On the latest episode of Block Stars, David Schwartz aka “JoelKatz”—as he’s known online—the creator of the XRP Ledger and current CTO of Ripple, sat down with Stefan Thomas, former CTO of Ripple and current CEO of Coil, to discuss the early days of blockchain, and their time working together on the XRP Ledger, Codius and Interledger Protocol (ILP).
Both were inspired by the decentralized nature of the technology, but also recognized some issues early on, and sought to fix them.
Change is Hard(fork)
Like any open source protocol, proposing changes requires consensus among the developers and network operators (miners and full node operators in Bitcoin’s case) to ensure that the change is both beneficial and won’t hurt the network. Anyone can propose a change, but getting that change to be implemented and released into the live network can be challenging, and rightfully so. If every proposed change were automatically implemented, it could marginalize users and/or hurt the network.
In the early days of Bitcoin, the largest proposed changes appeared on a “hardfork wishlist,” which if implemented, would require everyone to upgrade to the latest version with the change, rendering previous versions incompatible with the latest version. Normally in software this would simply be an annoyance, but in blockchain technology like Bitcoin, if one doesn’t upgrade during a hardfork, then ...
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Insights – Ripple