Former Ripple CTO launches smart contract platform for content monetisation

The former CTO of Ripple, Stefan Thomas, has announced the relaunch of Codius, a smart contracts platform that will underpin a new company geared at changing the way websites monetise their content.

Released in beta as far back as 2014, this isn’t the first we’ve seen of Codius’ open-source framework; Following his departure from Ripple in May, however, Thomas has breathed new life into the platform to provide the structure for Coil, a company with lofty ambitions to change the way that web publishers make money.

Announcing the project’s launch on Medium, Thomas introduced the “frictionless” micropayment service working on Ripple’s open-source distributed ledger technology Interledger as an alternative to the existing “workarounds” of advertising, paywalls, or selling user data.

While the idea of micropayments to fund web content is nothing actually new, the former Ripple employee said that so far attempts have been built as “closed systems” which fail to capture the “huge variety” of content on the web, while clunky payment authorisation processes have hampered further innovation.

“Frictionless currency”

Since joining the cryptocurrency and payments startup in 2012, Thomas claims his ambitions have lied in advancing the world to a stage where currency moves “as frictionlessly as information”, a premise that sits at the bedrock of his plans for Coil.

“We’ve worked with Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, and others to create the W3C Web Payments Request API that has been rolling out to billions of iOS and Android devices but we can go so much further,” said Thomas.  

“With the technologies we’ve helped build at Ripple – XRP and Interledger – we can process trillions of transactions per second without any central authority.”

In terms of real-world application, CoinDesk ascertained that Codius could enable use cases such as a “revenue disbursement contract”, which would claim revenue as people watch a movie and pay it out to all the parties involved “little by little”, while smart contracts could allow news outlets to manage readers’ subscriptions and preferences, acting as “a sort of switching board for your money,” according to Thomas.

Since its launch, a number of high-profile developers have already expressed interest in working with Coil, with many citing the Codius as an alternative to the “cost and scalability issues” associated with Ethereum.


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