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Bootstrapping with "dial-up" Interledger


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I wanted to point everyone's attention to a recent post on the Interledger W3C and IETF mailing lists (public-interledger@w3.org, https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-interledger; ledger@ietf.org, https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/search/?email_list=ledger) about bootstrapping Interledger with something that has been called "dial-up" Interledger. The Interledger folks have been hinting at it for a while. Today, Adrian Hope-Bailie sent a message to the lists with more detail and how to participate in "dial-up" Interledger:



When the Internet was first emerging and large university and research networks were coming together on the back of the Internet Protocol the challenge for everyday users was how they could access this new network of networks without special permission or equipment.

We face a similar challenge with ILP in that very few of the ledgers accessible to us support the one function that is critical to universal ILP payments; real-time conditional transfers. (I wrote a bit about conditional transfer here: https://medium.com/@ahopebailie/the-power-of-conditional-payments-2d1ea531250a )

So, just like the pioneers of the Internet we're improvising!

"Dial-up" interledger enables us to bootstrap the Interledger using "virtual" ledgers between connectors that have established a bounded trusted relationship.

In other words, if I run a small connector and I trust my friend Stefan who also runs a connector then we can transact without needing an ILP-enabled ledger between us.

We establish a credit limit that we are both comfortable with and agree on a way to settle our positions as required (via Bitcoin, bank transfer or even cash).

Consider what will happen if we build a community of people who are all establishing similar peering relationships and then introduce ILP-enabled ledgers to bridge any gaps between connectors that don't know one another. Very soon we'll have an entirely new payments network where payments flow like information does on the Internet today.

We're calling this project the Interledger Bootstrap Project and I've started capturing some thoughts on the project wiki: https://github.com/interledgerjs/ilp-kit/wiki

In short:

1. Get the ilp-kit code and run a node

2. Find other nodes to peer with

3. Do ILP-enabled transactions

4. Win!

The ilp-kit is still pre-release and likely to have some bugs and change a lot so if you're keen to be an early adopter and help test and contribute back to that project please do so. If you'd rather wait until the code stabilizes a bit then keep watching the list and we'll let you know when the first Beta is available.

Please feel free to make contributions to the wiki. It would be great if this was a community effort!



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  • 3 weeks later...

It is incredibly heartening that the Ripple Labs strategy has led to ILP, which in turn now supports implementation of and expansion on the original vision of Ryan Fugger. Banks have essentially funded it, and they themselves stand to benefit from the act. I think there is something profound in that. I am reminded of these words from Fugger:


I spent years working on growing pre-XRP Ripple in a grassroots fashion, and it was ultimately a barrier that people and small businesses aren't used to being credit intermediaries. I generally prefer the grassroots approach, but it makes sense to me to initially target institutions that are already acting as credit intermediaries, at least for the credit network portion of Ripple.

Instead of the Ripple of today being mutually exclusive with its foundational aspirations, the relationship may in fact be one of engine and fuel. Financial institutions will continue to evolve alongside financial technology. I suspect their evolutionary arc will continue to trend toward the original vision, as well as that of David Birch, and we will ultimately see a convergence of the grassroots and FI ecosystems. I believe ample evidence already exists that they are at least as mutually beneficial as they are distant seeming. Ripple Labs introduces technology that acts as a harmonizing evolutionary agent; technology is neutral to the grassroots and FIs, as it benefits both, and both benefit from supporting its advancement.

ILP is a bold strategic move for Ripple Labs; it is the antithesis of lock-in. For RCL to thrive, it must be the best positioned and implemented system to interface with, and RL seems to be almost perfectly executing to guide the evolutionary momentum of that future. It is a pleasure to ponder how much of the strategy is purely emergent and how much is consciously directed. Beyond doubt, we are witnessing ripples of brilliance.

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Guest Haydentiff

Because it's the logical extension of the original Ripple idea.

It's gone full circle!

On 2016-11-24 at 7:19 AM, hypostatization said:

Beyond doubt, we are witnessing ripples of brilliance.


It's the most brilliant fintech on the planet.

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