Frequently Asked Questions
Our vision is to have a more equitable and creative global society through an open payments network in which anyone can seamlessly earn, share, buy, sell and trade with anyone else in the world.
We are open to all -- businesses, creators and builders -- interested in working toward a more equitable and creative global society. We welcome organizations and individuals that envision a healthier, more equitable web ecosystem where through an open network anyone can seamlessly earn, buy, sell, trade and share on the web. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact us at [email protected].
We welcome partners interested in working with us to advance the web platform, web standards and open technologies that create a more equitable society. If you are interested in becoming a partner, please contact us at [email protected].
Membership levels, benefits, and dues are listed here. Dues vary by member category and size of an organization. Community participation is free of charge and open to all.
- Strategic Member
- Promoter Member
- Associate Member
- Community Participant
The Interledger Foundation is a non-profit advocate for the web, promoting innovation, creativity, and inclusion by advancing open payment standards and technologies that seamlessly connect our global society. To drive our mission forward, we will connect a powerful community of web advocates and leaders; support creative and innovative solutions to connect humanity; and steward technology and standards work that advance open payment technology.
We are launching the Interledger Foundation because we believe that everyone in the world should be able to participate in the digital economy. This requires the ability to transfer money without any barriers or friction and to monetize content on the web, both of which are features that the Interledger Protocol provides. In addition, a key piece in ensuring frictionless payments and the movement of money between borders involves establishing a set of standards that all participants in the ecosystem can agree upon. The Interledger Foundation drives the Interledger Protocol community toward engagement in establishing these imperative global standards and will be the home where the standards live, once fully realized.
The Interledger Foundation will focus on three main tenets of activity:
- Support and Advance Interledger Standards Development: The Interledger Foundation will steward technology and standards work that advance an open payment network and Web Monetization technologies.
- Advance Financial Inclusion: The Interledger Foundation will connect a powerful community of web advocates and leaders to support the development of open payments standards that enable creative and innovative financial inclusion solutions that provide humanity with the ability to send and receive open payments on the web.
- Drive Web Monetization Innovation: The Interledger Foundation’s Grant for the Web program fund individuals, projects and global communities contributing to the Web Monetization ecosystem with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
- Stefan Thomas, Chairperson of the Interledger Foundation, Founder and CEO of Coil, and Co-Creator of the Interledger Protocol
- Chris Larsen, Chairperson of Ripple
- Konstantin (Kosta) Peric, Deputy Director of Financial Services for the Poor, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Maha Bahou, CEO of Jordan Payments and Clearing Company (JoPACC)
- Evan Schwartz, President of the Interledger Foundation, and Co-Creator of the Interledger Protocol
- Briana Marbury, Executive Director of the Interledger Foundation
- Chairperson: Stefan Thomas, Founder and CEO of Coil, and Co-Creator of the Interledger Protocol
- President: Evan Schwartz, Co-Creator of the Interledger Protocol
- Executive Director: Briana Marbury
- Treasurer: Gary Morris, COO of Coil
There are over 400 developers in the global Interledger developer community
The Foundation is the permanent home of the Grant for the Web program, which funds individuals, projects and global communities contributing to an open and accessible Web Monetization ecosystem. Coil, Creative Commons and the Mozilla Foundation will continue to provide governance for the Grant for the Web program.
In 2020, Grant for the Web supported Interledger technology with:
- $8,000,000 in grant funds
- Grantees from 27 countries
- 115 funded projects
- See a full list of grantees at Grant for the Web
The Web Monetization Problem:
Predatory revenue models like programmatic advertising and data tracking, combined with the high cost of data to serve mobile ads, prevent millions from participating in digital creator economies. Using an open payments network in which anyone can seamlessly earn, buy, sell, trade and share, the Interledger Foundation will build equitable pathways to financial access and digital participation.
Web Monetization is being proposed as a W3C standard. Using the Interledger Protocol, the Web Monetization proposed standard aims to make it easier for web creators to generate income from their work without relying on advertising, site-by-site subscriptions or tracking models. This is especially relevant in developing economies where more content and consumers are moving online.
Advancing the Ecosystem: Grant for the Web
Aided by the Interledger Foundation’s Grant for the Web program, innovations in Web Monetization are opening up an entire financial ecosystem for everyone from app and game developers, to artists, musicians and podcasters, to journalists and freelancers.
For example, the Grant for the Web will fund individuals, projects and global communities that contribute to a privacy-centric, open and accessible Web Monetization ecosystem. It will prioritize innovative ideas that incorporate or build upon the Web Monetization proposed standard and protocols. Funds will support projects, content, experimentation and learning around natively integrating monetization into the web using open protocols and standards.
As new content, video or gaming platforms are created on the web, they create ways to financially support their artists. For example, creators, like Grant for the Web Media media artist Annie Berman, Director of The Faithful, are using the web monetized video platform Cinnamon to stage films worldwide, enabling ticket holders to get access to special bonus events and monetize viewing revenue in terms of hours watched. The Puma Browser, the first browser to natively support the Web Monetization proposed standard using Interledger, enables direct value transfer between content and game creators and their fans, creating a great alternative to ads.
The Open Payment Problem:
Although the creators of the internet knew it was important to incorporate digital payments natively into its infrastructure, a web-native payments feature is still “reserved for future use” according to its 402 error code. As a result, the gap has been filled over the last 30 years with closed, fee-based and siloed payment networks, which have helped accelerate the financial exclusion of the world's 1.7 billion unbanked people. Using an open payments network in which anyone can seamlessly earn, buy, sell, trade and share, the Interledger Foundation will build equitable pathways to financial access and digital participation.
For example, traditional and mobile payment networks operate independently from each other. Sending money is easy only if the sender and recipient have accounts on the same network, making it slow and expensive if they have accounts on different networks. If you live on $2 a day and your bank, school, merchant and family members all use different payment networks, you may not be able to afford the fees required to send and receive money. This disconnect is why, despite mobile money services emerging in nearly 100 countries, 1.7 billion people still lack access to digital payments, despite most owning a mobile phone, according to the World Bank’s Global Findex.
Interledger makes it easy and low-cost to transact in whatever currency or payment network you choose, because Interledger is not tied to any one company or currency. Using Interledger, you can send money in USD to someone who wants to receive EUR.
This is because Interledger can send payments across different networks, regardless of currency or platform. Interledger is built based on the same principles used by the internet for data; instead of moving data, Interledger moves currency from one network to another at a very high speed and low cost.
Advancing the Ecosystem
More countries are looking to achieve financial inclusion by 2030, as outlined in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. By creating an open interoperable network that allows anyone to transfer money across currencies and ledgers, the Interledger Foundation can enable global payment systems to design open web-based systems that provide financial access to more of the world’s population.
Interledger provides an open, frictionless and currency-agnostic method for transferring very small amounts of money, typically referred to as micropayments. This open network allows anyone to transfer money across currencies and ledgers, resulting in the potential rebalancing of our global payment systems.
One of the most successful use cases of the Interledger Protocol has been Mojaloop. The open source software makes it easier and more affordable for governments, central banks and financial providers to design financial tools that meet the accessibility needs of the unbanked. In sub-Saharan Africa, early Mojaloop adopters include a central bank as well as a joint venture between Mobile Network Operators.
The need for a more equitable and creative web was well established before the pandemic arrived, and COVID-19 has only added urgency to these needs. Regarding open payments, many countries have waived fees for using digital payments instead of cash out of concern for the potential to spread COVID-19. Around the world, more creators are looking to make a living online, especially given the stay-at-home restrictions of the pandemic. If the web and its underlying technology already contained the infrastructure for universal payments, the world's 1.7 billion underserved could be newly served. Millions of content creators could be participating in digital creator economies. An open payments network in which anyone can seamlessly earn, buy, sell, trade and share is critical to building equitable pathways to financial access and digital participation.
Stefan Thomas and Evan Schwartz co-created Interledger in 2015. In October of that year, the whitepaper “An Interledger Protocol” and the first implementation were released, and the Interledger World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Community Group was formed. The group oversees the development and governance of the Interledger Protocol, enabling different member organizations, full-time collaborators and the public work together to develop standards for the web. Learn more about how to participate and get the latest news on the Interledger forum at forum.interledger.org.
Interledger’s vision is to make sending value as easy as it is to send information over the internet. As an open source protocol used for payments across payment networks, the Interledger Protocol, or ILP, connects all types of ledgers, from digital wallets and national payment systems to 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 many different services. The Interledger Protocol is open-source and is not tied to any one company or currency.
Interledger routes packets of money across independent networks just as the internet routes packets of information. The open architecture and minimal protocol enable interoperability for any value transfer system. Because Interledger allows you to receive money from any ledger, it is an ideal protocol to use for designing real-time payments systems that meet the needs of the entire population.
Simplicity for end-users to transfer value over different networks
Speed over traditional payment rails
Reduced cost as competition to connect networks grows and incentivizes lower prices
Trustworthiness as tracking transactions and all-or-nothing (atomic) transactions guarantee that the 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
Web Monetization API is a way of streaming micropayments to creators for the content you read, watch, listen to and stream online. Web Monetization is an alternative revenue model for the web, allowing creators to earn revenue from users without requiring subscriptions, third-party platforms or reliance on advertising. All of this enables a faster, cleaner and less invasive browsing experience. Interledger enables Web Monetization by providing an open, frictionless and currency-agnostic method for transferring very small amounts of money, typically referred to as micropayments.
Aided by the Interledger Foundation’s Grant for the Web program, individuals, projects and global communities can apply for grants for innovative ideas that incorporate or build upon the Web Monetization proposed standard and protocols. Funds will support projects, content, experimentation and learning around natively integrating monetization into the web using open protocols and standards.
Designers of Open, Real-Time Inclusive Payments Systems:
Mojaloop: Named after the Swahili word for “one,” Mojaloop is a reference model for payment interoperability between services and providers. This interconnectedness, within an economy, can reduce barriers to customer access and potential transaction volume, as well as increase opportunities for low-income individuals to access services that are traditionally out of reach.
In Africa, Mojaloop, which operates using Interledger, was adopted by the Bank of Tanzania and Mowali (a joint venture between Orange and MTN) to advance inclusive payment models in the countries they serve.
Creators can get an Interledger-enabled wallet and put the Web Monetization <meta> tag on their sites or post content on a Web Monetization-enabled platform. Examples include Coil.com for articles and Cinnamon for videos. Aided by the Interledger Foundation’s Grant for the Web program, individuals, projects, and global communities are creating innovative ideas that incorporate or build upon the Web Monetization proposed standard and protocols.
Web Monetization Innovators:
The Grant for the Web is boosting open, fair and inclusive standards and innovation in Web Monetization -- opening up an entire financial ecosystem for everyone from app and game developers, to artists, musicians, and podcasters, to journalists and freelancers. For example, the Grant for the Web is funding individuals, projects, and global communities that incorporate or build upon the Web Monetization proposed standard and protocols. The Puma Browser and video platform Cinnamon natively integrate monetization into the web using open protocols and standards.
In fact, the Grant for the Web’s site and community space is monetized. The micropayments generated on the website and community space are directed to non-profit organizations that support a healthy internet – including the program’s grantees – on a rotating basis. Artist Rescue Trust is our first recipient. Through its grant, this non-profit organization will provide direct relief to artists hit hard by COVID-19, and will build and launch a Web Monetization training program to teach artists how to monetize their work and run their businesses-as-artists. Read about their project.
Consumers of Content:
Apps: For consumers of content, the easiest thing is to sign up for Coil, a micropayment app that utilizes the Interledger Protocol to pay out to any website using Web Monetization, a new proposed standard for how browsers can pay websites using Interledger.
Desktop browser add-ons/extensions are available for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Brave and Microsoft Edge. Mobile browser add-ons/extensions are available for Firefox on Android. Or you can use the Puma Browser, available on both iOS or Android, which has Web Monetization natively included and does not require an add-on/extension. Similarly, the video platform Cinnamon is monetized using Coil.
GateHub -- A wallet service that offers Web Monetization over Interledger via payment pointers to content creators
RippleX -- An open platform for money backed by Ripple. RippleX provides tools, services, and programs to make payment integrations easy
Uphold -- A wallet and account provider that offers Web Monetization-enabled wallets
The Interledger Protocol is not based on blockchain, but it uses some key concepts from blockchain technology, such as a decentralized design and cryptography-based security.
According to the Interledger white paper, one of the most important objectives of the Protocol has always been to create the necessary conditions so that “any ledger can integrate to this Protocol simply by enabling escrowed transfers. Unlike previous approaches, the Interledger Protocol does not rely on any global coordinating system or ledger for processing payments – centralized or decentralized.”
Interledger is developed by an open group of companies and individual contributors, loosely organized as part of a Community Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Ways to become involved in the Interledger effort are described in our Getting Started section for more details. If you’re interested in getting involved in the project, join the bi-weekly community calls and come chat with us on Slack or learn more about how to participate at the Interledger forum at forum.interledger.org.
The Interledger Foundation’s Grant for the Web program is a $100M fund to boost open, fair and inclusive standards and innovation in Web Monetization.
Grant for the Web is run by the Interledger Foundation and is guided by founding collaborators Coil, the Mozilla Foundation and Creative Commons.
Grant for the Web is governed by the Grant for the Web Charter. Representatives from the program’s founding collaborators — Coil, the Mozilla Foundation, and Creative Commons — make up the Grant for the Web Executive Council, which guides all programmatic activities. In addition to the Executive Council, advisory groups are engaged to judge, vet and make recommendations to guide the direction and strategic aspects of the program and to review grant applications.
Grant for the Web funds individuals, projects and global communities that contribute to a privacy-centric, open and accessible Web Monetization ecosystem. It prioritizes innovative ideas that incorporate or build upon the Web Monetization proposed standard and protocols. Funds support projects, content, experimentation and learning around natively integrating monetization into the web using open protocols and standards.
Special consideration is given to projects that reflect the collaborators’ values of:
- Promoting a vibrant commons on the internet of shareable content
- Increasing users’ autonomy, privacy and control over their own data
- Promoting diversity and inclusion on the internet
- Increasing access to the full capacity of the internet, both for content consumption and content creation, for communities and individuals that have historically been marginalized, disadvantaged or are without such access
We seek to support a safe, respectful, and inclusive community dedicated to building a better, healthier internet. Grant for the Web does not fund projects that endorse bullying, harassment, threats, hate speech, doxing or harmful or illegal activities. Nor does the grant fund the production or distribution of adult content, spam or activities in violation of applicable laws. Read our Participation Guidelines to learn more.
In 2020, Grant for the Web supported Interledger technology with:
- $8,000,000 in grant funds
- Grantees from 27 countries
- 115 funded projects
- See a full list of grantees at Grant for the Web.