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I guess a lot of you have been dealing with FUDsters longer than me but I just wanted to outline some similarities between arguments I have observed. Before I go into my analysis I just want to state that when you start a debate with a FUDster or anyone else it is near to impossible to predict their intensions, this means independet if they support other cryptos than you do, have a lack of knowledge or just are there to troll other people the effect when spreading FUD is the more or less the same. So appart from the personal background of an individual you try to convince in a debate there are things that can not be dicussed or interpreted. These are usually so called hard facts e.g the pure performance a crypto asset can offer the individual is using. I am not going to explain what these are with XRP there you should all know them pretty well and when comparing cryptos only on bases of so called hard facts a debate usually should end quite quick. Though there is a way for the advanced FUDster to even nullify this argument just by questioning if that what developers state is a lie or manipulated statistics the best way to encouter such an individual is providing evidence from multiple sources which is not only stated from the developers or community of the asset and assuming the FUDster still denys hard facts, well in this case you may call this individual paranoid or malicious with intentions trying to deligitize an asset with no real backbone in the argumentation. Now to the so called unconfirmed facts wether they are soft or hard facts. Often enough we hear about rumours unconfirmed information potention waiting to be confirmed. Well obviously these can be part of a debate but using these to strengthen a position is very tricky atleast. The problem using these is that later these informations are proved wrong or invalid the person who uses these can create unnecessary hype which as some may experienced can have a very negative influence on the asset you intended to support. Also using this unconfirmed material against other assets e.g XRP WILL BE BANNED IN SOUTH KOREA is pure FUD till the point it actually has been verified (a nice tactic to dissort you enemy asset for a short periode and make yours look like a safe haven). Now to one of the favourites the so called soft facts (most of the time anyways unproven) whenever a debate is over the hard fact part the best way to defend yourself in a debate is to rely on soft facts. Something that can not be proven or verified or dragging the discussion into a question of morale this is very nicely used by the Bitcoin community when talking about that the people should decide about there valuables and assets and not the banks (apart from that decentralised is also always a definition question what is meant in the discussion e.g a Bitcoiner means that banks have no influence anymore on the money whereas people with a lot of mining power do have a lot of influenced and tend to centralize the decesion power in a few hands - and on the other side for the zerper decentralised has a complete different meaning - so when you are in a discussion some people tend to use same words but mean absolute different things). The advantage when dragging a discussion into soft facts is that usually there is no right or wrong and often people try to use soft facts to deligitmize someone elses asset because it the only way left to defend himself. It is difficult to prove such soft facts in a way and the only way to deal with them is to present the own soft facts and question those of the competitor and question his position. And at last the absoltue denial - if you are failing in a debate best thing to do is deny everything the competitor says and pretend the debate is not over yet and try to flee as mush as possible in the soft facts where no one can prove you are wrong. Now some examples: Hard facts - MG is piloting XRP - question this fact if it is valid - Sources prove it is valid and so did the MG twitter account (debate won) Not confirmed facts - AMAZON will use XRP - this will have to be proven in future - side effects are hype that can resolve into depression if not valid (debate in progress till valid) soft facts - BTC gives the value back to the people and banks have no right to influence peoples money - apart from the social complexity that goes with such statement the Miners turn out to be the new banks who people depend on to trust (debate not to win or lose) And now a little extra for the readers who managed it to here. As far as I can tell the BTC community seems to be wide spread and so often does the influence in discussion about assets - here on example I had with a friend Friend: Isn`t XRP that banker coin? Me: No it is not it is a lot more than that. XRP can be used for a lot more that just crossborder payments and by banks. Apart from that banker coin seems to be an expression the BTCer use to scare of potentional investors by creating a language or a way to speak about XRP in which BTC appears dominat. (If anyone is interested with the last phrase i stated you should read - Can the subaltern speak?)
Intro Mercury Greetings and welcome to what is hopefully the first of several debates on and about issues of relevance to the ripple community. Among the community users of the ripple protocol there is little experience or expectations with development outside of Ripple Inc. In early 2017 a whitepaper titled PathShuffle: Credit Mixing and Anonymous Payments for Ripple was released (https://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/pmorenos/public/pathshuffle.pdf ), as was a working prototype. This debate Pathsuffle: Step Forward or Back for Ripple? will discuss the two sides of this development. Is anonymity good for users of ripple? Should we expect or demand complete privacy in our daily transactions? Or was ripple never meant to be a dark money network? Also, would such a feature cast a negative light over ripple and Ripple Inc, potentially turning away Ripple’s targeted customers and hurting future development? These and more are some of the issues that will be discussed. Moderator and Debaters Mercury I go by the user name “Mercury” on the forum XRPChart and I will be moderating this debate. I have been involved in and with ripple since September 2014 when I encountered it while researching a Northern Canada accessibility project. Since then I have done a couple of side projects on and off in relation to ripple and have tried maintaining an active presence with the ripple community via whatever active forum there is at the time. Currently I am a moderator on XRPChat. For this debate I am joined by fellow forum members @Hodor and @Tikrp. I will let them to introduce themselves. Tikrp My name on the XRPChat forum is “Tikrp” and I will be taking the "against" side in this debate which means that I will be arguing that pathshuffle is a step back for ripple. I have been involved in ripple since early 2014 and to be honest I discovered it after missing the Bitcoin train which I actually knew about since 2008 but what happened, well, is a story for another day. I got into ripple because I was mesmerized by its amazing potential compared to the other cryptocurrencies I had researched and those that were in the space at that point. So far I must say that I have not been proven wrong. I have been with the community since the first XRP forums but because I have been so busy on a number of occasions, I have not been as active as I would have liked. I am, however, hoping that this changes in the near future. I am honored to be taking part in this debate, which, if am not mistaken, may be the first of many more to come. Hodor My XRPChat avatar name is "Hodor", and I will be presenting the "pro" side of this debate; I will be arguing that pathsuffle is good for Ripple, or a "step forward." About me: I first encountered Ripple when I was a lurker on the bitcointalk forum back in 2013. I had read about the rise of bitcoin's value, and it prompted me to research cryptocurrency in general. I remember missing out on the XRP promotion on bitcointalk, and resolving to try to acquire some of this new digital asset after fast becoming a fan of the new technology. My background is in Information Technology, and I've actually coded some simple interactions with the RCL and integrated it into a website project I built back in 2014. Since then, my interest has been mainly as an investor in XRP, however, as my time has been limited due to my "day job." I try to contribute to the XRPChat forum with posts and comments, and have also started blogging about XRP and Ripple recently on Wordpress. Rules Mercury The basic rules follow those of a classic debate where each side is able to present their opening arguments followed by two rounds of rebuttals. A second part will follow where the debaters can bring forward supporting arguments or secondary positions, or I as moderator will pose questions with two more rounds of rebuttals, after which both sides can present their closing arguments. Debaters are allowed to quote sources as long as they are easily accessible to everyone, with a main focus on the paper itself. This debate will try to avoid overly technical analysis. The structure of this debate is real time messaging via the Discord app service and will be formatted for XRPChat. Tikrp- as the Against/ con side will go first. @Tikrp? Opening Remarks Tikrp Well, Ripple has been making headway and is still making head way with regulators not only in the United States but internationally as well. One of the reasons ripple has been making such gains with regulators is the transparency of both the company and its technology. Introducing pathshuffle will give regulators a reason to pause and ask questions like, “why is the company introducing this protocol and why is it doing so now instead of doing it earlier”? It is therefore not good for ripple to integrate such a protocol that will undermine its great success so far. Hodor The ability to use a coin mixing service to anonymize transactions is a positive step forward for Ripple and XRP. Currently in the crypto market, some of the most popular alt coins are the ones that promise anonymity of payment. To understand this, you have to examine the very nature of money. When I use paper bills from my physical wallet to purchase a stack of old comic books at a rummage sale, the seller can't determine anything from the paper money about my prior purchases, or how much money I have in my bank account, or even who I am. And that's the way money should be; a store of value. While Bitcoin gave us a distributed, digital store of value, it was an experiment. Its limitations are a result of that limited scope. Anonymity was achieved by users of Bitcoin only by obscurity; if you study online tools like https://blockchain.info/, you quickly realize that anonymity through obscurity is not enough - you can de-anonymize transactions by tracing them back to known wallets. In some of the newer alt coins, the developers attempted to bake anonymity into the payment protocol. The three most popular ones include Dash, Monero and Zcash, whose combined market capitalization is 2.5 billion dollars. (source: https://news.bitcoin.com/meet-top-3-coins-cryptocurrency-anonymity-race/ ) But what about legitimate financial institution and banking use of anonymity? Is there such a thing? Absolutely. In supply-chain management, payments to vendors will be looked at as very confidential information that businesses would definitely NOT want disclosed, as this might give away material advantages to competitors. To address this, banks and financial institutions would need these transactions not only to be confidential in some aspects; they might prefer total and complete anonymity to protect their members and clients. Offering an anonymity-preserving tool to banks and financial institutions that can scale from low levels of confidentiality to complete anonymity opens the doors to new use cases and services that Ripple can offer to these potential customers. First Rebuttal Tikrp Money as Hodor mentions is store of value but he forgets to mention that money is also the number one means of payment for criminals like terrorists. The premise of ripple is to try to move away from such a system and prevent such parties from using currency in such a way. This is where pathshuffle harms ripple and brings it into dark currency. https://www.ecb.europa.eu/ecb/legal/pdf/con_2016_49_with_technical_working_document_.pdf The European Central Bank in the above link clearly states money as a major source of terrorist funding. Yes. Money, as in fiat. My friend Hodor mentioned the use of anonymity by financial institutions. Well, lack of transparency in the financial institutions is the very reason we just had that huge financial crisis a few years back to refresh your memory. If I recall it was called the greatest crisis since the great depression. This is kind of a big deal and anonymity in financial institutions adds to the lack of transparency in our financial world, which is still a big problem to the extent that many are predicting another crisis soon. We should be supporting technologies that improve transparency not those that are against it. We should be supporting ripple in its current form and not with path shuffle added to it. Hodor In the United States, the public has become a bit fatigued by the government's overuse of security fears to argue against the basic rights on which our country was established. Instead of unquestioningly giving up on transaction anonymity and privacy, there are better ways to give law enforcement the tools it needs. The way that makes the most sense is to go after the exchanges where fiat money and financing can be converted into crypto-currency. Each exchange can serve many different crypto-currencies. It is more efficient to do KYC procedures at these fiat "bottlenecks" than asking the creators of each crypto-currency to somehow build a backdoor into the protocols to allow authorities to unmask transactions. There are many legitimate purposes for transaction privacy and anonymity. Among them: Embarrassing purchases (e.g., gag gifts for a bachelor party) Medical purchases (for prescriptions or other medical supplies) Business supply chain purposes Bank account customer privacy General wallet privacy - not broadcasting your XRP holdings These are just the examples that are obvious, but consider why any authority - a business or the government - has the right to know about each one of your purchases? Understand that before the advent of technology that made it possible, there was no way they could track purchases, and yet law enforcement somehow still managed to do its job. Ripple, it seems, agrees with me. The creator of pathshuffle, Pedro Moreno-Sanchez, was an intern researcher at Ripple, in 2016, under the supervision of Stefan Thomas (source: https://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/pmorenos/) In addition, Ryan Zagone explained to central banks how Ripple preserves privacy. That video can be found here: As recently as April 27, Dilip Rao (Ripple Managing Director of the Asia-Pacific) acknowledged how important transaction privacy was to banks in this quote: "We are one of the pioneers in use of the concept of Blockchain for payment. But Ripple today has evolved the growth concepts of Blockchain, keeping in mind how banks work with each other and demand for privacy with the durability of the solution... " (source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/google-backed-payment-company-ripple-in-talks-with-npci-banks-for-account-to-account-transfers-globally/articleshow/58393329.cms ) In addition, Ripple's ILP Validators preserve transaction privacy. They do this by only linking transactions to the bank, not individual accounts behind the bank's firewall. They will need to protect their customer’s privacy, and the end-users of XRP wallets and that much is clear. (source: https://ripple.com/files/ripple-brochure.pdf) Second Rebuttal Mercury We will now have the second stage rebuttal. @TikRp , do you have a response to @Hodor's remarks? Tikrp Of course I do @Mercury! And there you go. In short you are calling for more and more regulation, which will affect the very fiber of cryptocurrency and of Ripple. Putting such restrictions on the space will slow down adoption of a technology that the world needs now when exchanges, which are huge players in this industry, are restricted. By the way @Hodor, you just mentioned in the above statements that ripple could ensure privacy with its vaIidators. Question 1) to you. Has ripple been able to do this since its inception? If yes? Question 2. I will wait for your answer on that because I think it is an important point. Hodor The answer to that is probably not... I believe that RCL was made ILP compatible with a more... recent release. Mercury can correct me if I'm mistaken on that point. Tikrp Yes it was and that was for it to provide some more privacy on the network. Privacy levels exist which until now financial institutions have been ok with and in fact they jumped on board with ripple because they felt they had enough cover. So, I therefore don’t see the need for path shuffle here with the updates that Ripple has made. DiIip Rao was in support of them and this is why he made those statements. I doubt he made them in support of path shuffle which by the way has the potential to increase the fees paid on the network (source: https://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/pmorenos/public/pathshuffle.pdf) and the transaction times on the ripple network (same document), which ripple has been very proud to champion as without path shuffle rippIe has a transaction speed of about 5 s compared to 20 seconds with path shuffle. How is ripple suddenly going to go to its clients and say that we have added a protocol that takes 20 s compared to the 5s we had? If am not mistaken, ripple is looking for faster speeds and not slower ones. What will this do to the company’s image? I think that the privacy protections ripple currently has in place are good enough for the financial institutions. By the way remember this? https://www.dailydot.com/business/bitcoin-history-silk-road/. If left unregulated, money laundering and so many other activities can follow with the introduction of anonymity. Mercury I am just going to interject there, @TikRp. @Hodor , response? @TikRp, you can bring this up in the secondary points. Tikrp Sorry for going past time but I think I got it all in, that pathshuffIe is not really needed on rippIe. Mercury @Hodor? Hodor To say that there is "no need for pathshuffle" I believe is misleading. While masking specific bank accounts by using one account for the bank over ILP is just common sense, Ripple also needs a software tool in its arsenal that is more fine-grained! To remain competitive in the crypto industry with other solutions that banks are looking at, Ripple needs a tool for financial institutions to use to scale the privacy of their transactions from confidential to completely anonymous. Not having this tool will be looked-upon as a definite "gap" by banks and Ripple's competitors. In addition, end-users like us need a third party mixing tool to mask our wallet information. In a recent post, a forum member (who I will not reveal as part of this debate) mentioned that they felt "revealed" by making a purchase that everybody could "see," because it was very easily publicly traceable to his wallet. Both of these are reasons why 1) Ripple needs an official software tool for banks to scale the privacy of their transactions, and 2) XRP Wallet end-users need a way to obscure their wallet information using a coin mixing function. I hope that for XRP adoption, the next enterprise wallet that is created can support this coin mixing functionality. While my opponent makes an accurate point about the speed of coin mixing taking 20 seconds instead of 5 for a "usual" transaction over the RCL, I believe each of us would gladly wait that extra 15 seconds if we're making a payment directly from our own wallet! Just think - a Bitcoin purchase currently takes up to three hours or more for 3 confirmations (block cycles). Pathshuffle can completely anonymize your transaction - and settle it - in twenty seconds! My opponent would have you believe that Ripple would be foolish enough to propose using a new privacy tool for all of the bank's transactions. This is obviously not the case, but using a tool like this needs to be an option for banks upon their discretion. I believe that pathshuffle is needed, but I would go beyond that and say that, if Ripple decides to build something even more impressive into the protocol, then it should be up to the discretion of the validators to approve an amendment. That way, the transaction speed (3.x seconds) could be preserved, along with providing incremental layers of privacy built in. This is one of the strong points of XRP governance: We can make a change that makes sense; a change that would help Ripple sell our product to financial institutions and organizations that are concerned about preserving privacy for their customers. Secondary Points/ Questions Mercury Thank you @Hodor and @TikRp. This concludes the first stage of the debate. For this second half debaters can bring up secondary points and thoughts on their positions as well as addressing some questions I may bring forward. @Hodor goes first this round. To you Hodor I have two questions to start with. 1) Is there a risk that extreme privacy is an 'Americanism' of the ripple network, that countries and cultures outside the influence of America may not consider privacy the same way? And 2) bootstrapping is still required. The paper suggests that gateways may do this, wouldn't this just push to more hosted wallet activity, removing the need for an open RCL? Hodor It is a fact that "Americanism" as you put it, has a tendency to gravitate towards extremism of independence and yes, privacy as well. We like our anonymity here, and I don't think that's a weak point. In fact, I think in this respect, a US-based company has the opportunity to navigate a new course through this new technology, and Ripple has a history of charting its course through partnerships with regulators, not be at odds with them. They will need to protect their customers privacy, and the end-users of XRP wallets, that much is clear. This will need to include international customers, not just those based in the U.S. And yes, different countries view privacy very differently, but you'll notice that even some of the most repressive ones are smart enough to know you can't change the core protocol of a crypto-currency to behave differently based on the location of the country. They are - and will be - astute enough to work with Ripple on compliance. Having gateways make hosted wallets is certainly a trend among the more highly-functional, multi-coin wallets these days. I think yes, that will be at least a portion of the end-users. But to gloss over the need for a privacy or anonymity tool on the RCL like pathshuffle because of this is to grossly oversimplify and overestimate the impact of these hosted wallets. In my first round response, I noted several legitimate types of transactions where a user would probably value the ability to send anonymous payment transactions that cannot be linked back to their specific person. My opponent did not acknowledge the legitimacy of these transactions, but instead chose to point out a fallacy about how Ripple would somehow be vulnerable to another Fincen violation if they even allowed a third party tool to operate on the public RCL. So instead of continuing to make the same arguments I've already pointed out, I'll ask my opponent a series of questions: For the person that would like to use crypto-currency to make an embarrassing purchase for a bachelor party, what would you recommend he do to keep his purchase a secret if he wants to use XRP? What about an XRP holder that wishes to pay for a medical expense or purchase using XRP? How would they keep their transaction private? What about an XRP holder who is paying a supplier of their business using XRP? How would they keep their transaction private? What about the end-users of XRP on XRPChat? How would they keep their xrp holdings private, and yet still be able to use their wallet? If you can answer these questions without the need for a third-party tool like a coin mixer (a.k.a., pathshuffle, I'd be open to considering a sensible alternative). Mercury Thank you @Hodor . Now @TikRp I also have a few questions for you 1) on the flip side of the first question I asked Hodor, what about oppressive and extreme regions that users or business can not operate openly under (ex: news) 2) Ripple is a community development, although under the guidance of Ripple, if the community deems there is a need for this does it justify its use? Tikrp You know @Mercury privacy seems to be important to my opponent and he seems to be living in a world where fiat doesn’t exists; this is funny, because he said he is a fan of fiat and loves it for its privacy. I hate to break it to you @Hodor but privacy the American way simply doesn’t exist. I remember Snowden and another guy specifically told you that you are being watched by a big machine and they know when you took a shower, the last meal you ate and who you slept with but you still don’t believe them. I say there is no point to path shuffle because sooner or later it will prove the same, the most anonymous form of transaction is money and that is why everything you just asked can be done with fiat. Which still exists in the world that we currently live in in case you haven’t noticed? When we all have crypto as the only form of transaction and XRP is the boss then I believe that there will be a protocol much better than path shuffle and probably from the company itself that people including I will be happy to use. We live in a dangerous world with a new technology that is much needed in cryptocurrency Ripple is one of the best, if not the best in the game currently but their progress can be deeply damaged if they move too fast and they implement a third party protocol that has the ability to greatly undermine the great progress that they have made in the financial industry and with regulators, a protocol like pathshuffle. Yes. PathshuffIe is a good tool and is very innovative but right now ripple can do without it. If it was really needed on the ripple protocol then the company itself would have come up with a protocol that is far superior and faster and had no chance of ruining the image and progress of the network. Although terrorists aren’t using digital money much today because of a number of factors and they are still drawn to the anonymity of fiat, don’t let my opponent mislead you into thinking that it will be easy to fight them once they get on the network as evidenced by the struggles of the social media houses that have failed to stop them from using their platforms to communicate. Other nefarious activities like money laundering and tax evasion can also become rampant easily so why not let those individuals use the existing anonymous technologies instead of ruining ripples name and progress? Ripple is doing well and way more banks have signed up to use it than have signed up to use other anonymous technologies and this shows that ripple will be a success even without path shuffle. My opponent says that 20s is not a lot of time to wait for a transaction compared to BTC but it is a lifetime when it comes to banks that move large amounts of money compared of ripples 5s. If the banks that ripple is currently working with were really calling for a privacy tool I am pretty sure ripple itself would have answered these calls with a much faster and superior product than path shuffle for a superior protocol is what ripple deserves, not one that is against the very nature of ripple. Mercury 50 word limit remaining. Tikrp Let’s not forget that ripple is a trust based cryptocurrency and anonymity goes against the very nature of the protocol. To answer your question, those regimes monitor everything on line so fiat is still the best bet for those individuals. Ripple has succeeded and is continuing to succeed without listening to all the community's proposals so why start now? Ripple however has to do what is good for the company and its growth and adoption of the tech which I am sure they have a handle on. On the monitoring issue (By governments). It’s hard to use a crypto when your government switches off the net. First Rebuttal Mercury Before I let you reply @Hodor , I just want to briefly touch on a couple points. 1) Something Tikrp and others have mentioned before is that in the future it might not be one coin to rule them all. If there exists privacy focused coins, why would we need this feature on ripple? And pathsuffle still depends on having parties coordinated somehow, the paper mentions message boards for example. Someone, somewhere knows who is using pathshuffle, does this not defeat the purpose? @Hodor ? Hodor So if your question is "is it possible to use an anonymity coin like Dash to conduct a transaction?" the answer is yes. But this implies that whenever an XRP user needs anonymity in a transaction, they should first convert their XRP to another coin and then conduct the transaction? This is definitely not preferable. This implies that even for legitimate transactions where privacy is needed, XRP wallet holders can't depend on privacy? So far in this debate, there has been no answer given to my question about how users can conduct transactions that absolutely need privacy using XRP, which I think is a preferable outcome for XRP holders. These are legitimate transactions - not illegal. Pathshuffe depends on several wallets signing transactions in a series of four "rounds" to anonymize a transaction where there is a variable that comprises one to many "bad actors." So yes, it involves multiple wallets, but not necessarily individuals. One person or exchange that provides this coinmixing service can accomplish all of it at once, in theory, using a series of independent wallets. Tikrp I answered your question. Those transactions can’t happen because that is not what RippIe is meant for. Anonymity goes against the very core of ripple that is trust based among other answers. Hodor @TikRp makes some powerful arguments about the future of Ripple, and how they could potentially ignore pathshuffle and still succeed. Yes, they could, but he also admits to wondering about if Ripple might make some tool that is much better than that, and that he would be open to using it then. I agree with him. I also agree with him on the point that cooperation with regulators and the progression of Ripple's business is more important than any end-user focused anonymity providing tool that can be provided with Pathshuffle. I don't think Ripple has to sponsor this tool to benefit from it, however. A third party could develop it, and Ripple could effectively stand aside as their public RCL is used in this fashion. Tikrp He agrees so I win? Mercury LOL. Due to time restraints we will skip the last rebuttals, debaters prepare your final points and closing remarks. @TikRp, you will go first. Closing Remarks Tikrp As seen in this debate, ripple has much at stake in implementing the pathshuffIe protocol. My opponent would have you believe that pathshuffIe is a shining star sent from heaven and that ripple will crumble without implementing it. But as I have shown he is wrong. Ripple has come a long way without taking risks like implementing a third party protocol that will increase its transaction time as well as increase transaction fees on the ripple network without even mentioning that it will attack the very core of ripple which is trust based and would be completely changed by the introduction of anonymity and the privacy protections that worry my opponent so much. I believe that ripple can succeed and the company Ripple doesn’t need to integrate a protocol that can damage its image globally and also damage its reputation with regulators. It’s too much of a risk to take. A risk, which can so easily lead to the Silk Road disasters of bitcoin. Ripple is unique in the crypto world and this uniqueness has brought it massive success So if it ain't broken, then don’t fix it. Ripple is on course to be a mega success and the risks associated with pathshuffIe aren’t worth taking as my opponent would have you believe. Faster speeds and lower fees and compliance with regulations and the law are what ripple needs and these are what have made ripple so successful. Not something that attacks the very core of a system that is based on trust. To conclude, Ripple is on the winning road and the implementation of pathshuffIe is definitely a step back for the company and doesn’t represent progress. If the call for an anonymous protocol becomes too strong for the company to resist then am sure they will answer it with a much superior product to pathshuffle with or without a third party. Thank you for lending me your attention today. To success with ripple! Hodor First off, I’d like to thank @Mercury for scheduling and moderating this debate – it was a challenging topic, and I now think I have enough material for a blog entry! Secondly, I’d like to thank @TikRp for taking the opposing side and presenting a spirited discussion about how usage of pathshuffle should be approached. He voiced many of the criticisms of anonymous transactions, and if Ripple adopts pathshuffle to any extent, they will have to address these with regulators proactively. Now for my closing points: @TikRp has made some powerful arguments about Ripple needing to tread carefully with regulators. I believe that he makes a very strong point, and I agree (at a high level) with it. However, we differ on the issue of pathshuffle. I believe that Ripple can utilize transaction privacy and anonymity while still complying with applicable nations’ laws. Not only can they do this, they absolutely need to work with regulators to explain why their customers (banks and financial institutions, not to mention vulnerable XRP end-users) need transaction privacy and even anonymity in some cases. My opponent has also presented arguments that are commonly used by governmental institutions for not allowing cryptography or anonymity. But these arguments are overly-simplistic. Why try to prevent the use of a third party tool to preserve anonymity on the RCL, when it's much more efficient for regulators to demand KYC procedures and other anti-money laundering procedures at the exchanges? Janet Yellen has stated that "“We want to make sure that useful and welfare enhancing innovations can take place in way that we do not stifle them..." (source: http://www.econotimes.com/Federal-Reserve-carefully-monitoring-blockchain-and-fintech-innovations-says-Janet-Yellen-495936 ) To compete internationally, Ripple needs to provide the necessary tools for banks and other clients with sensitive data to mask transactions on a sliding scale, from "mildly confidential" to "complete anonymity." This is good for bank and financial institution clients both, and it's good for the need to protect information about not only embarrassing purchases, but for important health-care related transactions. I want the protocol behind XRP to be able to protect those customers that have a legitimate, legal need for anonymous transactions. My opponent would argue that the need to stop nefarious uses of anonymity outweighs the legitimate needs for privacy and anonymity. I disagree; you cannot have one without the other, and to dumb down Ripple’s set of software tools that it offers banks, solely to ease law enforcement is not the correct approach. Instead, the needs of law enforcement can be balanced with the need for transaction privacy and even anonymity. Having both an in-house, Ripple-developed tool for banks and financial institutions to mask transactions with confidentiality or anonymity is the right approach for Ripple, and allows them to better serve a set of very conservative organizations that handle large volumes of private information. Having a third party tool – like pathshuffle – to anonymize transactions on the Ripple network allows for XRP to compete in the short term with other crypto-currencies that have shown a sizable market capitalization based on their sole ability to support privacy. A third party tool is not something that Ripple can prevent, but it's definitely something that can positively affect XRP liquidity and price! Mercury I will reserve the last word for myself. I personally want to extend a big thanks to both Hodor and Tikrp for taking the time and effort needed to participate in this live debate on a weekend, time zones and continents apart, superseding holidays, birthdays and even in the face of a tornado watch... It takes a lot of effort to be the first to try anything new and I really appreciate these gentlemen stepping up.
My latest blog entry: https://xrphodor.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/xrp-ripple-and-the-difference-between-privacy-and-anonymity/ This dovetails with the debate that I had yesterday about the same topic, moderated by Mercury on the Discord application. He will be publishing the debate verbatim under separate cover later. The most interesting note is that after thinking about the outcome of the debate, I shifted my position more towards my opponent than the stance that I took in the debate. My blog entry reflects my true opinion on the topic, while the debate reflects the role I played by only arguing the "pro" side of the coin! I hope you like the blog entry. tl:dr version: I believe Ripple should offer privacy to its conservative banking customers, but I don't think there is a need for XRP payments to be completely anonymous, and I don't think Ripple needs to get mixed up in what I believe will amount to a regulatory crackdown on these "anonymous coin" protocols. Instead, they need to maintain course in full cooperation with regulatory and governmental authorities, not try to circumvent them.