Stellar, Ripple Trade Blame over Recent Fork That Led to Customer Losses

A recent error in Stellar’s (STR) protocol caused its ledger to fork, leading to losses of customer funds on at

A recent error in Stellar’s (STR) protocol caused its ledger to fork, leading to losses of customer funds on at least one exchange supporting its currency.

Jed McCaleb co-founded Stellar based off of rival Ripple, which he also co-founded. Stellar blames Ripple for flaws in the core protocol, saying that it favors system activity over transaction safety. According to a blog post:

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“The existing Ripple/Stellar consensus algorithm is implemented in a way that favors fault tolerance and termination over safety. This means it prioritizes ledger closes and availability over everyone actually agreeing on what the ledger is—thus opening up several potential risk scenarios.”

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Ripple shot back, saying the problem lies with Stellar’s implementation of its protocol. The protocol is secure, says its blog post, “assuming the validators are configured correctly.” The post did not specify where Stellar may have gone wrong, saying Ripple had not reviewed Stellar’s implementation.

One will recall that cryptocurrency exchange Justcoin also blamed Ripple for a vulnerability leading to a theft of 32 million XRP. Ripple maintained that Justcoin did not properly implement the protocol’s partial payments feature. Similarly, the early stages of the MtGox collapse saw the defunct exchange blame the Bitcoin protocol for a vulnerability, and Bitcoin technology experts slammed MtGox for not taking adequate measures to deal with what it said was a well-known issue.

In this spat, a casual observer will point out that if Stellar truly seeks to improve upon Ripple, this was its opportunity. In any event, the ideal currency of the future may emerge based on its merit of facilitating a scalable, misconfiguration-proof mode of implementation.

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