EB131 – Stefan Thomas & Evan Schwartz: Building The Internet Of Payments With Interledger

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One of the foundational problems in payment networks is that they are mostly uninteroperable. This problem exists at all levels, from consumer payment solutions like PayPal, to national and multi-national banks. This complexity is brought on by the proprietary nature of payment networks, and moving value from one to another requires a negotiation between parties on which common payment network to use in a transaction. We saw similar problems in the early days of the Internet, assembled around protocols which allow for data to be routed and move between networks in a standardized way.

We're joined by Stefan Thomas and Evan Schwartz, co-creators of Interledger. This neutral protocol would bring the same level of interoperability we know take for granted around the flow of data, to payments, thus allowing money to move freely across networks. A market maker, who holds accounts in both networks, would receive funds in escrow from a sender, and move funds to an escrow account with the receiver, getting paid by the sender when he shows the proof the funds were delivered to the receiver.

Topics discussed in this episode:

– What is Interledger and what problem is it trying to solve
– Interledger's architecture
– How connectors and routing works, and how we may compare it to the way data flows on the Internet
– Cryptographic Escrow and its role in Interledger
– Requirements for payment solutions to become Interledger compatible
– Interledger's community group at the W3C
– How Interledger applies to micropayments
– Ripple's role in Interledger

Links mentioned in this episode:

– Interledger:
– Interledger Whitepaper:
– Interledger + WebTorrent – Demo by Evan Schwartz:
– Interledger Architecture:
– Interledger Github:
– Interledter Slideshare:
– Ripple Labs:
– Episode 92 with Stefan Thomas:


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Show notes:

Epicenter Bitcoin is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain, Sébastien Couture & Meher Roy.

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5 Comments on EB131 – Stefan Thomas & Evan Schwartz: Building The Internet Of Payments With Interledger

  1. This definitely the right solution. But, I have to ask the question – would
    InterLedger be replacing the role of what we call the Intermediary Bank in
    today’s archaic international payment system? If yes, how do we avoid that
    InterLedger becomes the nightmare that Intermediary Banks play in today’s
    world. For example, exorbitant fees, slow processing which can cause delays
    in the end beneficiary getting his/her payment, sometimes inaccurate
    transactions, etc?? I would hope that InterLedger will provide a better
    service and level of sophistication than today’s archaic Intermediary Banks
    play…..any thoughts?

    • +Martin Jermann Since Interledger automatically routes payments through the
      best path, ledgers and connectors that are slow and expensive will likely
      be routed around. One of the issues today is that the financial system is
      fragmented and where routes between different systems exist, they are
      selected in a fairly manual way. Automatic routing brings the switching
      cost to zero, which should create pressure for intermediaries to increase
      their speeds and decrease their costs.

  2. Great team. Great vision. You communicated very well and convinced me
    Interledger is unstoppable. The XRP connection gives me some second
    thoughts though, but no big deal.

  3. What happened to Ripple!?!? Last time I knew it was a challenger to
    Litecoin. Now its worth less than a penny? Am I missing something?

Comments are closed.