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

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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