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.

Interledger or ILP promises to connect all types of ledgers: from digital wallets and national payment systems to blockchains and others. The end goal is to transact easily 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. The protocol is open-source and 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 the Interledger W3C Community Group was formed. Learn more about how to participate and the latest news on the Interledger forum.

How does Interledger work?

Interledger uses recognizes three types of participants. The senders and receivers are end users who send or receive value, while routers or connectors act to transfer value between different ledgers and/or networks. One transaction can include one or more routers/connectors to hop between multiple networks.

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 in full, 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.
On GateHub you receive a Payment Pointer that is a standardized identifier for a payment destination. Each of your Hosted wallets can be a payment destination for a different purpose.

What are the benefits of Interledger?

  • Simplicity for end users to transfer value over different networks.
  • Speed over traditional payment rails.
  • Reduced cost as competition to connect networks grows incentivizes lower prices.
  • Trustworthiness as tracking transactions and all-or-nothing (atomic) transactions guarantee value does not get lost due to fees and returns.
  • 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 or see how to participate here.

Which infrastructure and application companies are building with Interledger?

Coil - A micropayment app that utilizes the InterLedger protocol to pay out to any website using Web Monetization, a new standard for how browsers can pay websites using Interledger.

GateHub - A wallet service that offers Web Monetization over Interledger via Payment Payment pointers to content creators.

Grant for the Web - A fund by Mozilla, Creative Commons and Coil, to boost open, fair, and inclusive standards and innovation in Web Monetization.

Xpring - An open platform for money backed by Ripple. Xpring provides tools, services and programs to make payment integrations easy.

Uphold - Wallet and account provider who offer Web Monetization (ILP) enabled wallets.

Puma Browser - A web browser powered by Coil and Interledger.