Opinion: For long, the naysayers of the XRP Ledger have stated that the blockchain is centralized around Ripple, a company focused on solving for cross-border payments. Recently, however, the coin has achieved another level of decentralization, with only 27% of the validator nodes being controlled by Ripple on the default Unique Node List [UNL].
This translates into a higher degree of trusted third-party use of the XRP Ledger, thus spreading away control from Ripple, who used to control a majority of the validator nodes on the network. Another reason that many give to say that the network is centralized is that Ripple controls a majority of the supply of XRP, around 53 billion of it. However, this is locked up in an escrow smart contract, which means that Ripple cannot withdraw it as and when they please. The contracts expire every month, upon which Ripple can utilize the 1 billion XRP that had previously been locked up.
Even if a situation arose wherein Ripple wanted to take the XRP out of the escrow, the transaction taking the coins out would have to be validated and approved by 78% of the remaining nodes. Now, with the decreasing number of Ripple validator nodes on the XRP UNL, it would become simply impossible for Ripple to forcibly remove XRP from escrow, thus taking away control of the “centralized” supply of the coin.
With that being said, some of the new validators running on the UNL include Alloy.ee, an application hosting service specializing in hosting productivity applications, Bitso, a digital asset exchange and xRapid partner, a global Information and Communications Technology Services Provider called NTT Communications and Coil, a company based around utilizing the InterLedger Protocol and XRP to deliver micropayments to content creators on the Internet.
Other validators are run by BREX, a company providing real-time access to structured and official commercial register data, Bahnhof, a Swedish Internet Service Provider [ISP], and Business Register Exchange, a company that delivers a powerful API to give its customers instant access to global commercial register data. Companies such as Worldlink, a global technology firm providing talent, consulting and management solutions, and AT TOKYO, a leading company in the data center industry also run a validator on the recommended UNL.
Other validators can be identified as those being run by XRP Community members, as seen by Bithomp, a website maintaining a blockchain explorer for the XRP Ledger, Rabbit Kick Club, a website dedicated to running a node, and one validator each for XRP Community-based projects such as XRPChat and XRP Tip Bot.
There are also validators run by various universities around the world and are a part of Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative [UBRI]. These include the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, the Korea University Blockchain Security Research Center, and the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas.
All in all, this provides an important move forward for Ripple and the XRP Ledger, with regulators seeing the divide in between the two. Moreover, it makes XRP more secure, as the nodes are now geographically and jurisdictionally separate.
XRP closes bullish week breaking 200-day MA; on the doorsteps of the Golden Cross
On the back of the most successful week for XRP, the second largest altcoin in the market has broken, what could be equated to the first inkling of the Bitcoin [BTC] bull run. Following Coinbase’s greenlight to its New York customer to engage in XRP trading, the altcoin shattered its 200-day moving average.
Bitcoin, prior to the April 2 ascendance, which was trading at just over $4,000 and on the back of a slew of reasons, broke the $4,623 200-day moving average (at the time) creating an impetus for a prolonged pump. XRP, following the mammoth 41 percent price rise on 14-15 May, has mirrored the king coin’s rise.
The 200-day MA of XRP, which, at press time, stood at $0.352 was shattered at around 0300 UTC on 14 May, where the cryptocurrency saw a massive 25.59 percent daily gain. Continuing to ride the Coinbase bulls, the cryptocurrency added another 12.27 percent daily price rise the following day, ending its slumping streak which persisted for much of 2019.
Interestingly, the XRP price rise could not have come at a more opportunistic time. During the early days of May, when Bitcoin was breaking resistance after resistance, and anchoring an XRP-less altcoin rise, Ripple’s cryptocurrency was in a slump. In fact, the other digital asset that aims to attract an XRP-esque market, Stellar Lumens [XLM] was also in a slump prior to last week’s rise.
On a year-to-date analysis, the two cryptocurrencies jointly referred to as the “Bank Coins,” contrastingly declined by over 12 percent each, as other coins like Litecoin [LTC], Binance Coin [BNB] and even Bitcoin [BTC] saw triple-digit gains. To answer back to their crypto-contemporaries, XRP and XLM were, by far, the highest gainers during the aforementioned period, wiping clear their slumping trends.
The only coins in the top 10 that are down YTD are $XRP and $XLM, which share identical strategies of trying to become global payment platforms. Their returns are nearly identical as well:$XRP -14.76%$XLM -14.87%
Looks like Mr. Market is bearish on the bank coins@onchainfx
— Ceteris Paribus (@ceterispar1bus) May 7, 2019
Another key indicator for the Bitcoin price rally lasting almost two months now was the realization of the “Golden Cross.” On April 23, the king coin saw its 50-day MA cross-over its 200-day MA as the price rose above $5,350, confirming the coming of the BTC bears, which have since pushed Bitcoin’s price over $8,000.
XRP is on the verge of realizing its very own Golden Cross. Following its May 14 rise and the current green candle-stick, albeit with a major anchoring role played by Bitcoin’s ascendance, the 50-day MA for the altcoin has been broken. If the current trajectory continues, like BTC, XRP could see the 50-day surge above the 200-day and begin a major bullish swing, if Bitcoin’s prices are to go by.
Ripple Reveals Expansion of XRP-Powered xRapid, Amazon Files Crypto Patent, and Bitcoin’s 21 Million Club Hits New Record
Ripple and XRP
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse says the company’s XRP-powered cross-border payment solution xRapid is up and running in both Argentina and Brazil.
Garlinghouse, who has a history being the first to announce key developments at Ripple, revealed the new corridors in response to a question on xRapid at the Swiss National Bank’s recent conference on the international monetary system.
“People are getting liquidity that exists in the marketplace in local regions between XRP and the Philippine peso, XRP and the Argentine peso, XRP and the Brazilian real. And it’s tapping into that liquidity that exists in the marketplace.”
So far, Ripple has publicly touted xRapid adoption in Mexico and the Philippines, with companies such as Mercury FX powering payments between the two countries.
Amazon Crypto Patent
Amazon has been granted a new patent that outlines a number of ways to create proof-of-work cryptographic systems.
The proof-of-work algorithm is used by Bitcoin and a number of other cryptocurrencies as a method of verifying transactions.
BREAKING: Amazon has filed a patent in the US for a proof-of-work system that leverages cryptography.
There’s not a large company in the world who isn’t going to join the revolution.
THE VIRUS IS SPREADING 🔥
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 16, 2019
The patent does not go into specifics on exactly what the systems would be used for.
Rumors of Amazon’s potential entry into the world of crypto have long persisted. The company owns amazonbitcoin.com, which redirects to the company’s official website. Amazon Web Services is also heavily invested in blockchain solutions.
Bitcoin’s Exclusive Club
The number of Bitcoin addresses holding more than 1 BTC is reportedly at an all-time high.
Crypto researcher Kevin Rooke used data from the blockchain explorer OXT to plot the rise of BTC accumulation since 2009.
A total of 732,982 addresses are now in the exclusive “21 million club”, a phrase referencing the total supply of Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin virus continues to spread.
732,982 Bitcoin addresses now own more than 1 BTC.
— Kevin Rooke (@kerooke) May 16, 2019
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse claims 6% of SWIFT transactions require human intervention
Amid reports of Ripple allegedly misrepresenting the actual amount of XRP in their escrow accounts, the US-based blockchain tech firm continues to be one of the fastest growing networks in the world. Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse, during a recent session at the Swiss National Bank Conference, claimed that around six percent of SWIFT transactions required human intervention.
Speaking on the subject of interoperability, Garlinghouse termed it an important factor while scaling the cross-border remittance issue. He stated:“We’re trying to solve a problem, selling technologies to banks and financial institutions to solve a cross-border payments problem.”