Ripple CTO David Schwartz addresses concerns that Xahau, the upcoming XRP Ledger (XRPL) sidechain, could displace the original XRPL itself and hurt XRP.
David Schwartz, CTO at Ripple, recently spoke on whether the upcoming XRPL sidechain Xahau and its native token XRP+ would diminish the value of the original XRPL and XRP.
Schwartz’s comments came as a reply to a question from Saul, an XRP community figure. Saul recently drew an analogy likening XRPL to Nokia and Xahau to Apple. This analogy raises concerns that Xahau could displace the XRPL in dominance like Apple displaced Nokia.
I wonder how David feels about the XRPL:Nokia::Xahau:Apple analogy
— Saul 🏴☠️ (@uptownsaul) September 3, 2023
Xahau Does Not Threaten the XRPL
Saul’s analogy sparked an interesting response from Schwartz, who acknowledged the perceptiveness of the comparison.
I think that analogy is actually very perceptive. I remember in the early days of bitcoin everyone thought that no cryptocurrency could ever overtake bitcoin becasue bitcoin had first mover advantage and a technical advantage was impossible. …
— David "JoelKatz" Schwartz (@JoelKatz) September 4, 2023
He harkened back to the early days of Bitcoin, where many believed that its first-mover advantage and open-source nature would render it immune to competition. However, history showed a different narrative.
Despite being a latecomer, Schwartz pointed out that Ethereum adopted technologies that were superior to Bitcoin in some crucial aspects. Due to its entrenched user base and resistance to change, Bitcoin couldn’t readily adopt these innovations.
However, Bitcoin still appeals to numerous users, as it performs as intended. This situation highlights that the value of a blockchain often lies in its reliability and stability over time, even if it lags in technical advancements.
The Ripple CTO emphasized that newer, smaller chains have the agility to develop and test innovative technologies with real-world applications without jeopardizing the stability of existing Layer 1 chains.
While existing chains can adopt new technologies, there are often compelling reasons not to, reflecting the delicate balance between innovation and security.
Schwartz’s most pivotal point was that the proponents should not view the emergence of a new chain as a threat to an older one. Instead, they should see it as an opportunity to expand the blockchain ecosystem.
In his words:
“Most importantly, I think the idea that a new chain will detract from an old chain is an extremely unlikely thing to worry about. We should be working together to grow the pie rather than resenting something new that can grow the pie for everyone because it takes a slice.”
Xahau and XRP+
Recall that XRPL Labs, the team behind the self-custodial Xumm wallet, released the Xahau Whitepaper last month. The Xahau project and its native token, XRP+, are already making waves in the XRP community.
One feature that would make Xahau stand out is the implementation of Hooks, which introduces smart contracts to the chain. While it may bring exciting advancements, it is crucial to remember that it is not necessarily in direct competition with XRPL.
Schwartz’s remarks call attention to blockchain evolution, where older chains can coexist with newer ones, each serving a unique purpose and user base.
XRPL’s history, infrastructure, and established user trust will likely ensure its continued relevance. At the same time, Xahau and similar projects can explore uncharted territories and push the boundaries of what’s possible.