It's my great pleasure to announce the release of the rippled p2p node source-code, the code that implements the Ripple protocol and powers the Ripple payment network. In conjunction with the open-sourcing we're also announcing that OpenCoin Inc. will change its name to Ripple Labs Inc. That latter part is mostly because the old name was confusing and required explanation. We hope the new name is a bit more self-explanatory - we're the place that Ripple came out of and we'll continue to experiment with and develop Ripple technology.
For those of you who are less technical, the significance of our announcement is that Ripple is not
another altcoin. All the protocols and data formats have evolved independently of Bitcoin. Our consensus
process uses peering (kinda like the Internet itself) instead of mining. The ledger is a data structure that describes the current state of the network as a merkle tree (this has the same effect as the merkle tree of unspent outputs
proposals that have come up within the Bitcoin community.) The time between ledgers is adaptive
rather than fixed. The current implementation supports holding deposit contracts - balances representating currencies other than the native currency. And we support the trading of these currencies in the network - as one atomic transaction, even across multiple conversions. The Ripple ledger is a general purpose data store and we plan to enable you to program the network freely via contracts
It feels weird that it falls upon me to announce the open-sourcing of this code, since aside from a tiny fix here or there I wrote none of it. But I have worked closely with the people who did and they have completely changed my perspective on what's possible. I remember promoting Bitcoin to blank stares three years ago and now talking to bitcoiners about Ripple I often feel the same way. I hope that over the next year, starting from today, we can change that - and you'll be able to see Ripple as we do.
I want to address a few questions that I know will come up:1. Forks
People will fork the network pretty much instantly (as soon as they can figure out our config files
), so does that worry me re: job security? Of course. But that's the whole point of open-sourcing: It's one thing we can do to help keep us honest. I believe as long as we continue to live up to our promises, work hard and provide value to users, they will continue to use our network. And in doing so they're supporting our effort to build out the software and extend the network through any and all means available until all XRP are sold or given away.
I don't believe in closed-source, I don't believe in copyright, but I do believe in supporting the artists, the developers and entrepreneurs who make things happen. We have a growing team of people with big ideas and ambitious plans. So please consider using the original network so we can continue to develop amazing features and integrate every payment system on the face of the planet.
One final request for those planning to fork: If you do fork, please come up with a unique name for your network and a different currency code than XRP. A little search and replace won't kill you and you'll make life a lot easier and less confusing for both our users and your own.2. Decentralization
Whether the code is open-source or not has nothing to do with whether Ripple is decentralized or not. As far as the original network is concerned we will continue to recommend our own validators for the time being. Running the core group of validators lets us close security holes much more quickly, which is very important at least until major feature development is completed. The last of these major
features left is contracts.
So to recap, the general plan is to focus on contracts next and once their API is reasonably stable focus on building out the tools and testing needed to move to a fully distributed network topology.
That said, we do encourage interested parties to start running validators immediately - this is your chance to build a history and reputation as a reliable validator so people will later be more likely to add you to their UNLs
There will be bugs. If they are security-critical, please consider responsible disclosure through firstname.lastname@example.org
. We also have a bounty program
for critical bugs.
Alright, that leaves only one thing.https://github.com/ripple/rippled/
CTO, Ripple Labs Inc.http://www.ripple.com
PS: Cross-posting this on the Bitcoin forum