Ripple, the San-Francisco-based startup, announced on Wednesday that it would release two white papers to be peer-reviewed. One would describe the XRP consensus algorithm in a more formal way while the other would outline how to upgrade the diversity of connections to each node. These are the nodes with which users of the software relay and verify transactions on the network.
When these measures are considered together, they show that Ripple, whose investors include major banks such as SBI and Santander, is willing to invest in its core infrastructure. The cryptocoin, despite falling out of favor with major companies at times, secures about $40 billion of value today.
What This Means for the Future
Despite becoming so popular and growing in value, the coin’s development has lagged behind other major players such as Ether and Bitcoin. In short, this latest announcement is meant to make it easier for researchers to follow development at Ripple, and thus contribute. In a recent interview, the Ripple CTO, Stefan Thomas, stressed that release of the papers opened up possibilities of further building a network around this technology.
This is the first time we’re releasing peer-reviewed academic papers. Obviously, it opens the door for future research. After this, I expect you’ll hear much more about us interacting with academia.
This paper can also be seen as the first attempt by the company to improve documentation around this open-source platform. It is the first time since 2014 that the XRP Ledger has been detailed in a paper.
For the Ripple CTO, these two papers have one main theme: security. He said that in the further development of the coin, they were seeking to improve defenses against unlikely attack scenarios. According to him, the measures they had put in place would ensure that it would be impossible to manipulate the whole network.
However, Thomas said that this scenario was quite unlikely. For such an attack to occur, one would need to be a state actor such as the US government with enough resources and technology to disrupt the technology. He added that he had no worries this would ever happen. However, he wanted to be safe anyway.
A Bit About the Papers
The first paper builds on the paper released in 2014. This paper provides formal mathematical proof that what is supposed to occur on the network will actually occur. It states that the network will not fork into two competing networks and that it will never be stuck while processing transactions.
The second paper wants to improve on previous XRP plans. The paper introduces an algorithm that will support a richer array of validators. According to the paper, XRP can be thought of as some kind of voting system. Each node that stores the Ripple transaction history will get a vote on what will happen next.
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