Study: Ripple even more centralized than previously thought

Critics have for many years looked on XRP, claiming that Ripple has demonstrated an unprecedented degree of control over transactions that the company has always denied. A new report Bitmex Research suggests that the cryptocurrency Ripple may be even more centralized than previously thought.

The Bitmex blog that belongs to the stock exchange, famous for its 100-fold leverage, unlike other similar blogs — it focuses on its own research. On Monday published the latest study Bitmex Research — «The Ripple story». The part of the study which States about the centralization Ripple, attracted the attention of the community.

In January it was reported that Ripple Gateways has the ability to freeze assets, while against these rumors were actively protesting the chief cryptographer for the company. The study Bitmex provides a detailed analysis of this situation:

«In 2015, Ripple took advantage of the feature freeze cryptocurrency, which was introduced in August 2014. Gateway Bitstamp has frozen funds belonging to a family member McCaleb jed (Jed McCaleb). Some consider this ironic: Ripple initially stated that the feature freeze was implemented to allow gateways to obey orders of law enforcement, but the first actual use of this function was aimed at execution of instructions of the company Ripple against one of its founders».

This information became available to the public through court documents, as well as news that the first 32,000 blocks headers from the registry Ripple do not exist, making impossible a full audit of the company up to the moment when was created 100 billion XRP.

The Bitmex blog the authors of the study published new information that was not known earlier:

«In January 2018 the group BitMEX Research is installed and started a copy of Ripple for the purposes of this study. The node is controlled by the loading of the list of the five public keys from the server v1.ripple.com… All five keys are assigned Ripple.com. The software indicates that four of the five keys needed to support the proposals to get it passed. Since all the keys have been downloaded from the server Ripple.com Ripple is essentially completely controls the development of the registry, so we can say that the system is centralized. Indeed, our host indicates that the validity period of the key expires February 1, 2018, meaning that the software should re-visit the server Ripple.com to load a new set of keys.»

As acknowledged in the study, centralized systems have many advantages from the point of view of productivity, however, «in the company Ripple argue that the Ripple system is distributed, which can be considered misleading information.» Of course, every story has two sides, and the chief cryptographer of Ripple didn’t waste time trying to figure
several of the issues raised in the study.

The cubs, who currently constitute the bulk of the cryptocurrency community, either do not know or just do not think of such principles as decentralization or the fact that the company controls the majority of all XRP. Bitmex report sheds light on the work of the company, whose operations are mostly shrouded in mystery.

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