At the end of 2017, Ripple’s XRP token was up a mind-boggling 20,000%, making it the top performing asset of the year.

Now the startup is in the midst of making several changes that could lead to it having another banner year.

It announced Wednesday the release of two white papers that better define its consensus algorithm. That announcement came on the heels of it releasing information about how it is strengthening its emerging markets access into India, Brazil and China.

Here, we’ll go over these latest developments.

Ripple Consensus

On Wednesday, Ripple announced that members of its R&D team had released two new academic research papers about its XRP Ledger Consensus Protocol.

Plans call these papers to be submitted for peer review, which the company’s CTO Stefan Thomas said was a first for Ripple. The hope that this effort will lead to more research being done.

Thomas tweeted:

(white papers)

As noted above, one of the research papers focuses on XRP’s consensus algorithm. It’s called “Analysis of the XRP Ledger Consensus Protocol.”

Ripple notes that this research paper “refines its previous algorithm analysis, and formally proves that the algorithm ensures safety (no forks) and liveness (does not stall) in the currently planned phases of decentralization.”

In describing the second research paper, which is called “Cobalt: BFT Governance in Open Networks,” Ripple’s team stated the following:

The second paper introduces Cobalt, a novel, asynchronous consensus algorithm that will improve the existing XRP Ledger Consensus Protocol by allowing for the flexibility to create more diverse UNLs.

In a blog post, the company states:

Maintaining our momentum towards further decentralization is critical for XRP Ledger to reach its full potential. We’re proud of how far we’ve come, being the only public Blockchain that has experienced no reversed transactions, no censorship and no major operational issues for over five years. We look for that track record to continue as the XRP community takes on more and more responsibilities.

Welcome to the family

Ripple also announced the addition of new financial institutions to its RippleNet. These new additions include two banks and three payment providers.

They are Itaú Unibanco, Brazil’s largest private sector bank and Latin America’s biggest bank by market capitalization; IndusInd, a leading private sector bank in India; and InstaReM, a major remittance provider based in Singapore, which will use Ripple’s xCurrent to provide faster, more transparent cross-border payments to other financial institutions around the world.

Here’s a tweet from Ripple about these developments: