Ripple CEO Says XRP Is More Decentralized Than Bitcoin


Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said that XRP is actually more decentralized than both Bitcoin and Ethereum during a recent AMA.

One of the most important features for cryptocurrencies is decentralization. Having a wide array of individuals from across the globe to power cryptocurrency ledgers was a breathtaking idea. The power would now reside with the people and not with a centralized institution, such as a bank or government. Many crypto enthusiasts label XRP as a centralized crypto as it is owned by a single entity, Ripple. However, the CEO of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, says the notion that XRP is highly centralized is wrong and that it is, in fact, less centralized than Bitcoin and Ethereum

AMA with Ripple CEO

This tidbit came out during an AMA with Brad Garlinghouse that was conducted by Monica Long, the senior vice-president of marketing for Ripple. Garlinghouse notes that the company actually only runs seven network validators in total. This number represents a mere 4 percent of all public validators for XRP.

The CEO says that this small percentage is a far cry from that of the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks. He points out that just a few mining pools control the majority of the global hashrate for both BTC and ETH.

He says:

By almost any measures now, the XRP ledger is more decentralized than the Bitcoin ledger or Ethereum ledger, where you have a very small number of miners controlling, you know, well past 50% of mining power.

Doubling Down

This discussion by Garlinghouse builds upon a recent blog post put out by Ripple. David Schwartz, the CTO of the company, goes into some detail on how XRP is actually really decentralized. He says:

The XRP Ledger uses a consensus protocol that relies on a majority of validators to record and verify transactions without incentivizing any one party (this is one of the main reasons why I began working on XRP Ledger more than six years ago). Validators are different from miners because they aren’t paid when they order and validate transactions. Today, these validators operate at locations across the globe and are run by a broad range of individuals, institutions, asset exchanges and more.

Put simply, the XRP Ledger is based on an inherently decentralized, democratic, consensus mechanism — which no one party can control.


Schwartz, like Garlinghouse, points out the fact that major mining pools represent a large percentage of the Bitcoin and Ethereum hashrates. He notes that four mining groups control 58 percent of the Bitcoin network while three miners control 57 percent of the Ethereum network. Schwartz also says it’s troubling that 80 percent of Bitcoin mining is based in China, a country that has essentially banned cryptocurrencies.

He also brings up the 51 percent attack that could be used to rewrite the blockchain for BTC and ETH. Schwartz contrasts that percentage with XRP, where 80 percent of all the validators on the network have to approve any changes. Even more so, this is done over a two-week period, giving ample time for an agreement to be made or have the proposed change discarded.

Schwartz does differ from Garlinghouse in one regard. He writes that Ripple controls 10 of the 150 validators. A minor quibble in the overall picture.

Do you think XRP is more decentralized than Bitcoin and Ethereum? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Flickr/@Techcrunch, YouTube/@Ripple, and GoodFreePhotos.


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