I'll take these on:
"There is no code or automated process that handles forks if consensus is not reached, and the network does have to split. If there is a fork, the losing side has to discard transactions or history possibly resulting in a double spend. There is no inbuilt mechanism or financial incentive to correct the network in case of a fork."
It's not clear what the mean by a "fork" here. If they mean a temporary disagreement without full validation on one side, that happens all the time and fixes itself. If they mean fully validated ledgers on both sides, that's impossible unless the software is badly misconfigured. So long as you have minimal overlap of UNLs, you can't have two different 80% majorities.
If he means some kind of permanent loss of servers or connectivity, then it's true, one or both sides won't see fully-validated ledgers. Either someone cares about this issue or nobody cares. If nobody cares, why are they even running the software? If people care, then they'll have an incentive to adjust the UNLs to fix it.
"No incentive for node operators to perform public validations. Performing public validations can lead to lawsuits for negligence or potentially aiding financial crimes. Safest option is to outsource that legal liability onto ripple labs: which centralizes the network."
Bitcoin has the same problem with running full servers. But sure, if people prefer a centralized network because it works better for them, then that's fine. I have no problem with, say, one company doing 100% of all bitcoin mining even. So long as that works well, so be it. If they start abusing their power to do things like double spends, then we do something about it. If the majority want centralization, they're going to get it. The minority who want decentralization can build their own decentralized system.
If the argument is that Ripple works better if it's centralized, then it should be centralized.
There's a fairly high cost to decentralization. We have Visa, but it's hard to build a decentralized Visa. One way to get the best of both worlds is to have a system that's capable of running both ways. If one (or a small number of people) run it very well as a centralized system, then that's awesome. So long as the system is capable of running in a decentralized form, it will be very hard for those centralized operators to abuse their position. This is why bitcoin has worked so well even though mining is centralized. Bitcoin is capable of running as decentralized as needed to deal with abusive centralization, so it can safely get the benefits of advantageous centralization.
"Global consensus means that nodes must hold unrelated third party transaction data, which is too risky: e.g storing Iranian payments during sanctions."
This was a huge objection initially and ILP will solve it. But I honestly think that people will gradually stop caring. Bitcoin forces you to hold child pornography if someone puts that in the block chain. At first, this really was a huge concern but most people just don't seem particularly worried about it.
"No VM layer like Ethereum, everything has to be written into rippled. Changes to ripple frequently require changes to the core consensus code. Many amendments are hard forks of ripple: eg with Flow if some nodes decide not to implement it, they are no longer part of the network."
Agreed. Ethereum is aimed at a different set of problems than Ripple is and neither one is as good at solving the problem the other solves as each is at solving the problem it's aimed at.
"No secure way to download the software: "ripple labs team are not very competent ". An attacker can steal the secret keys for the ripple validators and compromise the whole network. Also if the ripple website is compromised the UNL list can be replaced in the software."
We do have a secure way to download the software, commits are signed. People are free to review changes. You can get your UNL list however you want. You can trust whatever validators you want, even insisting that Ripple validators agree with non-Ripple validators if you want. This really is a variant of the same argument -- people have chosen not to make the Ripple network as fully decentralized as the technology is capable of being. But that's largely been because the costs have outweighed the benefits. If you think the benefits outweigh the costs, make a coherent case.
It's also very important to understand that fundamentally validators order transactions to solve the double spend problem. Almost everything else is done by deterministic rules. A validator cannot tell you that an improperly signed transaction is valid. A validator cannot tell you that funds appeared out of nowhere. A validator cannot tell you that a transaction that was previous confirmed now isn't. There simply is no way to say these things within the Ripple protocol. (Why would there be?)
"Ripple is aware of all these shortcomings and has shifted mostly now to Interledger."
That's sort of true. We've shifted to ILP for use cases where this kind of decentralization isn't important. We've shifted to the Ripple consensus ledger more as way to ground XRP and XRP as a way to bridge ILP payments with a vehicle currency. ILP can support scalability and privacy better than a public ledger system can with present technology. But only a public ledger can produce a cryptocurrency with what we think are the right properties to be a viable world vehicle currency.
I'm not going to address all the points exhaustively, one by one, but let me respond to a couple of them really quickly.
This is a flat out lie. Our version-setting commits (in other ways, the tip of each repo) are all signed by rippled developers. Anyone downloading the code can verify that what they downloaded has not been tampered. See: https://github.com/ripple/rippled/commits/0.50.0
Additionally, our release announcements (served over https) link to RPM packages that are signed by Ripple and cannot be tampered (and yes, the built process verifies that the code it builds from is signed by an approved developer key) and the md5sum of the rpms and the commit id at the tip of master is included in the announcement text as well. See: https://ripple.com/dev-blog/rippled-0-50-0/
This is just plain silly. The caliber of people at Ripple is top notch, and the code we produce is a testament to that.
Huh? What does the ripple website have to do with anything?
Surely if they're that frequent, it should be no trouble at all to point to such changes in core consensus code.
I'm not sure how to take this "criticism"... of course if an amendment is proposed and the network, collectively, accepts it, then nodes that veto it or don't support it can't continue to process transactions and become amendment blocked. What else could possibly be done?
So now we're allowed to talk politics on this thread: I think a CEO style approach to government might work out very well for a bankrupt country with completely dysfunctional, bureaucratic and corrupt government, with money and jobs flying out of the country at high speed, only benefiting the elite.
It's actually a very libertarian idea.
Boogieman Trump does not grab your p*ssy, will not sell you to the Russians because Putin has a kinky video, he does not hate the gays, women, blacks. That was spoonfed into peoples brains by MSM in an incredibly clever way. Oh they bought it!
He took this job because he wanted to clean up the big mess, and I not only believe him, I think he might even have the right characteristics to succeed in this.
I think he is right that the press has been incredibly dishonest. And I also think he is right that previous administrations made a mess of the country, and of the world. And it was only getting worse. WWIII might have been avoided by the election of mr Trump.
Now whatever may be, the elections are over. I believe in democracy. Democracy means the outcome of a vote has to be honored by those who disagree with the outcome. Democracy is the best method of government. Wisdom of the crowds.
Now make the best of it.
Brad Garlinghouse was interviewed on Bloomberg yesterday.
[ Jump to 14:10 ] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-02-15/full-show-bloomberg-technology-02-14
He was interviewed at Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet conference. My feeling is it was a very good interview, educational, he has explained differences between traditional cryptos like BTC and Ripple. At banker's conference he mentioned how technology giants like Alibaba etc move towards providing services formerly provided by banks. He has even mentioned XRP a couple times. And there also was a ref to "peanut butter manifesto".
Somebody is willing to pay for an App for using Ripple for individuals (not institutions) - sounds interesting ;-)
Does anybody know who that can be? Anybody from this forum? ;-)