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Ripple CTO Bashes PoW, Claims Bitcoin (BTC) Isn’t Safe

Ripple CTO: XRP > Bitcoin In Attack Prevention

For those longest time, a battle has raged between proponents of the XRP Ledger and the Bitcoin blockchain. The latter group scored a win recently, as the co-host of the Unhashed Podcast, Ruben Somsen, drew attention to a seeming flaw in the consensus mechanism of Ripple Lab’s go-to asset, noting the following:

This noticing elicited an inquisitive response from coder Udi Wertheimer, who asked the Internet if a group of validators could collectively collude to create a new network state. Interestingly, Ripple chief of technology David Schwartz, a programmer & cryptographer with two decades in the business, responded. Schwartz noted that from his perspective, there is no other ledger that has “better protection against a hostile majority attack than the XRP Ledger.” To prove his point, the American programmer drew attention to 51% attacks, adding that Bitcoin, for instance, would “happily allow” double spends if the stars align.

Wertheimer hit back, noting that Ripple’s consensus mechanism could allow for “stealing coins that never moved, inflating the supply, destroying someone else’s coins… the whole nine yards.” The Ripple mainstay begged to differ, disregarding this to note that all networks based on Proof of Work (PoW) — mining — are vulnerable to 51% attacks, and could potentially see their asset’s value depreciate in a system rife with double spends.

Ripple’s Schwartz goes on to write that the risks that Bitcoin faces are tied to its consensus algorithm, thus meaning that they cannot be mitigated (or at least not on a moment’s notice). On the matter of XRP’s validator collusion risk, he wrote:

In the case of XRP Ledger, it’s just a matter of the default tradeoffs between synchronization time and security against an almost impossible attack.

And with that in mind, he concludes that PoW has been a “dead end” for not just security, but decentralization. Wertheimer begged to differ, noting that 80% of XRP’s validator nodes colluding is all too possible, but Schwartz remained adamant in his thought process.

XRP Ledger Is Decentralized?

Schwartz’s recent Twitter rant(ish) comes after he took to an episode of the “Ripple Drop” to tell thousands of viewers about XRP’s decentralization in a candid conversation. As reported by this very outlet previously, Schwartz remarked that over 2018, he saw a monumental increase in the decentralization of XRP. The Ripple C-Suite member even noted that the ledger in question is “even more decentralized than either Bitcoin or Ethereum,” noting that XRP is “operationally decentralized” in ways that other cryptocurrencies cannot be.

The programmer then chalked this up to the dichotomy between traditional PoW schemes, enlisted by blockchains such as Ethereum, and Ripple’s use of an alternative medium of consensus, which uses a system of validators and tracking servers. He explained that PoW hasn’t delivered on its promise of decentralization. Schwartz even went on to bash Bitcoin’s transaction latency, noting that the world’s first notable cryptocurrency has ten-minute blocks, increasing true finality times to upwards of an hour in some cases.

Title Image Courtesy of Marco Verch Via Flickr

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XRP Architect, Ripple’s Schwartz Harrowed Over Crypto Adoption

XRP Architect David Schwartz: Crypto Adoption Shouldn’t Get Ahead Of The Tech

In an interview with the Internet History Podcast, David Schwartz, a key player behind XRP and Ripple’s (the company) chief technology officer, painted a mildly harrowing picture for the adoption of cryptocurrencies. As cited by Forbes‘ Billy Bambrough, the supposed multi-millionaire, who is lauded as the creator of much of XRP’s functionality and Ripple’s financial technology products, explained that he doesn’t want “adoption to get ahead of the technology.”

While the San Francisco-based innovator didn’t explicitly state that he sees current crypto-centric tech as antiquated, his aforementioned comment sure alluded to it. Schwartz, who goes by Joel Katz on Twitter, then drew lines between the early days of Dotcom and crypto today, explaining that the Internet itself, widely regarded as humanity’s greatest innovation, took a “long time” to experience an adequate maturity cycle.

The Ripple executive is likely alluding to the sentiment that cryptocurrency infrastructure, specifically wallets, applications, and exchanges, remain largely underused, as such products are often slow, expensive, and hard to interact with. Exchanges, for instance, may be overwhelming for most retail investors, especially those that have not played in financial markets previously.

Crypto Adoption Grows, Even Amid Bear Market

Regardless, in spite of his comments, the adoption of crypto assets, and the growth surrounding this industry is undoubtedly there. Nasdaq, one of the world’s preeminent financial institutions, recently announced that it is slated to foray into the crypto market. According to firm representatives, the New York-based firm has begun to work on “crypto 2.0 futures” with VanEck, the company behind the leading Bitcoin ETF application, and is slated to bring such a vehicle to market by H1 2019.

Other key institutional players also announced similar forays, with Bakkt, backed by the Intercontinental Exchange, Starbucks, and Microsoft, slated to launch its physically-backed BTC futures contract by mid-January.

XRP, Ripple Has Also Seen Growth

XRP And Ripple have also seen their fair share of adoption and real-world use, albeit in (what some would classify as) centralized systems. R3′ Corda, for instance, is an open-source enterprise-focused product based on XRP technology. The program will allow R3 and its users to access a “Settler,” which will act as an intermediary between a wide range of government-issued fiat currencies, crypto assets, and future securities based on blockchain technology.

Even American Express, or at least one of its key employees, recently lauded Ripple’s technology as a way to improve how financial transactions take place across the world. At a conference, Carlos Carriedo of the world-renowned institution explained that not only is blockchain something AMEX is looking at, but that Ripple’s cross-border transaction system was “very transparent and seamless.”

And again, while some of XRP’s skeptics aren’t in line with Ripple’s business practices, the fact of the matter is that crypto-related technologies have seen an uptick in adoption, even while the blockchain-based assets remain depressed in terms of price. This, in and of itself, could be considered a long-term positive signal for this only decade-old industry, which came into being when Satoshi Nakamoto first launched Bitcoin.

XRP Website Image Courtesy of Marco Verch On Flickr

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Forbes: Meet David Schwartz, Ripple’s Trillion Dollar Man

David Schwartz is the current Chief Technology Officer at Ripple and he has been active in most of the social media platforms explaining his vision for a decentralized ledger as well as simplifying the remittance industry via Ripple products and XRP. He can be applauded for clearing the air with respect to how actually decentralized the XRP ledger is through a very informative post on the Ripple website. He also has a sense of humor as can be seen in the following recent tweet with the recent Stellar (XLM) pump in the markets. (XML is a programming language and different from XLM):

Forbes Interview

In a recent Forbes magazine article, David Schwartz was interviewed by Michael del Castillo.

From the onset of the interview, it can be concluded that Mr. Schwartz has always had a passion for solving problem. He is quoted as saying the following with respect to why he was once fascinated by door knobs at the age of 5:

The function of a doorknob is to control the movement between two spaces. It’s a gateway, a barrier, and obstacle. It’s a control. When that barrier goes away, you understand it. It sounds silly, but to me it might as well have been magic.

Trillion Dollar Man by Disrupting SWIFT

The article goes on to state that under Schwartz’s technical leadership, Ripple is gunning to disrupt the remittance and cross-border payments industry that has been the sole arena of SWIFT for the last 50 or so years. SWIFT currently handles approximately 25 million messages between banks for the transfer of money with an estimated $6.74 Trillion in value.

David Schwartz goes on to state that:

We want to create a payment network like SWIFT. But one where the settlement, the actual movement of money, the actual plumbing underneath the surface, would be a decentralized, open network. The endgame is just money moving invisibly, as easily as information.

More on the interview can be found in the Forbes article which includes details of David Schwartz’s patent for a distributed computer system 20 years before Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoin ledger. This fact has led many crypto enthusiasts to put forth David’s name as a candidate for the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto as can be seen in the tweet below.

[Photo source,]

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Ripple CTO: XRP More Decentralized than Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH)

Ever since taking the helm as Chief Technology Officer at Ripple, David Schwartz has continued to embody what it means to love blockchain technology and XRP. Mr. Schwartz can be found on twitter responding to queries about the Ripple technology as well as the future direction of the project.

It is no wonder Cory Johnson (Chief Market Strategist at Ripple), during a a recent Ask Me Anything session with Brad Garlginhouse, described his activities on twitter as warranting a new title of Chief Tweeter. David Schwartz has also gone ahead and published a post on the Ripple website showcasing the inherent decentralization of the XRP ledger.

XRP Ledger More Decentralized than BTC or ETH

In the post, Mr. Schwartz explains that:

Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently viewed as the gold standard for decentralization…

Since these blockchains are considered decentralized, then by design, the XRP Ledger is also — if not more so — decentralized than both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

He would go on to describe that Bitcoin’s and Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work, is a great starting point for a decentralized system by giving miners incentives to validate transactions. But as time goes by, blockchains on the proof-of-work system can be subject to centralized control where a few miners have a significant control over the system.

He goes on to explain that the XRP ledger does the opposite. He explains that:

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.

He goes on to conclude the above argument by stating:

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

Transaction Costs

With respect to transaction costs, miners on the BTC and ETH networks want them to go up so they can get more in terms of rewards for validating transactions. According to Schwartz, this behavior drives up the cost of each transaction making the digital asset less attractive to real-world use cases such as payments.

He explains how the XRP ledger is different as follows:

The XRP Ledger encourages the opposite behavior. Those using XRP and the XRP Ledger are able to make progress without mining, saving significant compute power and time. Also, a built-in system, called fee escalation, is part of its consensus protocol and helps to regulate fees overall. This means lower costs and faster transaction times for XRP compared to other digital assets — the attributes that make it the most useful asset for settlement.

Concentration of Control

In the final portion of his post, he states that with Bitcoin and Ethereum, a small number of miners can conspire to disrupt the system. This is due to the fact that 4 mining groups control 58% of the Bitcoin network and 3 miners account for 57% of Ethereum’s capacity. He also pointed out that 80% of all Bitcoin mining is located in China: a country that banned cryptocurrencies. All these factors put BTC and ETH at risk of manipulation and disruption by a government (in the case of BTC).

Schwartz went on to point out that 80% of all validators on the XRP ledger are required on the entire network over a 2 week period to continuously support a change before it is applied. Of the approximately 150 validators, Ripple only runs 10: a far lesser percentage to impose a change on the network.

In conclusion, David Schwartz has proven that the XRP ledger is indeed more decentralized that those of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Perhaps with time, the crypto-community will realize that XRP is on eof the fastest and most reliable digital assets out there. Evidence of this can be seen with the Weiss Ratings announcing XRP is the best digital asset to use when transferring funds across exchanges.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein should be taken as is. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available.


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‘Banks are in Fear of being Disrupted by New Technology,’ Says Ripple’s new CTO

The Ripple company recently promoted David Schwartz from being the company’s Chief Cryptographer to the firms Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Schwartz replaces Stefan Thomas who now currently runs Coil and the Codius smart contract platform.

In a statement after his new appointment, David Schwartz mentioned that:

Building a global network of financial institutions who are using blockchain-based solutions is no small task, but we have the technical folks at Ripple to make it a reality. We’re also going to hire a lot more of them.

David Schwartz is now tasked with further decentralizing the Ripple ledger as well as spearheading other technology projects at the company.

As part of letting the Ripple community become more familiar with David Schwartz, he sat down with fellow colleague, and Senior Vice President (SVP) of Product Management, Asheesha Birla, in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session that is available on youtube.

In the AMA session, David Schwartz also shared his experience from his recent tour of Europe where he managed to talk to a lot of representatives from Banks. Schwartz is quoted as saying that:

I talked to a lot of banks and one of the things that I learned from banks that I didn’t really fully appreciate is that they are in fear of being disrupted by new technologies.

He would also add that:

Not necessarily blockchain…blockchain is not that high on their radar…it is probably only the quickest rising thing they perceive. But they are also getting squeezed by correspondent banks…non-bank payment companies that are taking lucrative business away from them. They have realized that they need to make investments in technology and there needs to be a change.

Ripple happens to be that new technology that will take banks to a new level. This level will allow them to compete with the up and coming competition in the banking industry.

David Schwartz would further elaborate on this when he said the following:

I think we’ve got the underlying technology heavily optimized for a payments use case and closely related use cases that involve movement of value…with what Ripple’s doing on the banking side, we’re trying to position XRP as a sort of intermediary asset that can provide liquidity between other assets.I think if those efforts are successful that’s gonna be a reason to use that asset if it’s more liquid and if it’s cheaper to transfer.

In conclusion, the Ripple company has identified a niche in the banking industry for providing new technologies to keep banks competitive as well as efficient for its customers. Ripple has firmly placed itself at the forefront of revolutionizing banking and cross-border payments.


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Ripple Chief Technology Officer: Getting Volume On RippleNet is Top Priority

David Schwartz – the current Chief Technology Officer CTO [former Chief Cryptographer] for the startup that provides better solutions for cross-border payments Ripple did an interview with Asheesh Birla – Ripple Senior Vice President of Product. The questions were made by the Ripple [its XRP Token] community and enthusiasts over Twitter.

Ripple – David Schwartz

Keeping in mind that news which are related to the crypto-firm Ripple fly in daily, it is obvious that investors, traders, followers want to know what are the priorities and most important tasks that the team has set in front of them. According to Mr. Schwartz the most important matter to take care of is getting more volume in RippleNet. Accordingly, getting more payment corridors by which the transaction flow will increase and its tech implementation will take place.

“I think having that transaction flow as candidates to be bridged with XRP is tremendously important to the company. Also, xRapid, actually doing the bridging of payments with XRP”

Even that Ripple is known for signing many partnerships during the last years counting hundreds according to its CEO Brad Garlinghouse, David Schwartz thinks there is still need for more which of course will turn out positive.

The next major factor to work on is decentralization as Mr. Schwartz highlighted out, and explained why it does matter when asked.

 I’ve had people tell me “Well, banks don’t care if something is decentralized; they trust each other, don’t they?”. Well, not only they do not trust each other, but imagine if you are trying to build on that ecosystem… if you are trying to compete with a company that’s spent billions of dollars on its liquidity solution, are you going to want to spend billions of dollars? And the other problem is that things that are based on trust don’t really scale… However, if you have a system that doesn’t require trust, you can interoperate with everybody by just firing up your own instance.

He continued adding that with a decentralized system there is no need for anybody to manage it on daily, or a governance body which would intermediate the engine. Which is why a decentralized platform that can govern and run by itself is needed.

The following questions were directed to Senior Vice President of Product, especially about Ripple’s product xRapid. As we all just want to know the best part, a twitterati asket when it is going to be in production. Birla noted:

“Right now, we are really working hard on getting the experience right for xRapid… We’ve seen really positive results with the pilot so far. There’s no set time for production just yet… We hope to have it by this year. I would say that the pilots were really good learning both for us and our customers”

As many do know, the partnership with Western Union had its ups and downs. Birla explained that for WU to see the full potential of xRapid and take advantage of the financial transaction solution, they have to set all their volume under xRapid. That is because they already set costs and optimized liquidity flows. However, according to the senior vice president of product, the team has set under radar startups and firms that are competing with Western Union and hoist them with their tech.


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Ripple’s David Schwartz Talks About the Future of Cryptocurrencies

Adoption is more important than the price of a token. This is the way of thinking of David Schwartz, Ripple’s Head of Cryptography, who discussed his vision of the world and the future of cryptocurrencies.

In an interview with CNN’s Ivana Kottasova at MoneyConf 2018, David Schwartz was emphatic in pointing out that the future of cryptocurrencies depends more on interoperability than on other more popular factors such as the market cap.

Viacoin Developers Successfully Completed Atomic Swap With LitecoinRelated Story: Viacoin Developers Successfully Completed Atomic Swap With Litecoin

Interoperability is the ability to interact with two or more systems using different languages. A typical example is Atomic Swaps.

He talked about this as the Internet of Value, where people handle money just as easy as information is right now. Another factor that Schwartz sees as crucial for global adoption is the ease of its use in real life scenarios. For the cryptographer, the price and volatility of the markets are nothing but a distraction:

“The whole cryptocurrency market, as you know, has dropped significantly. Think that kind of shows that the marketplace doesn’t yet distinguish between the use cases that cryptocurrencies are aimed at.

I think for people who are building technology it’s kind of a distraction; like, we care about is adoption, newer technologies, are we solving real problems for real people?

I do understand how the prices can be a distraction … but I really think people should focus on the fundamentals and look at what is the new technology … and I think the market will eventually reflect the underlying utility”.

The Future of Cryptocurrencies Relies on Interoperation Rather than Competition

Mr. Schwartz believes that the secret to making the future of cryptocurrencies as promising as many people think it will be, is for each blockchain to find its market and its own type of customers. For Mr. Schwartz, there is no need for competition between the different blockchains:

“I think what we are starting to see now is stratification around use case… as Bitcoin has aimed to be store of value, XRP is positioning as a sort of intermediary settlement asset; so I think if all of these can go after their use cases and they can interoperate seamlessly when you need to pay accross them; I Think that’s the best way to accomplish what we want to accomplish”

David Schwartz at the TNW Conference on the 24th of May

Schwartz commented that the use of blockchain could greatly facilitate international transactions. In fact, due to its speed, Ripple is more stable in the minutes it takes to settle a trade than some FIAT currencies in the days it takes to settle an international transaction.

Similarly, David Schwartz sees the problem of avoiding the massive use of cryptos as a kind of ‘chicken-and-egg situation.’ Nobody wants to use cryptocurrencies because there are no compatible systems built right now and nobody wants to build compatible systems because nobody wants to use cryptocurrencies.

Ripple is playing a significant role in the adoption of blockchain at the corporate level, exponentially increasing the efficiency in settlement of banking operations, specially when compared to traditional systems such as SWIFT.

Full Video is available here:

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Ripple’s (XRP) David Schwartz, Currently Touring Europe On An XRP ‘Crusade’

Perhaps Crusade is too strong of a word when considering the historical background of such events. But it is in a sense also appropriate due to the fact that Ripple’s (XRP) Chief Cryptographer, David Schwartz, will be in Europe for a bunch of events where he will attend meetups, give keynote addresses and share his perspective with industry experts in panels and fireside chats, and with respect to Ripple and Blockchain technology.

The Ripple website has dubbed this tour by Mr. Schwartz as the Tour De Schwartz EU.

                                     Tour De Schwartz flier, source,

This week, Mr. Schwartz is in the Netherlands attending the Next Web (TNW) Conference in Amsterdam. The even started yesterday and runs up until today, the 25th of May. He will be giving a speech on his personal journey from discovering Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain. He will also share how he became part of the team of original designers of the XRP ledger and a chief cryptographer of the project.

                          David Schwartz at the TNW Conference on the 24th of May, source @Ripple twitter page

He was quoted as saying the following just yesterday at the event:

We are trying to make moving money as easy as sending an email using #blockchain. We should be able to move value as easily as we move information, this is the lubricant to make global commerce better.

Next week, he will be in Germany for the Blockshow Europe event in Berlin on the 29th of May. In the event, he will be in a panel discussion on how innovators can discover new decentralized solutions with blockchain technology. He will then proceed to Hamburg for Unchain to give a presentation on the importance of the Internet of Value.

Mr. Schwartz will then return to the Netherlands on the 4th of June for the Money20/20 Europe event in Amsterdam. On the next day, June 5th, he will participate in a panel moderated by Sara Feenan to discuss the classification of digital assets by regulators and how they should go about it.

For the week that starts on June 11th, he will be at a meetup in Dublin, Ireland where he will chat about digital assets in an event moderated by Fortune’s Robert Hackett. The event already has 80 confirmed attendees. His last day in Europe will be the 12th of June and in Dublin to attend the MoneyConf fintech event.

More updates on his European tour can be found via the twitter pages of both Ripple and David Schwartz.

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Volatility is not a Worry for Ripple (XRP): David Schwartz

For a very long time now, Ripple is one of the most popular and talked-about cryptos in the network. However, the price of its token did not gain parallel as its development did for the last months. Which is why, the team behind the platform made sure during the Blockchain Week they would not let down the enthusiasts that believe in Ripple.

David Schwartz on Ripple XRP During the Event

Based on statements that XRP team did over time, it is looking like they are concentrating more on showcasing real life uses and utilization for Ripple and its solutions than attempting to hoist its value.

It is very positive and promising to see that the team running the Ripple show, sees XRP as a digital asset that has all of its value come from its technological potential.

During the Blockchain Week, one of the most important events was Consensus 2018 which grouped many crypto-lovers. But, the numbers were lower than expected.

Co-founder of Ethereum – Vitalik Buterin, boycotted the Consensus with many reasons to support his stand. One of them is that the attendance fee of $2,000 – $3,000. Not too many Crypto-enthusiasts can afford to ‘cough out’ that amount of money. Buterin had this to say about the attendance charge at the event:

4. And by the way, the conference costs $2-3k to attend. I refuse to personally contribute to that level of rent seeking.

For those who went, Ripple held a live demonstration of its xRapid product. It was showcased how the liquidity service delivers a very smooth user-end experience with the credit to its technology. Tech that allows secure and speedy exchanges to take place.

One of the original architects of the Ripple consensus network and present Chief Cryptographer at Ripple – David Schwartz talked about volatility.

Mr. Schwartz explained how users of Ripple’s xRapid product are not obligated to by Ripple to use it. That not-existing condition equals to volatility possibly seizing to exist for Ripple at least.

Users don’t have to worry about the volatility, claims Schwartz, as users don’t have to invest in XRP in order to use Ripple’s services.

Ripple Coil Business Model

Ripple’s CTO – Stefan Thomas, has announced via twitter a new startup building micropayment apps on interledger and XRP.

To have better rewards for individuals using the platform while producing better incentives for digital content and apps, the business model will use Ripple’s interledger protocols. Evans Schwartz and Chris Larsen from Ripple joined the team of the model.