Ripple Labs has just released a whitepaper describing the Ripple network’s consensus algorithm and its properties. The Ripple network combines Ryan Fugger’s original rippling ideas with a p2p transactional database. Consensus is the distributed agreement protocol that the Ripple network uses to irreversibly arbitrate changes to this database in just a few seconds.
Distributed agreement protocols like consensus must operate in the face of unreliable networks and malicious adversaries and must defend against failure modes in which the system might fail to process transactions or fail to agree on current balances. This white paper explains how Ripple’s consensus algorithm operates and how it provides a fast, reliable payment network.
We hope you find it useful. We plan to submit this for peer review but in the meantime, we look forward to a discussion about it.