Ripple CTO Holds Bitcoin despite Thinking Proof-Of-Work Has no Future
David Schwartz, one of the original architects of the Ripple consensus network, doesn’t see XRP being the one digital asset to rule them all any time soon and holds an unspecified amount of bitcoin despite calling its Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm a “technological dead-end.”
Ripple CTO Offers Interesting Insight
David Schwartz, the newly appointed CTO and former chief cryptographer at Ripple, hosted an AMA session on The Next Web earlier this week, answering some of the hottest questions today and providing insight into the company’s future.
Despite Ripple being one of the largest and most funded cryptocurrency companies, Schwartz doesn’t believe their XRP Ledger has that bright of a future. When asked about the limitations of the ledger, Schwartz said that he doesn’t think there can be just one digital currency.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Schwartz continued to point out that one of the main disadvantages of the XRP Ledger was its inability to issue IPOs. He believes that the lack of programmable behavior is what’s stopping XRP from being the only digital asset any time soon.
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However, Schwartz did say that the company is working on technology such as the Interledger Protocol (ILP) that would unbundle payment functionality from other functions.
Schwartz a Fan of Bitcoin, not its Protocol
When asked whether or not he shared the CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s opinion on the pioneer cryptocurrency, Schwartz said that he didn’t believe it was a scam and has publicly defended Bitcoin since 2011.
“I think it’s the first example of an exciting new technology and still the market leader, at least by market cap,” he said.
“The technology is genuinely a breakthrough and I too hold some BTC.”
Mirroring the surprisingly positive sentiment, Schwartz continued by saying that no crypto project can become successful by pulling others down. “The current market mechanics are telling us that we’re all in this together,” he added.
However, he did mention that Bitcoin has limitations, and has openly criticized its protocol.
“Proof of work is expensive, has no clear response to a majority attack, and has not delivered on its promise of decentralization. It makes miners forced stakeholders, because the system is not secure without them, and miner’s interests can diverge from the interest of other users.”
Schwartz commented further on the network’s design, saying that he “genuinely believes” that the XRP Ledger is a significant improvement over Bitcoin’s.