The Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm


Originally conceived by David Schwartz, Noah Youngs, Jed McCaleb, and Arthur Britto in 2011, Ripple consists of a decentralized ledger and transaction protocol, with a native digital asset (originally ‘ripples’ but now known by its ticker XRP). This is a historic draft of the whitepaper.


“While several consensus algorithms exist for the Byzantine Generals Problem, specifically as it pertains to distributed payment systems, many suffer from high latency induced by the requirement that all nodes within the network communicate synchronously. In this work, we present a novel consensus algorithm that circumvents this requirement by utilizing collectively-trusted subnetworks within the larger network. We show that the “trust” required of these subnetworks is in fact minimal and can be further reduced with principled choice of the member nodes. In addition, we show that minimal connectivity is required to maintain agreement throughout the whole network. The result is a low-latency consensus algorithm which still maintains robustness in the face of Byzantine failures. We present this algorithm in its embodiment in the Ripple Protocol.”


The Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm by David Schwartz, Noah Youngs and Arthur Britto