It seems there's an emerging consensus that questions about Ripple should be on topic here. However, we're seeing people voting to close Ripple questions as off-topic. They may disagree with the consensus, but more likely they're just not aware of it.

So, what should we do about it?

The FAQ says "a cryptocurrency or technology derived directly from Bitcoin such as Namecoin". This is ambiguous and would seem to exclude Ripple questions. So if the consensus holds, we need to change that. At a minimum, we should change "derived directly from" to "similar to". We could add "or Ripple" at the end.

Note: I'm one of the core Ripple developers and an employee of OpenCoin.

  • 2
    The consensus appears to be holding, so I went ahead and edited the FAQ. I personally liked the language in the "derived directly from" sentence and wanted to preserve it, so I just added another bullet point. Feb 13, 2013 at 17:20

2 Answers 2


Ripple is a very interesting cryptosystem, with entirely different solutions to currency distribution and double-spends. Because of that, I feel it ought to be discussed. However, Ripple is definitely too small of a topic to deserve its own stackexchange site.

Assuming we want to allow Ripple, we have a choice:

  1. Make a one-time exception for Ripple.
  2. Change the rule from "a cryptocurrency or technology derived directly from Bitcoin such as Namecoin" to "a decentralized cryptocurrency like Bitcoin" in order to show that all secure-by-design cryptocurrencies are welcome.

Now, about the name: If you choose tack 2, I think that the name Bitcoin will be too broad. However, I don't think this is a problem. Bitcoin is much more famous than any of these other currencies, so "Bitcoin" gets across the point much better than "Virtual Currency". "Cryptocurrency" is closer, but it has an important problem. If you asked a random person on the street what a "cryptocurrency" was, I think they'd probably say it is a currency that is hidden, probably by cryptography.

  • 1
    I think broadening the scope at least to "a decentralized cryptocurrency like Bitcoin" is a good idea. Personally, I'd even like to see it broad enough to cover things like MintChip. "Bitcoin" is definitely the right name for the site. Feb 13, 2013 at 17:10
  • MintChip's not really a decentralized currency, though. The security of it depends on people not breaking the smart cards and changing the balance/extracting the private keys. In that sense, the design needs to come from a central authority, and it can't be open-source.
    – Nick ODell
    Feb 13, 2013 at 21:01

"derived from bitcoin" means fully opensource and fully decentralized, ripple is offtopic here in my opinion, just like amazon coins

  • This is a discussion of what the FAQ should be. Using what the FAQ currently is to justify what it should be is silly - by that logic, the FAQ should never change.
    – Nick ODell
    May 27, 2013 at 2:07
  • 1
    just saying "emerging consensus that questions about Ripple are ontopic" is false imo, even if their marketing team have many accounts
    – neofutur
    May 27, 2013 at 2:11

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