XRP is considered centralized but is it true? Ripple director insists the company is not manipulating the network
In an interview with the YouTube channel Crypto Jebb, the director of Developer Relations at Ripple, Matt Hamilton clearly defined the terms centralization and decentralization. According to him, these terms carry different meanings to different people. And that is also why the community cannot agree on the status of XRP.
Until now, the classification of XRP as a centralized or decentralized network remains controversial.
Is XRP decentralized or not?
Perhaps one of the reasons the community thinks that XRP is centralized is related to the nodes on the XRP Ledger. In it, a node connects to the network to validate and relay transactions while also retaining a copy of the ledger. Full nodes ensure a particular set of rules are being followed.
And the centralization here is well described in relation to a dominant entity, with the majority of nodes controlling, manipulating the network. As of now, based on XRP Charts/Validators, the XRP ledger owns 156 validator nodes. Of these, 19 nodes can be identified as Ripple nodes, which means that Ripple controls 12% of the nodes.
Source: XRP Charts/Validator Registry
However, Hamilton thinks that Ripple nodes only make up a small percentage of the network. Furthermore, he added that 80% consensus is required to validate transactions. Therefore Ripple cannot manipulate the network.
“The network itself is decentralized. Ripple only controls a few percent of the nodes on the network. And the consensus algorithm means you need 80% consensus on the transactions. So there’s no unilateral party that controls it.”
Besides, Hamilton argues that “decentralized means the ability for anyone to use the network without restriction”.
As a result, Hamilton said, neither party can prevent users from transacting on the network if they so desire: “The key criteria one is you don’t want somebody to block you, or censor you, or restrict you from using the network, right?”, he added: “I want to be able to make a payment without, you know, regardless. In that regard the XRP Ledger is decentralized.”
Moreover, no one can seize Ripple’s native token and transactions cannot be censored so it is also important proof when proving XRP is decentralized. And finally, according to Hamilton, while Ripple holds most of the token, that amount has nothing to do with the amount of control exerted.
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