In the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, innovation is a double-edged sword. What may seem to be a major breakthrough to some can ultimately cause major repercussions for others. In the case of Ripple’s XRP ledger, a recently released open-source tool has caused quite a few headaches, even though there was no ill intent by the developer.
The Indlmm Messaging Protocol
Whereas most blockchains are used to store transactional information, they can easily serve a much wider array of purposes as well. Even where the XRP ledger is concerned, there is no reason to just stick to recording transactions on the network. One developer decided to release a tool known as Indlmm, which has its own native messaging protocol. With this tool, users could upload any type of file or size to the Ripple blockchain, creating an immutable and indestructible record.
Announcing the beta release of IndImm. IndImm, using the IndImm Messaging Protocol(IMP) on top of the #Ripple #blockchain, allows users to upload files of ANY SIZE to the ripple blockchain and exist forever to be downloaded, #Indestructible and #Immutable. #crypto #censorship pic.twitter.com/VCZsrpmNUm
— IndImm – Upload Any Size File to Ripple Blockchain (@ind_imm) July 23, 2019
On paper, there is nothing wrong with this approach. Even though the XRP ledger is primarily designed for financial purposes, being able to store files on it could be a very interesting option to explore. Especially for corporate users who are experimenting with this ledger already, such added benefits would be more than welcome. Unfortunately, it seems this tool has opened up a can of worms which will need to be addressed by the Ripple developer sin the weeks and months ahead.
A Dangerous Open Door
By allowing anyone and everyone to upload files of any format and size to the XRP ledger, a very interesting albeit potentially dangerous situation is created. In theory, nothing prevents someone from uploading potentially copyrighted, adult, or inappropriate material onto this ledger. Bitcoin has a history in this regard as well, as someone managed to upload child pornography on the blockchain a long time ago. Not the kind of moniker a project wants to be associated with.
One also has to wonder why such a tool should be released to the general public at this time. Given how many people frown upon Ripple and its XRP project in this industry, it is only normal to assume a lot of harm can be done with this tool in rather quick succession. Additionally, with no file limit in place by default, the XRP ledger blockchain could grow well beyond its current size, which is far from beneficial to this particular network. There are plenty of kinks to work out, for rather obvious reasons, yet the tool may have some merit in the end.
Targeted Attack Shapes up
It did not take long for some nefarious individuals to get together and create a Discord group to attack the XRP ledger by using this new tool. Their goal was to upload massive transactions in one go and effectively overload the full history nodes on the network. While it seems no real damage has been done in the process, this just goes to show how much animosity there is toward Ripple. It also appears the Discord group is no longer accessible at this time, which may confirm the team has given up on this idea.
What Comes Next?
With a lot of potential aspects to be highlighted and addressed, it remains to be seen how the Ripple team will go about protecting the network. There is the option to limit file sizes for uploads, as well as introduce a different fee structure altogether. For the time being, no definitive course of action has been taken as of yet, albeit more information is expected to be released in the days and weeks ahead.
Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency.