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CTO of Ripple steps down, announces a new company ‘Coil’

Anirudh VK



CTO of Ripple steps down, announces a new company 'Coil'
Source: Unsplash

Stefan Thomas, the inventor of the Interledger Protocol, announced today that he will be stepping down as the CTO of Ripple and starting a new company known as Coil. Coil is aimed at enabling monetary support of content through micropayments. Coil works with the Interledger Protocol and the XRP token to enable these transactions.

He tweeted:

“One reason I chose this timing for @Coil is because @Ripple is in a great position. We recently filled several key engineering roles with fantastic people. @Interledger (ILPv4) is done. Q1 2018 has been our best sales quarter ever. I have max confidence in the @Ripple team.”

Other significant names on the company board include Chris Larsen, co-founder of Ripple and ‘the richest person in cryptocurrency’, and Evan Schwartz, co-inventor of the ILP.

Coil is squarely aimed at providing a solution to supporting digital content. Stefan Thomas said in a blog post:

“…[It’s] the fact that on the web there isn’t an obvious way to make money outside of workarounds like advertising, paywalls, or selling user data.”

He goes on to elaborate on how it is impossible to ignore the consequences of these workarounds, such as foreign influence in democratic elections ala Facebook, or how our browsers cannot load websites due to the number of ads in them. He cites the reason for micropayments’ failing as being built on a closed system. This fails to capture the variety of content on the web.

This leads to his vision for an open marketplace on the web, citing experience from Ripple as an ambition to ‘build a world where currency moves as frictionlessly as information’. He states that building the basics is not enough and that the application of these tools could enable new industries.

The inability of modern payments technology lay in the multi-step authorization and authentication operations, leading to a friction in online payments. He then brings up the solutions that exist, namely Interledger and XRP, pointing out their transaction speed and its utilization through the ILP. He also said that Coil will be the first company to utilize Web Monetization, which is new standard enacted through the Interledger Protocol. He said:

”Coil will use Interledger to make the web a more vibrant market for apps and content, where everyone’s contributions are rewarded.”

He then added that Coil’s first commercially available product will be a flat rate subscription-based service, where users will be able to support creators, bypass paywalls, reduce ads, and ‘unlock additional features’.

He then stated that a launch date was not available yet but that ‘[we’ll] see something soon’, saying that he has ‘strong financial and technical backing from Ripple’, who are lead investors in the new venture.

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Anirudh VK is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has a passion for writing and interest towards the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He does not own any cryptocurrencies currently.

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Ripple’s David Schwartz: Distributed ledger is important as everyone on it enforces the rules

Akash Anand



Ripple's David Schwartz: The distributed ledger is important as everyone on it enforces the rules
Source: Unsplash

The cryptocurrency market has been buckling under the weight of the bear for some time now which has forced a lot of popular individuals to speak about the crash as well as assure users to HODL. In a recent talk with the Internet History Podcast, David Schwartz, the Chief Technology Officer of Ripple spoke about the early days of cryptocurrencies as well as the formation of Ripple and XRP.

Schwartz, who has been called ‘Ripple’s trillion dollar man’ spoke about his initial stint with cryptography and what directed him onto the path of digital assets. He stated that he had worked on problems plaguing the internet with the key focus being on security and crowd storage.

According to him, the pressing issue was keeping data in a cloud and also keeping them secure, a concept unheard of at that time. In his words:

“Multiplying the value of information was key. We all had technology focused on transferring data but nothing related to value as such.”

Schwartz added that Ripple and XRP’s entry into the market all began when public encryption was made available to the masses. He stated that in the early days everyone was just using symmetric encryption that was not suitable for commerce. With the advent of public encryption, people in technology realized that money was the only commodity that was left to be transferred quickly and safely.

The Ripple official also spoke about early technologies that paved the way for Bitcoin to catch the public’s eye. He spoke about how concepts like RipplePay and Hash Cash laid the foundation for Ripple and Bitcoin to build upon. The CTO stated that post the arrival of Satoshi Nakamoto, users were given an ecosystem that does not require a trusted third party. According to him:

“ Unlike traditional systems, the absence of a trusted party makes it easier and more secure for data to move around. The system was built on the idea that everybody in the ecosystem enforces the rules and it’s not just one governing body.”

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Bitcoin’s divisibility and transportability make it much more flexible than digital gold





Bitcoin's divisibility and transportability make it much more flexible than digital gold
Source: Unsplash

Andreas Antonopoulos, the author of Mastering Bitcoin and a Bitcoin proponent, spoke about Bitcoin as a digital currency and whether it would be limited to being just that, in his latest Q&A session on Youtube.

The author was asked about the possibility of Bitcoin becoming the world’s reserve currency, a digital gold and whether other cryptocurrencies would be used as a day-to-day currency. To which, he said:

“I don’t know. I think it would surprise me, actually, if Bitcoin could only fit into the niche of ‘digital gold.’ Bitcoin has characteristics of divisibility and transportability that make it… much more flexible than digital gold.”

Antonopoulos stated that gold is not a good medium of exchanges, because of the difficulty related to verifying whether it is real. He also stated that the store of value is “heavy to carry”, adding that the more one tries to make it fungible and divides it into smaller pieces, the harder it gets to verify its authenticity. According to him, verifying gold in larger amounts, which are stamped by reputable third parties, is easier.

“Then the cost of storing and securing gold is so high that it is better done in a custodial manner, where you put it in a vault and have professionals guarding it. You [are left] with a little paper certificate [of ownership], which have other problems like hypothecation. [All of this] makes it difficult to use [gold] directly as a medium of exchange.”

This was followed by the author remarking that these problems are not prevalent in Bitcoin, even though there is “greater complexity” when it comes to securing the cryptocurrency. He went on to say that this would cause some pressure towards third-party custodians, however, if that pressure is going to be lesser in comparison to the current system, it would still be a “more decentralized future”.

“The ability to transport bitcoin very quickly, in very small amounts [or very large amounts], [including] with second-layer networks that are even faster [and smaller] at the level of microtransactions”

Moreover, the Bitcoin proponent thinks that Bitcoin could be a “very effective” medium of exchange and store of value, adding that the volatility would decrease through use and volume, wherein the currency would not be witnessing a major price fluctuation making it “less speculative in nature”.

“That doesn’t mean there won’t be other coins which [are used] for everyday currency. I think there will be [others]. I don’t think Bitcoin will be just digital gold. It may become a world reserve currency, but I think the concept of a unitary world reserve currency [would] no longer be relevant.”

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