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XRP Ledger decentralization grows as Ripple controls less than 30% of validator nodes on the UNL

Anirudh VK

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XRP Ledger decentralization grows as Ripple controls less than 30% of validator nodes on the UNL
Source: Unsplash

Opinion: For long, the naysayers of the XRP Ledger have stated that the blockchain is centralized around Ripple, a company focused on solving for cross-border payments. Recently, however, the coin has achieved another level of decentralization, with only 27% of the validator nodes being controlled by Ripple on the default Unique Node List [UNL].

This translates into a higher degree of trusted third-party use of the XRP Ledger, thus spreading away control from Ripple, who used to control a majority of the validator nodes on the network. Another reason that many give to say that the network is centralized is that Ripple controls a majority of the supply of XRP, around 53 billion of it. However, this is locked up in an escrow smart contract, which means that Ripple cannot withdraw it as and when they please. The contracts expire every month, upon which Ripple can utilize the 1 billion XRP that had previously been locked up.

Even if a situation arose wherein Ripple wanted to take the XRP out of the escrow, the transaction taking the coins out would have to be validated and approved by 78% of the remaining nodes. Now, with the decreasing number of Ripple validator nodes on the XRP UNL, it would become simply impossible for Ripple to forcibly remove XRP from escrow, thus taking away control of the “centralized” supply of the coin.

With that being said, some of the new validators running on the UNL include Alloy.ee, an application hosting service specializing in hosting productivity applications, Bitso, a digital asset exchange and xRapid partner, a global Information and Communications Technology Services Provider called NTT Communications and Coil, a company based around utilizing the InterLedger Protocol and XRP to deliver micropayments to content creators on the Internet.

Other validators are run by BREX, a company providing real-time access to structured and official commercial register data, Bahnhof, a Swedish Internet Service Provider [ISP], and Business Register Exchange, a company that delivers a powerful API to give its customers instant access to global commercial register data. Companies such as Worldlink, a global technology firm providing talent, consulting and management solutions, and AT TOKYO, a leading company in the data center industry also run a validator on the recommended UNL.

Other validators can be identified as those being run by XRP Community members, as seen by Bithomp, a website maintaining a blockchain explorer for the XRP Ledger, Rabbit Kick Club, a website dedicated to running a node, and one validator each for XRP Community-based projects such as XRPChat and XRP Tip Bot.



There are also validators run by various universities around the world and are a part of Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative [UBRI]. These include the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, the Korea University Blockchain Security Research Center, and the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas.

All in all, this provides an important move forward for Ripple and the XRP Ledger, with regulators seeing the divide in between the two. Moreover, it makes XRP more secure, as the nodes are now geographically and jurisdictionally separate.





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Anirudh VK is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has a passion for writing and interest towards the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He does not own any cryptocurrencies currently.

XRP

XRP: XRP Tip Bot creator reveals plans to get European banking licence; nicknames it ‘legacy network’

Akash Anand

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XRP: XRP tipbot creator reveals plans to get European banking licence, nicknames it 'legacy network'
Source: Pixabay

A vast majority of cryptocurrency organizations have been trying to integrate digital assets with the existing financial system. Ripple has been a prime example of this process, with the Brad Garlinghouse-led company announcing multiple partnerships with mainstream banks and other fiat-enabled bodies. Ripple’s affiliation with XRP, the third largest cryptocurrency in the market, is also reflected in XRP’s focus on cross-border transactions and creating an easy global payments system.

Wietse Wind, Creator of the XRP Tip Bot, gave another major push to XRP’s cause after he revealed that he was trying to obtain a banking license for XRP Tip Bot, which will make it mainstream in the world of finance. During a recent XRP meetup, Wind said,

“There’s been a lot of FUD around XRP and Ripple and such and we want to show that we are working towards something really awesome and useful. We are planning to get real licenses for tipbot so that we go mainstream. Granted we are still in the early stage but we are doing our very best to make it happen. Our next step is to get a European banking license and maybe call it the ‘legacy network’. Let’s see where we can get in a few years.”

The news spread like wildfire in the XRP community and a majority of the ‘XRP army’ could not contain its excitement. Tiffany Hayden, a popular XRP proponent, tweeted,



“The BIG news from yesterday’s $XRP meetup is that @WietseWind is in the process of obtaining a banking license for @[email protected] is going to bridge the legacy network! Don’t fight the old, build the new!”

Ripple’s technologies have been slowly but surely getting nods from institutions, as shown by Bitstamp, an xRapid payments-facilitated exchange getting a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services [DFS].

Linda A. Lacewell, Acting Financial Services Superintendent of New York State Department of Financial Services [DFS] had said,

“We are pleased to welcome Bitstamp to New York’s growing virtual currency marketplace. A regulated industry protects customers while supporting innovation and ensuring our financial services sector is a vibrant part of New York’s economy.”





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