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The prices may be down but so are the block times!


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What I'd like to understand is... theoretically could some very smart devs not just rebuild all the XRPL features (trustlines, DEX, autobridging, pathfinding, etc) on an Avalanche/Flare type system? It'd be far superior. You have built-in incentives, smart contracts, no Ripple/SEC baggage, tons of extra features etc etc... but without any performance trade-off. In fact, it performs WAY better than XRPL, with higher (but still small) fees. I personally prefer that trade off. Why not create an incredible next-gen payments engine on Flare/Avalanche etc?

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3 hours ago, thinlyspread said:

What I'd like to understand is... theoretically could some very smart devs not just rebuild all the XRPL features (trustlines, DEX, autobridging, pathfinding, etc) on an Avalanche/Flare type system? It'd be far superior. You have built-in incentives, smart contracts, no Ripple/SEC baggage, tons of extra features etc etc... but without any performance trade-off. In fact, it performs WAY better than XRPL, with higher (but still small) fees. I personally prefer that trade off. Why not create an incredible next-gen payments engine on Flare/Avalanche etc?

I'm up to my shoulders in DeFi, but most of what's done in smart contracts doesn't need to be done in smart contracts. I would bet that many of them aren't implemented in a truly decentralized way. The devs still have the ability to change the contract at any time - might as well run a centralized server in that case, it's more efficient. I think smart contacts are mostly used to get around regulations. Most of them couldn't actually stand up to the full force of a government cracking down on them like a truly immutable smart contract that just runs with no possible human interaction could.

I guess what I'm saying is, payments and smart contracts are two different objectives. I think Ripple had the right idea back in 2015 when they wanted to build separate stacks for decentralized payments and decentralized business logic (smart contacts). Unfortunately, they never really followed through on that. I like the potential of where Ripple's sidechains could go if they really are coming in the next few months. David Schwartz already said Ripple is building an EVM sidechain. I hope someone builds a Tendermint/Cosm-Wasm one too. And just for fun why not a network with Avalanche's consensus and Solana's virtual machine. Is that even possible?

P.S. I'm not denigrating DeFi. I love DeFi. I just think the main reason it's been so successful is mostly because it found a shady valley outside of the regulators' gaze where it can develop its own financial instruments without all the baggage, middlemen, and rent-seekers that come along with TradFi. I don't think there's necessarily something magical about smart contracts, certainly not in the way they're used today which still involves a whole lot of trust.

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Thanks Brian. Always prefer honesty, don't mind disagreement. However, actually I agree with most of what you said. As far as smart contracts go, sure – it's really just "business logic". xxNetwork is doing that off-chain in a clever way. Maybe it'll work out. XRPL devs pushing all logic to a sidechain (given Codius is... dead/dormant?), or perhaps using something like hooks, is fine by me and makes a lot of sense as far as composability goes, and sandboxing/compartmentalising risk. But if on-chain logic doesn't affect performance (Flare, Avalanche, Solana etc can do potentially tens of thousands of transactions per second WITH smart contracts), then surely the "trade offs" argument is a bit weak these days?

But I also think that on-chain is here to stay for a while, whether it gets made redundant or superceded later or not. I mean we already have far better tech than Ethereum, but network effects last a long time, and it is still the King in the smart contracts world as far as general uptake. I also think you're on point that probably the vast majority of SCs are "useless", by which I mean, not useful in the real world for the average joe-shmoe. There's still a lot of naivety or wishful thinking in terms of what "use case" really means – some of the Flare/Songbird influencers for example keep claiming utility utility utility... but it's BS, all they actually ever mean is just tokens within tokens forever and ever. Anyone can claim "utility" retroactively for doing any minor or abstract task and pretend it's wildly significant to the rest of the world, when it's not. Nothing is really touching the real world in crypto as yet in terms of solving day to day problems for people, with a few niche exceptions. 95% is just "number go up?". The most impactful real world solutions I have seen are things like Ripple's ODL (but which likely does NOT even work if Ripple have to buy XRP! Hence lawsuit...) and things like Handshake HNS. All these social tokens, game tokens, etc, are really only there for one reason: FUNDRAISING and enrichment. Otherwise you could just use the currently available tokens.

So again, do we really "need" infinite tokens for all this? I mean, could we just have one token that does everything else on sidechains/subnets/biz logic etc? Maybe, if it all interoperates one day. But we're headed to a hypertokenization bubble regardless and we have to remember that ignoring the trend of incentives for networks effects is a death sentence in this market – just look at how pathetic the XRPL DEX is compared to far inferior (in many ways) technology like Uniswap, Sushi, etc, despite having years of time & tech advantage. It's been a graveyard thanks to a lack of incentivization, which is to do with (coming full circle on your point) a lack of built-in network utiity for XRP (except as "postage stamp", which is laughable). Hence why, although most XRP holders won't admit it, we're very much dependent on Ripple. Without them, 90% of XRP holders would sell – they just lie about it online because they know the securities case affects "number goes up". Which is part of the problem, everyone secretly just cares about profits, so they're not objective about what they own. Ripple totally ignored such incentives (for good or bad) and had the arrogance to pretend to be XRP(L) "stewards" for years while hoarding XRP (or worse, keeping it "in the club" as far as grants/payouts) and doing nothing with it for average XRP users/holders or nodes, only to then appear astounded as to why the general public was not using the DEX, building products, or running nodes! :/ 

So maybe this gets solved in other ways over time. I personally think Ripple will (or should) add XRP into Flare smart contracts (FXRP) that algorithmically distribute "their" XRP from useless escrows over to those people & projects who provide liquidity/bridges between strategic pairs (to benefit ODL etc) on the XRPL. If they continue to do nothing, I'd personally support the community or even the "Evil SEC" in forcing their hand and even burning XRP. This is the core issue with not having on-chain tokenomics, IMO – no predictable value distribution policy. 

But my overall point was that, given how fast the technology space is advancing, is the XRPL really that far advanced any more? I don't think so – I think we've been in a bubble. It's probably not even in the top 10 in terms of txps etc. It still has perhaps the lowest fees and loads of neat advancements. But why not then take these cool XRPL features and transpose them on potentially better, newer consensus methods if the busines slogic layer being on-chain doesn't actually affect performance on them?! In fact, to counter an argument there, one could argue that if you stripped out all the non-essentials of Avalanche/Flare, and made it ground-up for payments exclusively, it could be even better, cheaper, faster. But I don't know, I'd love to hear a top engineer talk me through perhaps why XRPL is special and canot be replicated on a different network protocol? If it can be replicated e.g. on Avalanche, why even bother to remove the business logic from on-chain if it doesn't slow anything down? One could still do the logic off-chain, if preferred, but retain the option. And you'd get 50,000+ tps instead of 1,500 and block times of sub 1 sec, instead of 3-4 secs. 

I don't know, I just think while each type of chain implementation and design has a niche or trade off, this whole "gamification" of incentives is on to something in terms of pschological/behavioral dynamics. As gross as it can be, and as ridiculous as the "infinite tokens" thing has become, defi has clearly shown to me that tokenomics & incentives, not wishful thinking, does "just work" for building out a user base and supporting nodes etc. I only see abject failure in "the best incentive is no incentive" philosophy thus far but maybe I'm just jaded. But I'm also open to new ideas and tech, and all around I see advancement, while the XRPL has all these cool features... but which are not being used. 

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5 hours ago, thinlyspread said:

These next gen protocols are just leaving the pre-2017 ones in the dust. Adapt & evolve or die! 

Maybe some day!  But currently, BTC and ETH still seem to be kicking around :)   I know what you mean though. 

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1 hour ago, RandyMarsh said:

Maybe some day!  But currently, BTC and ETH still seem to be kicking around :)   I know what you mean though. 

Yeah it'll take some time to knock BTC & ETH off their perches. Network effects etc. But I am talking long term, once we're out of this speculative bubble.

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5 hours ago, thinlyspread said:

All these social tokens, game tokens, etc, are really only there for one reason: FUNDRAISING and enrichment. Otherwise you could just use the currently available tokens.

I agree with a lot of what you’ve written, but I would add a note here that crypto has to a certain extent decentralized/distributed enrichment and that that is a good thing. Crypto has opened up a new area of wealth management that is accessible to all, and has given hope (even if it is often a false hope) to many of the younger generation who have been systematically priced out/frozen out of traditional assets. In that sense these tokens are serving their purpose.

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7 hours ago, thinlyspread said:

Thanks Brian. Always prefer honesty, don't mind disagreement. However, actually I agree with most of what you said. As far as smart contracts go, sure – it's really just "business logic". xxNetwork is doing that off-chain in a clever way. Maybe it'll work out. XRPL devs pushing all logic to a sidechain (given Codius is... dead/dormant?), or perhaps using something like hooks, is fine by me and makes a lot of sense as far as composability goes, and sandboxing/compartmentalising risk. But if on-chain logic doesn't affect performance (Flare, Avalanche, Solana etc can do potentially tens of thousands of transactions per second WITH smart contracts), then surely the "trade offs" argument is a bit weak these days?

But I also think that on-chain is here to stay for a while, whether it gets made redundant or superceded later or not. I mean we already have far better tech than Ethereum, but network effects last a long time, and it is still the King in the smart contracts world as far as general uptake. I also think you're on point that probably the vast majority of SCs are "useless", by which I mean, not useful in the real world for the average joe-shmoe. There's still a lot of naivety or wishful thinking in terms of what "use case" really means – some of the Flare/Songbird influencers for example keep claiming utility utility utility... but it's BS, all they actually ever mean is just tokens within tokens forever and ever. Anyone can claim "utility" retroactively for doing any minor or abstract task and pretend it's wildly significant to the rest of the world, when it's not. Nothing is really touching the real world in crypto as yet in terms of solving day to day problems for people, with a few niche exceptions. 95% is just "number go up?". The most impactful real world solutions I have seen are things like Ripple's ODL (but which likely does NOT even work if Ripple have to buy XRP! Hence lawsuit...) and things like Handshake HNS. All these social tokens, game tokens, etc, are really only there for one reason: FUNDRAISING and enrichment. Otherwise you could just use the currently available tokens.

So again, do we really "need" infinite tokens for all this? I mean, could we just have one token that does everything else on sidechains/subnets/biz logic etc? Maybe, if it all interoperates one day. But we're headed to a hypertokenization bubble regardless and we have to remember that ignoring the trend of incentives for networks effects is a death sentence in this market – just look at how pathetic the XRPL DEX is compared to far inferior (in many ways) technology like Uniswap, Sushi, etc, despite having years of time & tech advantage. It's been a graveyard thanks to a lack of incentivization, which is to do with (coming full circle on your point) a lack of built-in network utiity for XRP (except as "postage stamp", which is laughable). Hence why, although most XRP holders won't admit it, we're very much dependent on Ripple. Without them, 90% of XRP holders would sell – they just lie about it online because they know the securities case affects "number goes up". Which is part of the problem, everyone secretly just cares about profits, so they're not objective about what they own. Ripple totally ignored such incentives (for good or bad) and had the arrogance to pretend to be XRP(L) "stewards" for years while hoarding XRP (or worse, keeping it "in the club" as far as grants/payouts) and doing nothing with it for average XRP users/holders or nodes, only to then appear astounded as to why the general public was not using the DEX, building products, or running nodes! :/ 

So maybe this gets solved in other ways over time. I personally think Ripple will (or should) add XRP into Flare smart contracts (FXRP) that algorithmically distribute "their" XRP from useless escrows over to those people & projects who provide liquidity/bridges between strategic pairs (to benefit ODL etc) on the XRPL. If they continue to do nothing, I'd personally support the community or even the "Evil SEC" in forcing their hand and even burning XRP. This is the core issue with not having on-chain tokenomics, IMO – no predictable value distribution policy. 

But my overall point was that, given how fast the technology space is advancing, is the XRPL really that far advanced any more? I don't think so – I think we've been in a bubble. It's probably not even in the top 10 in terms of txps etc. It still has perhaps the lowest fees and loads of neat advancements. But why not then take these cool XRPL features and transpose them on potentially better, newer consensus methods if the busines slogic layer being on-chain doesn't actually affect performance on them?! In fact, to counter an argument there, one could argue that if you stripped out all the non-essentials of Avalanche/Flare, and made it ground-up for payments exclusively, it could be even better, cheaper, faster. But I don't know, I'd love to hear a top engineer talk me through perhaps why XRPL is special and canot be replicated on a different network protocol? If it can be replicated e.g. on Avalanche, why even bother to remove the business logic from on-chain if it doesn't slow anything down? One could still do the logic off-chain, if preferred, but retain the option. And you'd get 50,000+ tps instead of 1,500 and block times of sub 1 sec, instead of 3-4 secs. 

I don't know, I just think while each type of chain implementation and design has a niche or trade off, this whole "gamification" of incentives is on to something in terms of pschological/behavioral dynamics. As gross as it can be, and as ridiculous as the "infinite tokens" thing has become, defi has clearly shown to me that tokenomics & incentives, not wishful thinking, does "just work" for building out a user base and supporting nodes etc. I only see abject failure in "the best incentive is no incentive" philosophy thus far but maybe I'm just jaded. But I'm also open to new ideas and tech, and all around I see advancement, while the XRPL has all these cool features... but which are not being used. 

I don't even think I was disagreeing with you. Your post just made me think of a rant I had - it was kind of a tangent.

You're right that the XRPL is at best no longer special in terms of transaction times, volumes, fees, etc. Its lack of smart contracts is obviously a huge weakness.

The things that set the XRPL apart, rippling and pathfinding and the built in DEX, etc. remain different to this day because philosophically the XRPL is designed differently. Arthur, David, and Jed really abstracted out the concept of what money is and then reimplemented it as a distributed ledger. The whole crypto world followed the Ethereum model which is designed to create programmable assets not currency per se. They've knocked it out of the park with smart contracts, but they're just not built to efficiently do what the XRPL does (neither can the XRPL run smart contracts, obviously).

I agree with you that there's too many tokens. Way too many projects just pump them out so they can bribe people to use their apps without actually spending their own resources. But at the same time there's some really interesting things going on with tokenization. You have a token that represents an investment in one smart contract that gets used in some other contract which gets used in another contract. Money Legos. Ordinary people have never had access to this kind of stuff before.

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12 hours ago, brianwalden said:

The things that set the XRPL apart, rippling and pathfinding and the built in DEX, etc. remain different to this day because philosophically the XRPL is designed differently. Arthur, David, and Jed really abstracted out the concept of what money is and then reimplemented it as a distributed ledger.

Right, but this is what I'm getting at. In theory, couldn't that be ported to a different blockchain architecture? Or is there some engineering reason why you need to have the RTXP (Ripple Transaction Protocol) architecture for these features? I'm really keen to understand why, assuming there is a logical reason, XRPL is the only chain that can perform these things efficiently.

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For example: previously no one thought you could make smart contracts as efficient as e.g. Avalanche/Flare. Then came the consensus breakthroughs. Flare also solves for the bridging/trust problem of interoperability with f-assets, state connector, EVM, etc. 

Another example: Coreum is going to have an orderbook type DEX, like the XRPL. But higher txps – if you believe the claims. 

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1 hour ago, thinlyspread said:

Right, but this is what I'm getting at. In theory, couldn't that be ported to a different blockchain architecture? Or is there some engineering reason why you need to have the RTXP (Ripple Transaction Protocol) architecture for these features? I'm really keen to understand why, assuming there is a logical reason, XRPL is the only chain that can perform these things efficiently.

Yeah, I don't have the technical knowledge to answer what you're asking. It's a good question.

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4 hours ago, brianwalden said:

Yeah, I don't have the technical knowledge to answer what you're asking. It's a good question.

I once asked David Schwartz on this forum about whether hypothetically stripping out the DEX of the XRPL would improve pure txps, throughput, etc. He said it probably would, but performance gain might be negligible. I can't find that thread now, but anyway that's what originally got me thinking about what it is – at a deep architectural level – that allows XRPL to do trustlines, pathfinding, DEX, etc so darn efficiently, and whether that was uniquely bound to the consensus & structure used by the current XRPL/RTXP.

What I'm curious about lately is how Flare (FCP) mixes various consensus types from DAG/Hashgtaph, Stellar (SCP), Avalanche, and so forth, and thus whether it could leverage some of these incredibly efficient ledger mechanics to handle orderbook DEX throughput.

1138058499_Screenshot2022-01-07at19_29_59.thumb.png.978f209c4bee9844d2116e66c9e394e3.png

EDIT: Basically, I'm imagining the possibility of a 50,000+ txps (with under 1s finality!) version of XRPL, with simplified smart contracts built in. :) 

Edited by thinlyspread
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21 hours ago, thinlyspread said:

For example: previously no one thought you could make smart contracts as efficient as e.g. Avalanche/Flare. Then came the consensus breakthroughs. Flare also solves for the bridging/trust problem of interoperability with f-assets, state connector, EVM, etc. 

Another example: Coreum is going to have an orderbook type DEX, like the XRPL. But higher txps – if you believe the claims. 

Technically, yes. Anything is possible.

But a more practical and likely possibility is to upgrade consensus on XRPL to a better algorithm when it’s appropriate. The design supports changing the consensus. There’s no need to do it now because even the current TPS is hardly used.

The reality is that higher txps or more features don’t matter much as long as you are generally very fast. Liquidity is what matters and building that from the ground up is hard. Building a sustainable business that maintains that liquidity over bull and bear markets is even harder. 

Rippling is by far one of the most important and unique capabilities that XRPL has. Once asset tokenisation becomes legal and feasible across the world, the amount of liquidity it’ll enable will be tremendous. For example, you might be able to use your fractional ownership of a house in Tokyo as collateral to get tickets for the FIFA World Cup final, exchange those for some concert tickets, and then exchange those for an all paid resort and spa for you and your partner in Hawaii, all on chain. Bridging all kinds of assets across several countries in real time is the next big financial market. The “every” market. And features like Rippling, ownership assertion with NFTs, legal mechanisms like Asset Tokenization (which will still require centralised custodians) and a DEX to trade in are all crucial.

Edited by Ripley
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https://messari.io/article/serum-return-of-the-order-book

Quote

Enter Serum, a Solana-based decentralized exchange seeking to reinvent the way assets are traded in the decentralized economy. Their “central limit order book”—a fully on-chain, highly scalable order-matching mechanism—could power the next generation of interchange, from in-game marketplaces to high-frequency trading. To better understand the promise and risks of this ambitious project, let’s take a look at the broader decentralized exchange landscape, how Serum fits into it, and what the protocol’s tokenomics (SRM) means for investors.

 

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