I can use the Ripple Live Network graph to see the balances of any given wallet on Ripple, but in order to know whether to trust someone (even a close friend), I might want to know how much trust they have extended to others.

If, for example, somebody has a current balance of 30 USD but they have extended trust worth 150 USD, I might not want to trust that person since at any moment they might have sent out IOUs for far more value than they actually possess.

So is it or will it be possible to see how much trust somebody has extended to others in their network? (Or have I misunderstood something here?)

  • 1
    Would be nice to hear the reason for the downvote -- perhaps the question could be improved. If the downvoter downvoted just because the topic is Ripple, then know that I will happily upvote all other Ripple questions to counter that. After all, current consensus seems to be that Ripple questions be in scope. meta.bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/335/…
    – 5th
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 7:20
  • Ripple questions get downvoted a lot. See this meta post.
    – Nick ODell
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 7:32
  • Yes, I've read those meta posts, that's why I added the comment. It may be pretty discouraging to new users who are not aware of it.
    – 5th
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 7:34
  • The Riple Live Graph you mention shows not just the balances but each trust line and the balance on it as well. See the bottom left area and expand the currency section you're interested in.
    – dchapes
    Commented May 11, 2013 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


My understanding of trust in ripple is that it is public - Finding the web of trust that links two people needs to be fast, and it also needs to work when the intermediaries aren't connected to the ripple network. However, while you might know that account rWIOWNDKALJOWIOWDKLj trusts rWOIASIOISDKLFJALSKF for 100 dollars, you don't necessarily know their name/location.

Another important point is that you don't have 'Balance' in Ripple, you have somebody who owes you money. So just knowing that this hypothetical person is owed 30 dollars doesn't mean much - they could be deadbeats, or a bunch of accounts operated by the same person. (If you had a list of trusted IOU issuers, you could mitigate this.)

Also, in your example, they might not be overextended; they could have 300 dollars in their mattress, and be entirely capable of paying off IOU's.

  • 'Balance' is used in Ripple both in the actual client and in some of the documentation, but it seems to be synonymous with the amount people owe you (except for XRP). If you assume that a person's balance is not worth anything, that should be a clear indication that you're not willing to trust them. The trust chains themselves are public and can already be seen, but as far as I can see the trust amounts are not so easily found.
    – 5th
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:07
  • It's true that they might not really be overextended, they could have money outside the system, but if I went to a gateway to cash out my money it would still mean they'd default, right? At least that's my understanding of it, but I'm investigating the matter :)
    – 5th
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:10
  • One thing more about the term 'balance' -- there is 'balance' in Ripple in the same sense that a regular bank account has a balance.
    – 5th
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:13
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    @5th They wouldn't necessarily default. Other people could trust their IOU's, so you could trade their IOU's for gateway ones.
    – Nick ODell
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 16:47
  • Good point. It requires the two people to be connected via a trust chain though, so it will probably take a long while before something like this is likely to actually happen. (Unless gateways give trust to people, but that's probably even more unnlikely.)
    – 5th
    Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 4:55

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