Lower Reserves Are Now In Effect
Over the course of the past year, several members of the XRP Ledger community have advocated for lowering the reserve requirements in the network to compensate for the sustained increase in the price of XRP. On 2021-09-19, the new reserve values went into effect after gaining support from a majority of validators. The new reserve amounts are 10 XRP base for an account plus 2 XRP per object owned in the ledger, down from 20 XRP base and 5 XRP per object owned.
Some XRP that was previously reserved is now available for use. Since the base reserve requirement has decreased from 20 to 10, accounts with a balance of at least 20 XRP now have access to the difference of 10 XRP, plus a decrease of 3 XRP per item owned (from 5 each to 2 each). For example, if your account owns 4 objects in the ledger, your reserve requirement decreased from 40 XRP (20 + 4×5) to 18 XRP (10 + 4×2).
It is now possible to fund new accounts by sending a payment of as little as 10 XRP; previously, at least 20 XRP was required.
Most XRP Ledger users and integrations do not need to take action to benefit from the reduced reserve. However, if you have software with a hard-coded reserve of 20 XRP, you should consider adjusting it to use the new values, or better yet, occasionally query the reserve information from the API:
To look up XRP reserves, see the server_info method's response. In particular, the
validated_ledger.reserve_base_xrp field shows the base account reserve and the
validated_ledger.reserve_inc_xrp shows the owner reserve (per item). You can also use the server_state method to get the values in drops of XRP.
The XRP Ledger has reserve requirements to disincentivize spamming the ledger with data, which must be replicated throughout the network and maintained by all servers in the system. The base reserve (now 10 XRP) sets the minimum XRP that must be sent to create a new account, and the owner reserve (now 2 XRP per item) increases an account's reserve for each additional object the account owns in the ledger's state data, such as Offers, trust lines and Escrows.
The Fee Voting process lets validators in the decentralized XRP Ledger network collectively adjust the reserve requirements. One reason to adjust reserve requirements is to compensate for long-term changes in the value of XRP. Fee voting can adjust reserves in either direction, but as XRP Ledger expert David Schwartz notes, increases in the reserve are more painful for users than decreases, so validator operators should avoid lowering the reserve if doing so is likely to require an increase later.
The previous time the reserves changed was in December 2013, when 20 XRP was worth much less in fiat currency than it is today. The new 10 XRP reserve brings the fiat-currency cost of creating a new XRP Ledger account closer to the historical average.
XRP Ledger Foundation Statement
The XRP Ledger Foundation posted this statement about the change to Twitter:
We are very happy to see that the reserves have been voted down to 10/2 by validators. The foundation firmly believes in increasing accessibility to the XRP Ledger and hope this trend will continue in the same direction.— XRP Ledger Foundation (Official) (@XRPLF) September 19, 2021