Tables turn as XRP’s ‘chosen one’ voices concerns about XRPL decentralization

  • 17 July 2019, Wednesday, 10:40

XRP and Ripple have always been known to have an active community, on and off Twitter, with community members looking forward to the success of its ecosystem. The community seems to be putting up a good front, despite XRP’s price falling steadily. However, while some XRP enthusiasts continue to hang in there, others have lost hope and turned to other cryptos.

The two most notable members of the community are [or were] Dr. T and Tiffany Hayden. While Dr. T has been AWOL for almost half a year now, Hayden seems to be harbouring growing concerns about Ripple and the state of the XRP Ledger. In a tweet thread, Hayden revealed how not a lot of people, including “paying customers,” are running a validator and how this could pose a threat to the ecosystem.

Vaguely speaking, a PoW network like Bitcoin gets more decentralized, with more miners joining the network. Similarly, as a PoC network like XRP gets more decentralized, the more validators it has.

For long, people have said that Ripple controls the network since it owns a lot of validators, something that was briefly true until other people started running validator nodes. Lately, people have been noting that if this continues, XRP and XRP Ledger could face major setbacks in development.

Referring to the validator argument, Hayden tweeted,

“They [validators] have become a central point of failure, IMO. The exact thing we are supposed to be avoiding. No XRPL services with paying customers are running validators like we expected them to. We have to acknowledge this.”

In addition to the above “concern,” there is another growing concern about the beginning of the downfall of XRP, with respect to Xpring. An initiative set up by Ripple with a clear goal to “invest, incubate, acquire and provide grants to companies and projects run by proven entrepreneurs,” Xpring will “use the digital asset XRP and the XRP Ledger, the open-sourced, decentralized technology behind XRP to solve its customers’ problems in a transformative way.”

Recently however, the projects that are being invested in by Xpring have started to deviate from XRP, XRP Ledger and ILP, and towards their own goals. While this may be productive to the crypto-ecosystem as a whole, it is definitely not for the XRP ecosystem.

Hayden tweeted,

“It Ripple shutters tonight, the network won’t last long much longer.”

David Schwartz, the genius behind XRP ledger and the man speculated by many to be Satoshi Nakamoto, stepped in to alleviate Hayden’s concerns. Schwartz took a rather neutral stance and stated,

“There isn’t going to be a clear straight line between every Xpring investment and XRP. Some of them are going to be aimed at ILP which we believe indirectly helps XRP and some will be aimed at the crypto ecosystem generally… I would be much more worried if you see us not helping projects that you think could provide value.”

Hayden firmly believes that there aren’t a lot of customers running validators as of now, and that there isn’t any reason to believe that somebody will in the future. Leonardo DiCaprio said it best in the movie Inception,

“Once an idea has taken hold in the brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate.”