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Build with Confidence on the XRP Ledger: Programmability in a Multichain World

Blockchain is ushering in a new era of decentralized, independent, and fully transparent applications. While Web2 brought us impressive application experiences, it also came with corporate dependencies, privacy policies, and centralized control. Web3 offers developers the freedom to build applications that are truly autonomous, open to all, and decentralized, with no central authority. In this exciting multichain landscape, the XRP Ledger is making significant strides in attracting and empowering developers by providing a safer and simpler alternative with built-in programmability.

The Smart Contract Dilemma

Many blockchain platforms rely on smart contracts to drive applications. Smart contracts, while powerful, come with their own set of challenges. They are immutable, tamper-proof pieces of code residing on the blockchain, responsible for facilitating agreements between users and the chain. The downside is that once deployed, smart contracts cannot be easily modified. If a vulnerability is discovered, it can be exploited, leading to significant risks and losses. We’ve seen a number of these exploits impact the space over the last few years, and the developments have no doubt had an impact on developers.

The XRPL Approach

The XRPL takes a unique approach to application development, offering a safer alternative to smart contracts. Instead of relying on complex smart contract logic, the XRPL is programmable in the sense that core developers can create native protocols like the AMM, NFTs, etc. There are object types like Trustlines and actions like Mint, Escrow, etc. allowing developers to interact with protocols. Developers are able to build applications on top of protocols, using common programming languages like Python, JS, and more.

Strengths of the XRPL Approach:

  1. Flexibility and Safety: At the core, the XRP Ledger is a shared database that records information such as accounts, balances, and offers to trade assets. Signed instructions called “transactions” cause changes such as creating accounts, making payments, and trading assets. Every server processes every transaction according to the same deterministic, known rules. Ultimately, the goal is for every server in the network to have a complete copy of the exact same ledger state, without needing a single central authority to arbitrate transactions. Within this, protocols are purposefully designed and implemented as native features of the XRPL. To add a new one (like an AMM for example), an amendment process must take place whereby validators debate and test all assumptions, and only vote it in as a live feature when they are convinced it will work as intended and not negatively impact the XRPL.
  2. User-Friendly Development: The XRPL approach simplifies the development process. Developers can implement complex features with ease, making it accessible for both seasoned developers and newcomers to Web3.
  3. Native Tokenization Support: The XRPL natively supports tokenization and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), eliminating the need for developers to create and manage smart contracts. This streamlines the tokenization process and promotes accessibility.
  4. Automated Market Maker (AMM): The upcoming XLS-30 amendment introduces a native AMM on the XRPL, enhancing DeFi possibilities. This AMM functionality simplifies token swaps and liquidity provision while minimizing risk for liquidity providers.

Powerful programmability

The XRPL embraces innovation and interoperability. The XRPL community is actively exploring sidechains, with the EVM sidechain for the XRP Ledger available on a new version of Devnet (v2), as of June 2023. This allows the XRPL ecosystem to incorporate Ethereum’s Solidity-based smart contracts for those who prefer them.

The EVM sidechain is effectively optimized for DeFi. Builders will have the opportunity to be one of the first to market their DeFi app on a new chain that is home to a user base of over 4.5M XRP wallet holders. Builders will be able to utilize familiar smart contract languages to build and deploy cross-chain dApps seamlessly. EVM sidechain is built with CometBFT to enable 3.5 second block times and low gas fees that are paid for in XRP. You are also able to utilize the secure bridge, XLS-38, to transfer funds seamlessly between XRPL Mainnet and the EVM sidechain, ensuring easy navigation.

Getting Started

The journey begins by considering factors such as adoption, development ease, ledger functionality, environmental impact, transaction efficiency, and community support. With abundant resourcesdeveloper grants, and learning platforms like the online learning portal, the XRPL developer community welcomes newcomers with open arms.

Together, developers are paving the way for the future of blockchain, and the XRPL leads this exciting evolution.