THE COUNTER ARGUMENT
In the heat of a debate like this, it’s important to consider the opposite viewpoint. There’s no doubt that Ripple has traded off the decentralized nature of its XRP network for the sake of faster transaction speeds, lower fees, and more authorized control. However, let’s consider what the principle of “decentralization” actually entails. Is there really no hierarchy on the Bitcoin network?
Decentralization, meaning the lack of central authorities, is not entirely achievable. Sure with blockchain networks like Bitcoin, the proof of work can be provided by anyone on the network, meaning anyone can earn the mining reward. This makes it decentralized since no hierarchy exists amongst the nodes. However, as Bitcoin prices continue to rise, the mining reward does as well. This means that there is far more competition to try and earn the trust of the network.
Usually, when the competition between miners rises, the ones that come out on top are those with better computational resources, like more storage space and better processors. Now it’s important to ask yourself, is that truly decentralized? It seems as though the miners with access to the most computer resources tend to be the ones who introduce new coins to circulation. In other words, this network is also hierarchical.