The use-case for cryptocurrencies as methods of payment and money was one of the primary reasons it was invented.
Coil, a company started by the co-creator of the InterLedger Protocol and former CTO of Ripple, Stefan Thomas, has successfully implemented streaming XRP micropayments to prominent sites such as YouTube and Twitch. This means that the content creators on the website will be able to receive payments for just as long as the users are on the page.
This represents a move forward in payments, as actual value is being transacted to the handlers of the website in real time. To understand what this truly means, it is important to focus on what streaming payments are.
STREAM is a protocol on the ILP for the Streaming Transport for the Realtime Exchange of Assets and Messages, and is similar to the TCP seen on the Internet today. Money can be sent over the protocol, whether it be a small series of quick payments or one large payment. It will be sent using a constant ‘stream’ of micropayments.
Coil functions on the ILP and utilizes STREAM to provide content creators with the opportunity to integrate the service into their website for payments. Once the software is integrated, users who pay Coil’s flat $5 fee a month can stream payments in XRP directly to the contributor.
As David Schwartz, the CTO of Ripple stated:
“Content providers don’t need any agreement with Coil. If they provide value in exchange for funds, coil (and others) will pay them to get that value. If not, not. Universal and painless for creators.”
If Coil does reach prominence as a main method of payment, the Internet of the future will be a more organic place to produce content. For every second a user is on an article, a small amount of XRP will be sent to them. As soon as the user stops, the stream of payments also ends.
This can be extrapolated to include other services such as streaming music, video or generally contributing to content. For example, a user could watch a YouTube video for 30 seconds and be charged only for those 30 seconds.
Other uses for streaming payments include being able to pay for a certain measure of a good. For example, users of ILP could pay for just how much beer down to the milliliter they consume in a bar, as opposed to buying an established amount.
Enthusiasts who are familiar with Ripple’s vision for the Internet of Value will recognize that this effectively marks the next step in the pursuit of that future. Value is now moving as quickly as the data that websites harvest from their users, thus allowing a general movement of the economy away from data-mining for targeted advertising to a cheap, unseen alternative that works in the background for a fair economy.
For the XRP enthusiasts, this not only represents a movement in the way value is transacted but also more bullish news. This is the beginning of the movement of the XRP Ledger away from only Ripple developing applications for it, as Coil was created by Thomas after he left the company.