Technology

XRP Ledger’s design “significantly improves on Bitcoin [BTC]’s”, states Ripple CTO

In a recent AMA with the XRP community, David Schwartz, the CTO of Ripple, spoke about XRP’s status as a security, Bitcoin [BTC], and the future of Ripple and XRP.

Many XRP enthusiasts are under the impression that Brad Garlinghouse views Bitcoin as being a scam. When asked about this by user Soret, Schwartz stated that he had never heard the CEO say that. Moreover, he stated:

“I definitely don’t think bitcoin is a scam and defended bitcoin publicly continuously since 2011 when I first learned about it. I think it’s the first example of an exciting new technology and still the market leader, at least by market cap. The technology is genuinely a breakthrough and I too hold some BTC.”

He also spoke about the current state of the market, saying that the “market mechanics” currently puts all of the cryptocurrencies on one side. One cryptocurrency project can become successful by pulling others down, he added.

However, after saying so, Schwartz provided an objective view of Bitcoin’s weaknesses. He stated:

“I do think we should be objective about bitcoin’s weaknesses and limitations. Proof of work is expensive, has no clear response to a majority attack, and has not delivered on its promise of decentralization…I genuinely believe that the XRP Ledger design significantly improves on bitcoin’s design.”

Many outside of the XRP community believe that the cryptocurrency is being controlled entirely by Ripple. This has led many to believe that the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission [SEC] will classify it as being a security belonging to Ripple Labs. When asked about this by user Fred Del Rosario, Schwartz clarified:

“Ultimately, this will be up to the SEC to decide. We believe that XRP should not be classified as a security. XRP does not give ownership shares in Ripple or any other entity, XRP exists independent of Ripple.”

The XRP Ledger has a feature known as the Universal Node List. This is a list of validator nodes trusted by the network node to process their transactions. As the UNL can be changed, nodes have the freedom to choose who processes their transactions. This allows it to function without Ripple, as Schwartz stated:

“If Ripple went away tomorrow, XRP would continue to exist and have the same utility it does today. Neither Ripple nor any single entity can exert unilateral control over the XRP Ledger.”

When asked about the general position of Ripple Labs and XRP in the market after the 5-year mark, Schwartz replied that he was hesitant to predict the future. However, he did mention examples such as exchanging value with the same ease associated with sending an email. He stated:

“You shouldn’t have to care about what assets or systems the people you’re paying, or who are paying you, prefer to use. It should all just work. This takes a lot of pieces, and I expect ILP [InterLedger Protocol] to be the enabler that lets these work together.”

Looking further, Schwartz predicted the presence of global pools of liquidity that anyone can contribute to and draw off. He went on to say:

“…around that timeframe we should have ubiquitous micropayments allowing machines to pay other machines as transparently as other types of information requests occur today. I expect that to be transformational in ways we can’t foresee today and I look forwarding to seeing what the internet of value equivalent of things like Twitter and Uber are.”

Schwartz was recently subject to a reshuffling in the higher-level management at Ripple, where he was appointed Chief Technical Officer following Stefan Tomas’ resignation. User Rachel asked him what he was focusing on now as the CTO of the company, to which he stated:

“As is most obvious from the outside, I’m still spending a lot of time explaining what Ripple is doing and educating people about how the XRP Ledger operates. I work a lot with the engineering teams at Ripple to ensure that all our products continue to work together and meet the needs of Ripple’s customers. I’ve been working with Ethan Beard quite a bit on Xpring [Ripple’s incubator program] as well.”


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