In recent discussions within the cryptocurrency community, the XRP Ledger (XRPL) has been scrutinized for its perceived limitations in supporting ordinals and their inscriptions.
The debate centers around the XRPL’s capacity to handle certain data inscriptions, sparking a dialogue on its scalability and overall reliability.
Inscriptions surge creates XRPL stress test
The controversy began when enthusiasts sought to replicate Bitcoin’s data inscription method on the XRPL by inscribing data on XRP drops, the smallest unit within the ledger. This initiative, known as “XRP20” inscriptions, led to an unprecedented surge in activity on the XRPL network.
Wietse Wind, the founder of XRPL Labs and a prominent developer for Xumm, commented on the situation, noting that the XRPL network is inadvertently undergoing a beneficial stress test due to the heightened traffic generated by these inscriptions.
Challenges in XRPL scalability
Despite earlier claims that the XRPL could support up to 1,500 transactions per second (TPS), the increased activity resulting from inscriptions has exposed limitations. The XRPL is operating at a mere 50 TPS, well below its alleged capabilities. This disparity has ignited discussions regarding the XRPL’s ability to scale effectively.
The situation is further compounded by Ripple CTO David Schwartz’s previous correction of the 1,500 TPS figure, suggesting a more realistic range of 300 to 500 TPS. This discrepancy has raised questions about the XRPL’s initial performance claims.
Unique technical challenge: unidentifiable XRP drops
Richard Holland, the Chief Technology Officer at XRPL Labs, highlighted a unique technical hurdle that sets XRPL apart from Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin’s satoshis, individual XRP drops cannot be uniquely identified. This limitation makes inscriptions on the XRPL considerably more challenging, if not unfeasible.
Consequently, the XRP20 inscription project was ultimately abandoned, with only a few users persisting in minting inscriptions, albeit at a reduced frequency. Holland’s confirmation of this technical distinction underscores the practical difficulties in implementing such inscriptions on the XRPL.
The XRPL inscription saga has elicited various responses from the cryptocurrency community and developers. Some see this episode as an unplanned yet valuable stress test for the network, shedding light on areas that require improvement.
Others, like Adam, CEO of NFT marketplace XRP Cafe, downplay the issues, attributing them to infrastructure shortcomings rather than inherent flaws in the XRPL.