- The decentralized nature of Bitcoin, IOTA and Ripple will make its evolution slow, according to Ripple’s CTO.
- Ripple proposes further changes to its XRP Ledger. One feature includes the ability to delete accounts.
In a new episode of the Ripple Drop CTO David Schwartz talked about the progress of XRP, Bitcoin, IOTA and the distributed ledger technology. Schwartz is also one of the original developers of the XRP Ledger which can be traced back to 2011. Although Ripple and his technology have reached significant milestones in recent years, Schwartz said progress will be slow. This is mainly due to the decentralized nature of the blockchain and distributed ledger technology:
With so many payment providers and financial networks that are depending on the XRP Ledger, you have to realize that you’re talking about billions of dollars in a system that doesn’t have an administrator.
There’s nobody that you can go to if it messes up and so reliability is the number one property, and it means that these systems are very slow to develop and evolve (…)
Schwartz said that before working on the XRP Ledger, when Bitcoin was in its early days, he thought that future changes would be easily adopted. However, Ripple’s CTO said he now finds this idea “naive”:
We now know that that’s hopelessly naive because any change to a system like this imposes costs on everybody who uses the system.
In addition, Schwartz said that the changes must be adopted by a broad number of users who depend on these technologies. This is, according to Schwartz, a disadvantage compared to traditional software models. Their centralized nature of development allows them to make changes more quickly:
With any other piece of software, a company will release a new version of the software. Say Oracle releases a new version, and they’ll say to people who have mission-critical deployments, ‘Don’t upgrade to the new version. Just use the current version. Give us a little bit of time to test that.’
You can’t really do that on a public blockchain. If the rules change, people have to run software with the new rules. Do you want to ask why these systems don’t move more quickly, why they don’t add features on a regular basis? That’s why.
New features of Ripple’s XRP Ledger
Ripple CTO made a recent publication outlining features that could be implemented into the XRP Ledger. The publication focuses on key points to drive the “sensible evolution” of the XRPL. These points include: stability, security, quality, decentralization, governance, among others.
Despite his recent statements, Schwartz says in that publication that blockchain technology is rapidly evolving. However, Schwartz claims that governance is the major issue. For this reason, he proposes an amendment process that could give users more freedom in terms of the changes they wish to adopt of the XRP Ledger:
The amendment process itself is then able to be used by the community to coordinate enabling the feature. Validators that want the amendment to be activated on the network can indicate this. If 80% support is seen, validators will start a two week clock to enable the amendment. The amendment must hold 80% support through the two weeks or the cycle must start over.
One feature that is waiting to be approved with the amendment process is the ability to remove accounts from XRPL. This will allow accounts to be removed and almost all of the funds they keep will be recovered for “spam prevention”. According to the release, this and other changes made with the amendment process are expected to promote user confidence and prevent accidental bifurcation on the network.