What is Interledger?

The vision of the Internet of Value is to make sending value as easy as sending information. Interledger is an open source protocol used for payments across payment networks. It connects all types of ledgers: from digital wallets and national payment systems to blockchains and others. It makes it easy to transact with anyone, no matter the location or currency. Interledger allows you to receive money from any ledger, without setting up accounts on lots of different services. Interledger is not tied to any one company, blockchain, or currency.

How was Interledger invented?

Stefan Thomas and Evan Schwartz invented Interledger in 2015. In october of that year the whitepaper and the first implementation were released and Interledger W3C Community Group was formed. Many individuals and companies from different backgrounds are now involved and working on the project.

How does Interledger work?

Interledger uses connectors to route payments across different ledgers. Conditional transfers are used to secure multi-hop payments so funds cannot be lost or stolen in flight. In conditional transfers, funds are put on hold at the source while the best route to the destination is determined and confirmed. If the conditions are met, the transfer is executed, otherwise the transfer times out and funds are released at the source. Interledger pulls inspiration from the packet and address format of the Internet Protocol to instruct connectors where to forward payments.For more detailed information see the Interledger Docs here.

What are the benefits of Interledger?

  • Simplicity
  • Speed
  • Reduced cost
  • Trustworthiness
  • Packetizing Value - splitting up larger transfers into many lower-value packets which increases the network’s efficiency, security, and interoperability

How to build on Interledger?

Interledger is focusing on supporting developers and projects building both infrastructure and applications in the Interledger ecosystem. They’re specifically interested in new connectors and wallets as well as micropayment services and decentralized exchange applications. If you are interested in connecting ledgers, building with micropayments or getting involved in the protocol development you can join the Interledger W3C Community Group here.

Which infrastructure and application companies are building with Interledger?

Coil - Micropayment app that integrates XRP and the InterLedger protocol to pay out to any website using Web Monetization, a new standard for how browsers can pay websites using Interledger.

XRP Tip Bot - A bot that enables users on reddit, Twitter and Discord to tip one another using XRP and ILP.

StrataLabs - a XRP Ledger backed company powered by Interledger Protocol, enabling micropayment services like Coil.

Kava - Running an Interledger connector and developing ILP technology. The first provider creating interoperability and liquidity for blockchains, wallets, and exchanges.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Partnered with blockchain startup Coil as part of its mission to provide payment services for the unbanked. Working on an open source payment system for emerging markets, using Interledger to increase financial inclusion through interoperability.

Ilp.ix - an Mlab project XRP peering exchange that helps connectors find and connect to one another.

And more to come