One of the features of the XRP ledger is the reserve. As explained at the XRP Ledger Dev Portal: “To submit transactions, an address must hold a minimum amount of XRP in the shared global ledger. You cannot send this XRP to other addresses. To fund a new address, you must send enough XRP to meet the reserve requirement. The current minimum reserve requirement is 20 XRP”. Any changes to the reserve have to be approved by the consensus process.
In other words, every address needs to be funded with 20 XRP, which can not be moved once they arrive. But not for long.
According to Nik Bougalis (@nbougalis twitter handle), the Cryptographer and Software Engineer leading the C++ team at Ripple, a deletable accounts feature is being implemented for the XRP Ledger.
Nik went on to answer a couple of questions below that tweet, explaining that up until now accounts could not be deleted, thus leaving the reserve (currently 20 XRP) stranded in the account. Users will be able to recover that reserve prior to deleting the account by specifying an account to which any remaining XRP will be transferred.
Moreover, he added that deleting an account will NOT eliminate any trace of previous transactions. The old transactions will still be firmly ensconced in the ledger’s publicly accessible history.
Despite the fact that this feature is still under construction, it is something quite a few members of the XRP community have been requesting and is bound to be met with enthousiasm.
Update: Nik later added that “deleting an account, under my proposed code, would cost one incremental reserve (currently 5 XRP)”.