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Ripple’s CTO thinks Proof-of-Work is a technological dead-end, but he does hold Bitcoin

“I don’t see XRP being the only digital asset any time soon - if ever”

tnw answers, blockchain, cryptocurrency, insights, ripple, xrp

There’s no doubt that Ripple Labs tends to stand out from the cryptocurrency crowd. It has more money than most, a large team of programming veterans, and a heavily marketed suite of products aimed at giving the financial services industry a blockchain makeover.

David Schwartz, chief technology officer at Ripple, knows that XRP cannot do everything. In a TNW Answers session earlier this week, Schwartz was quizzed on the limitations of the XRP Ledger.

He gave a rather candid response – Schwartz doesn’t believe there can be just one digital currency that does all the things:

[…] We expect that this will not be a winner take all outcome but instead a number of digital assets can survive for specific use cases. Today, for example, Ethereum provides a “programmable money” function that the XRP Ledger cannot. Adding this capability to the XRP Ledger would have huge costs that reduce XRP’s suitability for payments. You can’t have everything.

[…] While you do get very sophisticated and powerful payment features such as a built in decentralized exchange and the ability to have payments use multiple paths for reduced cost, you can’t get programmable behavior. So I don’t see XRP being the only digital asset any time soon, if ever.

To which effect, Schwartz further highlighted that he even owns some Bitcoin. BTC He wants cryptocurrency projects to work together, rather than fight each other for market dominance.

[Distributed ledger technology] is genuinely a breakthrough and I too hold some [Bitcoin]. If nothing else, the current market mechanics are telling us that we’re all in this together and I don’t think one crypto [sic] project can become successful by pulling others down.

It should probably be noted that despite the hippie attitude, Schwartz then proceeded to throw a bunch of shade on Bitcoin, calling its Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm a “technological dead-end.” He also claimed that Ripple Labs’ XRP Ledger was improving on Bitcoin’s design.

David Schwartz answered lots of other questions – from his favorite snack foods to more technical stuff. Go check out all the responses at the TNW Answers page.

Published August 23, 2018 — 10:05 UTC