Ripple’s XRP Network Might Be Prone to Suffer Similar Outage As Stellar Lumens
On May 14th, the Stellar network went down.
The problem was caused by some of the validators of the Stellar Development Foundation going down. The incident caused many in the cryptocurrency space to question the level of decentralization of the Stellar network. In a blog post, Stellar promptly responded to the outage and the “over-centralized”
critiques of the network.
“We’ve seen claims that Stellar is “over-centralized” and that somehow a failure with SDF’s nodes dragged down the whole network. Ironically, the opposite is true. Stellar has added many new nodes recently. In retrospect, some new nodes took on too much consensus responsibility too soon. We need better community standards around maintenance timings, quorumset building, and validator configuration.”
Ripple CTO David Schwartz was impressed by the way Stellar handled the situation. He laid out his thoughts on the matter in a Twitter thread. Schwartz broke down the issue and explained that similar problems could possibly arise on
the Ripple network.
“The same thing can happen on the XRPL. If too many validators are missing, the network will halt because there’s no way to be sure that they’re not validating other ledgers and you just can’t see them due to a network issue. “PoW system make forward progress even where forward progress is unsafe. XRPL and Stellar do not make forward progress under potentially unsafe conditions.”
Schwartz went on to breakdown how the Stellar protocol actually worked as intended. The temporary shutdown is actually a better result than the chaos that could ensue. An accidental hard fork could occur if the consensus protocol fails. Schwartz’s explanation caused a lot of hardcore Ripple fans to take a step back to look at the bigger picture. Many even admitted to and expressed remorse for their knee-jerk reactions and trollish responses. Ultimately, to avoid this particular issue, more validators are needed. This means that more users and validators are needed. And as the cryptocurrency community strengthens and the number of participants grows, security and efficiency go up.