The total number of validators on the XRP register is currently 68 after the Ripple company has started increasing the validators in July 2017. In July, the Ripple team made an announcement to add 55 new validators, the following information was provided:
Today we are pleased to announce that the XRP Ledger ecosystem has been extended to 55 validation nodes, with an increase of 120% 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 that currently validate transactions on XRP Ledger, including Microsoft, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and CGI.
Further checking the validator statistics on the Mini Validator List starting today, August 15th, we get a total of 68 validators with Ripple representing 21% of this number.
By further tweaking the Mini Validator List settings to include only the Unique Node Lists (UNL), we find that the Ripple domain is once again lower than expected and 48%.
What exactly are the UNLs?
A list of unique nodes (UNLs) is a list of transaction validators that a given participant believes will not conspire to defraud them. Of the 68 validators, only 21 are UNL. Their selection is based on looking at the history of their activities while the community trusts them. The Ripple company intends to remove it from this process entirely by making sure that the participants in the network select their lists on the basis of publicly available data on the quality of the validator.
We can say that Ripple has already started this process of removal from the UNLs due to the fact that it manages a total of 14 validators with only 10 of them being UNL. The Ripple company had recommended 4 validators to become UNL 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 that do not: @BahnhofAB (Sweden), @WorldLinkUS (United States, Texas) @Telindustelecom (Luxembourg) @FlagshipSG (United States, Florida)
I am excited that decentralization is progressing!
– rabbit (@RabbitKickClub) July 1, 2018
With the SEC that keeps mom on the fact Whether or not XRP is a security, the continued decentralization of the XRP register is slowly and surely coming under the description of a decentralized ledger such as the comments of the director of SEC Hinman when he declared that Ethereum is not a security. To conclude by reminding ourselves of his claims, Director Hinman stated the following about why ETH was not a security:
Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of Ether's current state, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and Ether's sales are not securities transactions.