2016 was an important year for Ripple. Banks were added to our growing network, we completed a successful Series B investment round and formed the Global Payments Steering Group. Underlying all those milestones was the Ripple Consensus Ledger (RCL), which runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and recently celebrated its 4th birthday on February 17, 2017. In 2016 alone, RCL closed over 8 million ledgers, processing more than 225 million transactions and handling more than $1 Billion dollars in payment volume throughout the year.
Today, for the first time, Ripple is proud to publicly announce that in recent internal benchmark testing, across 16 geographically distributed validators, the RCL is able to sustain nearly 1000 transactions per second.
For even higher throughput transactions, we recently introduced XRP payment channels, which allow for zero-latency XRP payments. Although payment channels achieve practically infinite scalability by decoupling payment from settlement, they do so without incurring the risk typically associated with delayed settlement.
Throughout 2016, the network received upgrades that seamlessly enabled new functionality and significantly improved performance. Fast ledger close times have been the hallmark of RCL since its inception and those were further improved last year. Ledgers now close, on average, every 3.5 seconds – a full 20% faster than they did a year ago.
The new fee escalation code was introduced to constantly monitor network load and adjust (in near real-time) the cost of executing transactions, which makes it more difficult to overload the network and further helps to ensure the long-term health and stability of RCL.
Stability, however, goes beyond improving performance and adding new features. At Ripple we place heavy emphasis on writing code that is secure, solid and robust. This singular focus on code quality has helped the Ripple network achieve availability and reliability well beyond industry standards with no outages.
With 2017 now well under way, we remain hard at work, focused on adding exciting new features to the RCL and further improving the performance, stability and quality of the rippled open source codebase. Most importantly, we remain more committed than ever to the simple goal of making XRP the world’s reserve digital currency.