Ripple has always been working to keep updating its network and supporting other innovations. The XRP Ledger has been prepared as the only backbone of your network that supports global payments. It is also the network that XRP runs on.
According to Ripple's CTO (Chief Technology Officer) David Schwartz, Ripple is working to update the XRPL to bridge the gap created by offline or malfunctioning validators. Validators can go offline due to malfunction, hardware maintenance, attacks, connections, or even natural disasters.
Offline validators are ignored in network operations and added to the negative UNL (Negative Unique Node List). The new XRPL update is meant to account for these validators.
"It's easier to say yes"
When the system chooses a validator, it considers a number of factors including institutional commitment, commitment to the network, jurisdiction, network redundancy, among others. The new update will ensure this criteria is followed to avoid assigning network resources to offline validators.
In a tweetDavid acknowledged the importance of the new Negative UNL feature, saying it will be a real game changer for the network. With this update, it will be easier for the other less prominent validators to get gaps in the system when the negative UNL is created as the system will ignore the offline validator and choose to work with the online validators. In this way, even validators that run on separate computer servers will have the opportunity to contribute to the operation of the network.
At the moment, the update has not been officially adopted as it is still in its testing phase. It is currently running on testnets to ensure it is fully functional before rolling out as a system upgrade.
According to Ripple's CTO, the new update that accommodates even the smallest validator will be key to fostering further decentralization of the network.