The total number of validators on the XRP ledger currently add up to 68 after the Ripple company initiated the increment of validators back in July 2017. In the announcement back in July that was made by the Ripple team to add 55 new validators, the following information was provided:
Today we are excited to announce that the XRP Ledger ecosystem has expanded to 55 validator nodes, an increase of 120 percent since May. These new validators include WorldLink, Telindus-Proximus Group, Bahnhof (Swedish ISP) and AT TOKYO Corporation, and join a growing network of leading companies and organizations currently validating transactions on the XRP Ledger, including Microsoft, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and CGI.
Further checking the stats of validators on the Mini Validator List as of today, 15th August, we get a total of 68 validators with Ripple making up 21% of this number.
Further adjusting the settings of the Mini Validator List to only include the Unique Node Lists (UNLs), we find that Ripple’s dominance is once again lower than expected and at 48%.
What exactly are UNLs?
A Unique Node List (UNLs) is a list of transaction validators a given participant believes will not conspire to defraud them. Out of the 68 validators, only 21 are UNLs. Their selection is based on watching the history of their activities as the community gains trust in them. The Ripple company intends to remove itself from this process entirely by having network participants select their own lists based on publicly available data about validator quality.
We can tell that Ripple has already started this process of removing itself from UNLs due to the fact that it runs a total of 14 validators with only 10 of them being UNLs. The Ripple company had recommended 4 validators to become UNLs back on June 30th as can be seen in the tweet below:
In addition to their 14 validators, #Ripple now recommends $XRP validator operators trust 4 validators they don't run:@BahnhofAB (Sweden),@WorldLinkUS (US, Texas)@Telindustelecom (Luxembourg)@FlagshipSG (US, Florida)
I'm excited decentralization is progressing!
— rabbit (@RabbitKickClub) July 1, 2018
With the SEC keeping mum as to whether XRP is a security or not, the continual decentralization of the XRP ledger is slowly and surely falling into the description of a decentralized ledger as per SEC’s Director Hinman’s comments when he declared that Ethereum is not a security. To conclude by reminding ourselves his statements, Director Hinman stated the following as to why ETH was not a security:
Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions.