Ripple Developers Hurry to Fix XRP’s Blockchain Flaws Which Could Slow Down The Network

XRP’s blockchain needed a quick fix to prevent it from slowing down due to spam. Decrypt reports that a flaw in the XRP blockchain has been discovered and a fix is in the works. An anonymous developer built an open-source tool which allows individuals to upload any file no matter the size onto the blockchain of XRP.

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The Flaw Could Be Potentially Dangerous if Discovered By A Spammer

This tool exploits the destination tag or memo field which all XRP transactions have. Its main role is to help in identifying transactions. Even though the memo field was created to be immutable and indestructible, it could be potentially dangerous in the hands of spammers. The application could push up transaction costs and slow down the network. Ripple devs are already on the matter and promise that it would be fixed immediately.

Wieste Wind, XRP tipbot developer spoke about the discovery of this flaw. He said,

Let’s start with a big thanks & hats off to you, as we can’t have enough development in this ecosystem. BUT, on a different note: I’m worried. I operate a full history node on the XRP ledger.

Why This Is A Problem for The Network

Blockchains are designed to store data, but it becomes a problem when the data is not limited by size. Also, for a blockchain to be secure, many people need to hold the complete history of the network on personal computers. When the log history increases in size, the number of people that can afford to hold the history locally drops. To illustrate, consider Bitcoin’s network history which is 226GB. If a spammer dumps huge files into the XRP memo fields, it would swamp the network with additional storage. This would make the network expensive to run.

This seems feasible, but it also means that the spammer would spend a lot of money to generate spam transactions to be able to cause damage to the network. still, it would be risky to leave it unattended as some people believe this flaw can take down the XRP blockchain.

At the moment, a Discord group has been organized to attempt an attack on the XRP blockchain. The group will do so by uploading large amounts of sizeable transactions at a go. This has not worked so far. This group is made up of people who are regular visitors of 4chan, the notorious anonymous forum. It is clear that they have not been able to afford the attack or just can’t coordinate successfully.

Wind Worries It Could Be Used To Upload Illegal Material

XRP Tipbot developer, Wieste Wind also worries that the tool may be used for illegal uploads such as child abuse and the likes. This may affect the legal status of running a full node. Some other developers believe that this won’t be the case since bitcoin blockchain has handled such occurrences and nothing had been done to shut it down.

Wind offered a few suggestions about how to fix the issue on the Github account of XRP. He suggested that the network should charge fees for its protection. Some developers have agreed with Wind, while others slightly agree, stating that the fees should be lower. At the time of this writing, there has not been a decision on the matter.

David Schwartz, Ripple CTO also spoke about the issue. He said,

“On the bright side, I don’t believe there’s any serious short-term attack. I believe the threat is that an attacker can maliciously gradually increase the cost of running a server and keeping history over a long period of time.” Which is like the black knight saying, “tis but a scratch.”

Brian Lubin is a Crypto News Reporter for Smartereum. He's well-known for his reports on the crypto markets.


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