Fresh from making headlines after their partnership with non-profit firm, Tipping point, Ripple is heavy on the news again. This time courtesy of its CTO David Schwartz, who said that he believed Bitcoin was far more vulnerable to attacks in comparison to XRP.
The third largest crypto-currency by market cap’s CTO said this while responding to a tweet ( mentioned below) from unhashed podcast co-host Ruben Somsen, who questioned whether the XRP ledger could be exploited due to a mechanism that requires nodes to skip validation if they’re too far behind.
Ripple nodes skip validation if they’re more than 100 blocks (~20 min) behind and 80% of the validators agree the blocks are valid. It seems to me validators could exploit this – halt the chain, then skip fake signatures. @JoelKatz never replied. See here: https://t.co/GlzHh99F8q— Ruben Somsen ⚡️🇳🅾️2️⃣❎ (@SomsenRuben) March 7, 2019
Ripple’s CTO David Schwartz argued that security attacks on XRP can be mitigated in software and are quite miniscule in comparison to the vulnerabilities of Bitcoin, calling Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism, a “dead end”.
While in defense of XRP, David said;
“No blockchain that I know of has better protection against a hostile majority attack than the XRP Ledger does. Bitcoin will happily allow double spends if the majority of mining power is in hostile hands.”
He doubled down on that point in a subsequent tweet that read;
“And, most importantly, the risk to Bitcoin is fundamental to the consensus algorithm it uses and cannot be mitigated. In the case of XRP Ledger, it’s just a matter of the default tradeoffs between synchronization time and security against an almost impossible attack.”
“PoW has been a dead end for both decentralization and security, It’s gotten more centralized, and we’ve seen 51% double spend attacks. By contrast, distributed agreement has gotten more decentralized, and it’s clear how to mitigate these attacks in software.”
To explain the last tweet, a 51 percent attack is when a miner or mining pool assumes control by garnering more than 50 percent of the network hash rate in order to commit the ultimate crypto crime which is to rewrite the ledger and double spend prior transactions.
Bitcoin’s current level of security is becoming a hot topic after Ethereum classic was attacked earlier this year. Crypto51 however shared some cheery news after they stated that it would be extremely expensive to gather enough resources in order to attack the Bitcoin network, since it would require at least $292,255 an hour.
Despite news outlet and individual attacks on Bitcoin, the network has remained strong for more than a decade attracting all manner of software engineers as well as investors. Ripple may have arrived a little bit later to the party compared to the mother Crypto, but it is increasingly gaining traction. Ripple’s token XRP was recently declared the most traded digital currency in the Americas by crypto trading platform Uphold.
Image from bitcoin exchange guide