A new controversy over the decentralization of XRP Ledger and the cryptocurrency that powers it, XRP, has emerged and continued over the past two days. Arguments for the doubters' theses were presented by Ripple's former Director of Development Matt Hamilton and the company's current CTO David Schwartz.
Responding to the thesis that being a zero revenue generating blockchain, XRPL cannot offer validators earnings, which discourages independents from participating in the network. The lack of earnings generates a lack of independent validators, which poses the threat of XRPL being taken over by Ripple and affiliates, said a doubting user.
Hamilton agreed that the revenue of the blockchain is zero, which is what makes it decentralized as the interests of validators and users are aligned. As for taking over the network via subordinate validators, the company's former chief developer stated that Ripple only controls its list of unique nodes (UNLs). If Ripple tried to "take over" other validators, however, the other nodes would simply exclude them from their UNLs.
The network is decentralised and Ripple only control *their* UNL. They don't control my UNL. They don't control your UNL.— Matt Hamilton | #LabWeek22 🇵🇹 (@HammerToe) November 25, 2022
It is decentralised.
It is a question that you fail to understand. Ripple can attempt what they want, but it would be futile. They know this.
David Schwartz responded to another argument regarding the amendments validators may try to bring to a vote. It was stated that if validators successfully vote for a change and the nodes do not agree, they simply separate from each other, i.e., a fork occurs. This question was on the subject of where more XRP can be created on one side by voting, and in the same way a vote to burn all the XRP held by Ripple can happen.
Ripple's holdings in XRPL
As reported by U.Today, XRP Ledger Foundation removed two Ripple-controlled validators and added one in early October. At the moment, Ripple reportedly controls 2 out of 35 validators, or less than 6% of all capacity. Meanwhile, the company holds 44 billion XRP in escrow accounts.