The latest installment of Block Stars is the first of a two-part conversation between current Ripple CTO David Schwartz and former Ripple CTO and Coil CEO Stefan Thomas. David and Stefan first met at Ripple after Stefan was hired for his previous job bringing Bitcoin to web browsers.
“My claim to fame was to be the browser crypto guy,” he tells David. Stefan wanted to help make Bitcoin more accessible and general, but the limitations of a pre-existing common ledger made changes slow and experimentation impossible.
His chance to innovate with features like multi-currency support and faster confirmation times came when he came to Ripple and created the Interledger Protocol (ILP) and further developed the XRP Ledger. Though ideas sometimes didn’t work, as revealed by a fascinating discussion about the decision not to build smart contract features into the XRP ledger.
“We wanted to optimize security, performance and basic functions,” he recalls. “Smart contracts were an interesting opportunity for the future, but … the better architecture was not to have the code in the ledger itself.”
Now listen to the first part of David and Stefan’s conversation to learn how ILP became a separate system for smart contracts, as well as more anecdotes and insights into the beginnings of Bitcoin and the development of the Ripple company.