cypherpunks Digest, Vol 14, Issue 11

Andrew White invalidheader at
Mon Aug 11 09:37:53 PDT 2014

> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2014 08:42:20 +1000
> From: "James A. Donald" <jamesd at>
> To: cypherpunks at
> Subject: Ripple's consensus algorithm.
> Message-ID: <53E7F54C.80805 at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed
> Bitcoin's consensus algorithm is weight of computing power, which is OK
> as long as weight of computing power aligns with interest in bitcoin
> being a useful currency.
> Weight of stake would be better, but so far I am unaware of any
> satisfactory proposals for weight of stake.
This is called "proof of stake" not weight of stake and is different from
Ripple's consensus process.

> Ripples consensus algorithm is weight of club members, and the process
> for getting into the club is opaque, as are the interests and incentives
> of the existing club members.

This doesn't really describe how Ripple works. Ripple relies on the
agreement of 80% or more of validator nodes per gateway to verify if a
transaction took place or not. I write more about this in

> I would suppose one gets into the club if no existing member blackballs
> you, which would be fine if there is already sufficient diversity of
> interests within the club.

Only if 80% of the networks validator nodes do that which is in practice
not likely to happen on a large enough scale.

> It is not obvious to me how well the ripple consensus algorithm would
> work in the event of substantial conflicts between club members, or bad
> behavior by club members, or bad things happening to the network.

> Has it been analyzed for performance in the event of bad behavior by
> some club members?

I'll ping David Schwartz one of the co-inventors about this question.
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