David Schwartz, Ripple’s chief technology officer, has explained why he has changed his stance regarding the XRPL clawback feature.
This feature, a hot topic in Ripple’s community, was initially met with skepticism by Schwartz. Recent discussions have led him to acknowledge its potential benefits once again, particularly for asset issuers on the XRP Ledger.
A controversial feature
The clawback feature is a mechanism that allows issuers of digital assets to “reclaim” or “reverse” specific transactions under certain conditions. The primary purpose of the clawback feature is to provide an additional layer of control and security for asset issuers. On a technical level, clawback is implemented through smart contract provisions or specific code within the blockchain’s protocol.
The XRPL clawback feature, known as XLS-39 Clawback, was announced by the RippleX team back in September.
Back in June 2021, the Ripple executive wrote that it was “hard” for him to think of a use case where the clawback feature is particularly useful.
“I almost always tend to prefer fewer ledger mechanics and that anything that can be done off-ledger be done off-ledger,” he stated.
A change of heart
In recent posts on X, Schwartz outlined the key reasons behind his change of heart. Firstly, he noted the practical challenges for issuers on the XRPL without the clawback feature, as it would require them to develop new operational rules and procedures.
Secondly, he pointed out the ambiguity in distinguishing between obligations and non-obligations among frozen assets on the ledger.
This reevaluation is a significant departure from his earlier position, where he leaned towards minimizing ledger mechanics and handling more functions off-ledger, as noted above.
As reported by U.Today, Schwartz also defended the functionality in an October discussion on X.