Not all ideas are very well-received in the blockchain community. Just look at hard forks. People at Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and then Bitcoin SV simply could not agree.
Now imagine that someone can simply make an app that will cause a lot of controversy without actually needing anyone’s permission. That would cause a lot of trouble, right? Well, this is the situation at the XRP Ledger now.
An anonymous developer created a program called “Indestructible Immutable Infinite File Storage (IndImm)”. The name is pretty self-explanatory.
The tool exploits a memo field that all XRP transactions have, so they did not need any consensus change for this “upgrade”. You can just upload whatever you want there. Great idea, right? Well, not according to Ripple and most of the XRP community.
Ripple Rushes To Fix The Issue
As reported by Decrypt, Ripple is actually working on a fix right now. The reason for that is that spammers could simply upload a bunch of heavy files on the system and this would drastically slow down transactions, as well to make them more expensive.
Since Ripple has several products based on the XRP Ledger, this is very dangerous for its plans, so the company is already rushing in to save (its own) day.
Blockchains are not made to store infinite data, which is why some, such as the Bitcoin network, have a cap on how much data you can upload. Even with this, the full BTC network is already 226 GB right now.
Spammers could store a lot of information there easily and completely break the network. The only point that could actually end up stopping them is that it would be very expensive to do it. So it will hardly be done as a prank. It costs around $11 USD to send 1 MB to the network.
Unfortunately, some groups are already reported to be planning to take down the network. Decrypt found a group on Discord that was trying to coordinate an attack. Fortunately, though, the attack was not successful so far.
The reaction of the community was also not positive. Witse Wind, the dev who created the XRP Tipbot, affirmed that you “can’t have enough development in this ecosystem”, however, he affirmed that he was pretty worried because this could hurt the network.
Another problem that was pointed out by Wind is that someone could upload child pornography or other kinds of illegal material on the network, which would render it illegal and cause even more problems to the network.
The CTO of Ripple, David Schwartz, affirmed that there is no serious threat of attacks soon. To him, the main danger is that spammers and trolls can make the network harder to run over time if the app is not shut down.
The Opinion of the Controversial Developer
A crypto media outlet called The Block Crypto was able to reach out to the anonymous developer who created the app and interview it. This is interesting since it provides another take on the whole situation.
The dev behind the project describes himself as “not an expert” in the blockchain tech, especially Ripple. According to him, the reason for creating the app is because 99% of the crypto world is being used for speculation. Because of this, his idea was to form a large and relevant market in which users could have a real use case.
The use case? Fight censorship. By uploading files in an immutable way, they could store them forever online. This, he affirmed, would make crypto really useful.
He also argued that the app could lead to high usage of the network, which could limit the volatility and even end up helping Ripple, which is the opposite of what most people believe right now. Ripple was chosen because it has low transaction fees and a solid track record, as well as a great API that is pretty easy to use. Basically, it was simple, recognizable and served the purpose marvelously.
According to the developer, the reaction to the app is not really overall negative, too. To him, it is like 75% positive and only 25% negative, something that you would not believe by hearing the fierce criticism of the opposition.
The developer ended by affirming that it was not true that he was working in order to destroy Ripple. To him, the fees make it too prohibitive that people will simply upload stuff enough to destroy the network.
However, he announced that the future of the project is uncertain due to the negative criticism and that stopping development is an option if the community feel as if the network is being harmed.
Author: Gabriel Machado