Ripple (XRP) centralization debate: A heated argument!
There is a heated debate going on in the crypto world about the centralization of Ripple (XRP) between supporters and detractors of this crypto. Justin Bons, founder of CyberCapital, has accused Ripple’s leaders of making false promises of decentralization. But Matt Hamilton and David Schwartz are not backing down, and they vigorously refute these allegations. The debate is raging, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon!
Is Ripple’s XRP really decentralized?
The disputes between Bitcoin supporters and those of other networks are widespread in the crypto world. In fact, this opposition has given birth to the term “maximalist,” referring to fervent defenders of Bitcoin. Some of these maxis are so extreme that they consider any crypto other than BTC as “shitcoin.”
But let’s put aside the “maxi” and “shitcoin” history. Let’s go back to Justin Bons, founder of CyberCapital. He has described Ripple’s leaders’ statements as a scam, claiming that their blockchain is decentralized and uncensorable.
In a series of 25 tweets published on May 6th, Bons criticized the fundamentals and architecture of the Ripple protocol. He believes that it is highly centralized and does not meet the required decentralization standards for a blockchain.
“Ripple executives falsely claim that XRP is decentralized & permissionless. This thread finally proves that the Foundation has de facto control over the entire network! Contrary to their claim that XRP is more decentralized than BTC & ETH. The smoking gun has been found.”
According to Bons, trust in the consensus of XRP is shaken by unique node lists (UNLs) published by centralized parties, including the XRPL Foundation. If a node is not on this list, it cannot participate in the consensus, which contradicts the fundamental principles of a decentralized network. Moreover, users must receive permission from third-party trust chosen by the XRPL Foundation.
Matt Hamilton defends the decentralization of XRP
After Justin Bons’ accusations of the centralization of XRP, Ripple responded. Matt Hamilton, former head of developer relations at Ripple, defended the XRP blockchain by refuting Bons’ allegations.
According to this former Ripple director, “each node is responsible for its own UNL and chooses its contents. There is no central authority, and XRPL Foundation’s UNL is the result of an emergent community desire to use a non-Ripple UNL.”
David Schwartz, the CTO of Ripple, also did not remain silent in the face of these accusations. He also defended the decentralization of the network. According to him, “The XRPL does this by agreeing to execute or defer transactions in consensus rounds. Transactions deferred are recovered by all nodes, not just validators.”
Despite the arguments put forth, supporters and detractors of XRP continue to fuel the debate on its centralization. The question of governance and the nature of the Ripple blockchain raises important issues. Thus, it is legitimate to wonder if Ripple is really decentralized. This debate had already surfaced last October when “maximalist” Max Keiser expressed doubts about Ripple’s centralization.
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