David “JoelKatz” Schwartz, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the payment firm Ripple Labs, has weighed in on several community questions regarding the missing genesis block on the XRP Ledger.
Ripple CTO On Missing Genesis Block
Schwartz took to the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to address the issues behind the XRP ledger’s missing genesis block. He revealed his insights in response to questions from a community member about the XRP ledger’s atypical beginning at block 32,569.
The community member, known as MetaMan, expressed doubt and underscored how crucial transparency is to holders of XRP, and he requested that the Ripple CTO confirm if there is “any other blockchain that lost its genesis block.”
The uniqueness of the genesis block has been questioned before now. Several critics suggested that the firm had ulterior reasons behind the missing ledgers, which Schwartz earlier refuted.
In response to MetaMan’s question, the CTO of the payment firm drew a comparison to the uncertainty of Ethereum‘s (ETH) genesis block. Schwartz pointed out that Ethereum does not publicly record transactions that occurred before its official launch.
The choice of what to consider the genesis block is arbitrary. For example, ETH has lots of transactions before its genesis block that are not in the publicly available record.
The Ripple chief further cited a particular transaction of 2,622 ETH that moved over $6 million on August 3, 2016, while sharing the transaction Hash details. He then asked, “Where did that ETH originate from? Where’s the transaction that explains it?.”
However, another XRP community member disagreed with the Ripple CTO after going through the hash details shared by Schwartz. The member recognized transactions demonstrating the transfer of 40,000 ETH during the Ethereum genesis block.
Thus, Schwartz highlighted that the member was right but noted that there was no source. Additionally, he noted there is a transaction that will explain where the 40,000 ETH came from, “but it was not part of the public blockchain.”
He knows this because it was his transaction. He further explained that Ethereum’s genesis block was carefully chosen, and the source of those 40,000 ETH was hidden from the public’s eye.
Schwartz Believes The Decision Is Arbitrary
In response to a question about whether the 40,000 ETH “came out of thin air,” the Ripple official clarified that considering the public blockchain, they did. Although, he did explain that Ethereum insiders know more about the situation.
So far, the chief has asserted that such decisions were arbitrary, including XRPL’s genesis block beginning at ledger 32,569. He stressed the decisions were made in order to “obscure fund sources.”
Schwartz, being one of the creators, verified that the Genesis ledger of the chain did not have any transactions in the instance of the XRP Ledger. He noted that 534 transactions, which are obviously lost now, were included in the initial 32,570 ledgers.
Featured image from iStock, chart from Tradingview.com