Ripple CTO: Why Ripple Ledger's Consensus Algorithm is More Reliable and Energy Efficient than PoW

Ellie Suen   Oct 28, 2020 19:58 2 Min Read

Ripple CTO David Schwartz just contributed a post entitled "Beyond Proof of Work: the XRPL Consensus Solution", in which he talks about reasons why Ripple Ledger (XRPL)'s consensus is more reliable and energy-efficient than Proof of Work (PoW) Consensus.

A Consensus is used to solve the double-spend problem. In bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain networks, they use Proof of work consensus. The proof-of-work chain is a probabilistic solution to the Byzantine Generals Problem, which bypasses the complexity of the traditional Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) solution. As bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto said,

The proof-of-work chain is how all the synchronization, distributed database and global view problems you've asked about are solved.

But PoW has drawbacks. Ripple CTO said:

While proof-of-work, with the massive electrical usage and transaction cost inefficiencies the approach entails, has proven to be a technological dead end, other consensus algorithms continue to innovate to provide better decentralization at lower cost and lower risk. Development continues on XRPL’s consensus algorithm to improve resilience. In this regard, the recently introduced “Negative UNL” feature is set to dramatically improve XRPL’s ability to tolerate validator outages while still making reliable forward progress.

Then comes the XRP Ledger (XRPL) Consensus Solution found by Ripple:

As the only enterprise blockchain company today with payment products in commercial use, Ripple has found that the digital asset XRP enables its users to rapidly and inexpensively source liquidity—while also offering greater scalability than any other digital asset.

In David's view, the XRP Ledge solution is more reliable and energy-efficient than PoW. He further added:

The XRP Ledger (XRPL) has a fundamentally different design from proof-of-work based blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The consensus validation system XRPL uses follows an anti-robustness principle that elevates reliability. This provides the system with a built-in safety mechanism: when safe forward progress is not clearly possible, XRPL does not make forward progress.

But the XRPL's consensus has not been peer-reviewed by industry leaders like Blockstream CEO Adam Back, who criticized Ripple XRP is a ridicuoulsly pre-mined scam with corp marketing.


Image source: Shutterstock

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