One of the issues casting a shadow on the XRP cryptocurrency is just how decentralized it is. After all, Ripple owns the lion’s share of XRP’s supply and relies on the cryptocurrency to power its cross-border payment products.
Ripple CTO David Schwartz, however, insists that the blockchain startup is not pulling the strings on the cryptocurrency.
Schwartz participated in a Quora session, saying in response to a question on whether XRP is controlled by Ripple:
“Absolutely not. The XRP Ledger is open source technology with a robust community of developers, so if Ripple were to vanish, XRP and the XRP Ledger will remain.”
— Quora Sessions (@QuoraSessions) March 29, 2019
Schwartz’s defense of XRP being separate from Ripple is three-pronged:
- Utility — XRP fuels payments and can do so with or without Ripple’s products.
- Ownership – Investors who hold XRP do not own any equity in Ripple.
- Decentralization – Ripple runs fewer than 10 of more than 750 validators that authenticate transactions on the XRP ledger.
He is candid when he says that dumping XRP supply on the market would not only be bad for investors but it would hurt Ripple, too. At year-end 2017, Ripple earmarked 55 billion of its XRP supply for an escrow account to alleviate worries about this. The blockchain startup has also made further decentralization a priority, he says.