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RippleX upgrades the design of XRP ledger sidechains

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Ripple CEO
Ripple CEO

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RippleX, the developer arm of crypto solutions provider Ripple, has upgraded the design of XRP Ledger’s sidechains. This update was shared by one of the software engineers, Scott Determan. The new design enables simpler implementation, thereby solving several errors that previously hindered efficiency.

The federated sidechains were launched in 2021 by the CTO of the protocol, David Schwartz. As designed, the sidechains function by helping developers to customize the XRP Ledger (XRPL) to complement their taste. Additionally, the project allows for the usage of smart contracts and more avenues to unlock the capacities of tokenization.

The sidechains, as designed, initially bank on software, “federator.” As reported, it helps to connect to “XRP Ledger Mainnet and to one (or more) sidechains on the other side.” The federator software enables users to process sidechains on the XRP Ledger “while maintaining the freedom to decide how their chains work.”

Determan said the protocol had placed the federated sidechains on previews a few months ago. This, according to him, was done to allow developers to “experiment with the transfer of tokens including the XRP Ledger’s native token XRP from the main XRPL to a sidechain.” He said the new upgrade on the sidechains manifested “after testing and reviewing community feedback from the preview.”

RippleX removes “Federator” and incorporates “Witness”

According to the engineer, the new design removes the federator feature from the sidechains and incorporates a new feature, “witness.” The feature reportedly avails additional seamlessness to encourage developers planning to start their journey with sidechains. With “Witness,” servers run independently, making testing and debugging easier. Also, it makes sidechains more robust in production and resolves several “pain points, such as fee escalation and transaction throughput.”

Unlike federator, where fees are paid by door resulting in awkward accounting for locked assets, witness allows payments via user accounts. More so, “witness” disallows the submission of transactions by servers. It allows users to specify a fee like any other transaction.

RippleX plans to work on an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) sidechain. According to the firm, this will pave the way for more developers to easily access the XRPL’s feature set, thereby bringing “existing Solidity-based smart contracts written for EVM-compatible chains to the XRPL.” 

Ripple’s arm said its first step in achieving the project is to release a decent prototype. Ripple X, however, hinted that it had made progress in the project, promising to update users in the coming weeks.

Also, Ripple X announced that the team behind XRPL Labs, XRP ledger, has initiated “Hooks with plans to deploy the functionality to an XRPL sidechain.” The arm believes the development will allow for programmability on XRPL.


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