Schwartz believes that XRPL offers a better solution to the problem of double-spending and the problem of unintentional forking. In that regard, Schwartz adds:

As the only enterprise blockchain company today with payment products in commercial use, Ripple has found that the digital asset XRP enables its users to rapidly and inexpensively source liquidity—while also offering greater scalability than any other digital asset.

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Ripple’s CTO argues in his publication that the XRP Ledger offers a “cheaper” and safer solution than PoW-based blockchains because it relies on validators.

These “allow honest participants” to continue operating in the system when there are two ways of making progress on the network.

At the same time, Schwartz addresses one of the fundamental principles of Bitcoin, its decentralization.

Not having a central authority to dictate the rules that network participants follow, Schwartz says, creates “complexity and risk”. This is because the participants cannot agree on the rules on which the blockchain is based. Ripple’s CTO adds:

XRPL’s consensus scheme using validators provides a cheap, reliable, decentralized, fast solution to the double spend problem. Its design also permits the network to be upgraded, when participants agree to do so, without the risk of accidental divergence.

The publication again highlights the energy “advantages” of the XRP Ledger compared to the “massive and cost-inefficient use of electricity” of PoW-based networks.

This point has been made by several Ripple executives previously, including Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse. Ripple’s CTO severely qualifies Bitcoin’s consensus protocol as a “technological dead end”.

Finally, it refers to the proposal introduced as Negative UNL that seeks to improve the ability of the XRP Ledger to tolerate interruptions in its validators.

That way, servers will be able to monitor when a validator is temporarily out of service. This information allows the XRP Ledger network to adapt and continue to function. Schwartz stated:

Ripple and others in the community will be conducting extensive public testing of the Negative UNL feature on the XRPL Devnet over the next few months.


If this public testing meets all applicable requirements with regard to security, reliability, stability, and performance, an amendment to implement Negative UNL functionality could be introduced for quorum review in a future version 2.0 release.

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