However, the founders (who retained 20% of the entirely pre-mined currency for themselves) have consistently said that they planned to open source it at some point in the future.
It is this software, called rippled, that will be released under what is known as an ISC licence. Written by the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), it is said to be similar to the Simplified BSD license, and has been accepted by the Free Software Foundation. Interested parties will be able to download the source from the ripple page on GitHub.
“OpenCoin Inc is a convenient vehicle to bootstrap this vision, but the network needs to eventually stand on its own," said Thomas. “For that, we need a developer community who can carry on the development, a network of validators (gateways, merchants, traders and other stakeholders) who continue operating nodes, and most importantly, a vibrant economy that is using the network to process transactions."
Taking the Ripple system open source at this point makes good political sense for OpenCoin. It is running its first developer conference at Money2020, the emerging payments and financial services conference, in Las Vegas on October 10. The firm will be describing the internal workings of Ripple, and running demonstrations of integration with merchants and gateways.
“Open sourcing the code builds confidence in both the Ripple network and OpenCoin's stewardship. It also helps exchanges and money services business evaluate what it means to become a Ripple gateway," said Kenna.
Current Ripple gateways include US-based SnapSwap, Ripple China and Ripplecn from China, and Justcoin and Bitstamp from Europe.
Featured image: Flickr
EDIT - 26-09-2013
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