XRP
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XRP · 62w

The Interledger Protocol: A Bigger Pie for Everybody

Dramatic History Lesson

When the internet first became accessible to mainstream consumers at the turn of the century, one company seemed to have a massive market share advantage, with user numbers that were measured in the tens of millions. That company was AOL.

AOL tried to purposefully obscure the difference between an Internet Service Provider and a website offering email.  At the height of their popularity, over 35 million people used AOL to connect to the Internet. 1

Customers soon began to realize that the best sites on the internet had nothing to do with AOL, however, and began to ask the question: “If I can get free email at Yahoo or Hotmail, why don’t I just get access to the Internet via an internet service provider or ISP?”

And thus began AOL’s loss of market share as people suddenly realized that the real innovation was the Internet itself, enabled by the HTTP protocol.

Although AOL has seen some measure of success since their almost-demise, this history lesson has stark overtones for crypto-currency investors.

When Bitcoin was created, it was an innovation – a distributed store of value that existed in its own closed system, its own network.  It was – and still is – a powerful, awe-inspiring concept.  Many APIs have been written to interact with its code, but these communications were developed with no standardization, and with no effort to look to a future where various networks would be needed to talk to each other.

Bitcoin currently has the market share… but how long before customers realize that they can own and use any coin with their bank account?  That time is coming very quickly with Interledger Protocol; the new international standard for how payments are communicated between networks.

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