In what can only be described as a surprising turn of events, Ripple is looking to build a bridge, to connect with Ethereum. As unusual as it seems, Ripple, through its development and investment arm Xpring, is making specific moves aimed at building and sustaining interoperability between its own platform and the Ethereum blockchain. An official Xpring blog post explains the idea behind this somewhat unlikely move.
Ripple’s Xpring was an official sponsor at the recently concluded ETH Denver event. As one of the largest Ethereum BUIDLAthons (formerly referred to as hackathon) in the world, it’s understandably astonishing to see Xpring as a part of the event.
Written by Ripple Senior Product Manager Warren Paul Anderson, the blog post explains Xpring’s decision, answering the most frequently asked question at the event:
“What is Ripple doing at an Ethereum thing?”
Anderson explains that by default, Xpring is focused on open-source software and protocols, with most of its engineers dedicated to this course. The Ripple exec highlights other open-source projects Xpring is working on including a bridge between C++ and the XRP Ledger as well as Java and the Interledger Protocol.
He also mentions the most important point, the need for developers to not be constricted in their creations. According to him, this is where interoperability comes in because developers should never feel stuck with their options and must be able to explore all possible solutions to a problem.
As part of Xpring’s activities at ETHDenver, three challengers were sponsored, all of them with interoperability at the core. All of the challenges focused on the goal of bridging Ethereum with the XRP Ledger.
On why a bridge with XRP is needed, Anderson said:
“We think the XRP to ETH and ERC-20 tokens bridge is important since XRP is one of the most liquid cryptocurrencies in the world, but doesn’t have a compute layer to support complex smart contracts for the growing Decentralized Finance (DeFi) market on Ethereum.”
Ripple CTO David Schwartz also supports the move. According to his tweet, the CTO agrees that interoperability is important and it is better to have bridges between protocols than walls.
While the move is a laudable one, it is important to note that this is not an official partnership between Ripple and Ethereum.
Anderson is also asking interested developers to join these challenges as they will run on Gitcoin for about a week.