Why Web Monetization and Interledger?

From what I’m seeing so far, the Web Monetization API and the Interledger protocol don’t seem all that great. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but these projects don’t easily allow for disintermediation. For example, Web Monetization requires you to create a wallet with a third-party entity to receive payments, and requires users to have an account with a third-party provider to send payments. This is not peer-to-peer, and it looks like these services will accept and transmit funds on your behalf, meaning they actually receive custody of the funds. This brings regulatory and compliance burdens for anyone who wants to setup a wallet or payment provider. Also, Web Monetization is not even a standard yet. To use it, I would have to require my users to install an extension. This is undesirable for hopefully obvious reasons, including disallowing many browsers and mobile users.

With a blockchain like Ethereum, as a developer I can create software that transmits value in a very peer-to-peer manner, right now with no browser extensions, on virtually all browsers, desktop and mobile. I don’t need to go through any third-party intermediaries to send funds, and I can create truly unhosted/non-custodial wallets for my users. The user does not have to create an account with anyone, not even with me. As a developer, I just provide the software, client-side, that allows the user to create an address and private key. They can then send cryptocurrency to that wallet, and use my application to sign and send transactions. Also with Ethereum, many stablecoins have popped up that allow users to transact essentially in USD. It gets a little more complex as you try to abstract away certain UX hindrances, but the point I’m trying to make is that blockchain protocols like Ethereum already offer simple non-custodial solutions, that don’t require intermediaries to the degree that the Web Monetization and Interledger protocols seem to require.


I mostly bring this up because of my project Podcrypt: https://podcrypt.app

I was hoping to apply for a grant, but the requirement to use Web Monetization and Interledger seem to make this a no-go for me. I would love to integrate them if they provided me something better than what I already have, but integrating them would create unnecessary complications for Podcrypt.

Using Ethereum, I already have non-custodial wallets for my users, created directly in their browsers and stored there. There is no need for my users to get an account with a provider of any sort. I also have much more flexibility in my payment model. Podcrypt allows users to pay Podcrypt itself, but also the podcasts they listen to. I don’t see how Web Monetization would allow for this use case, as the users aren’t directly accessing the websites of the podcasts they are listening to. How I accomplish it now is by pulling the Ethereum address (or ENS name) from the RSS feed of the podcast. I can them create payments from the user’s wallet directly to the podcast’s wallet.

Not sure what Web Monetization or Interledger would do to enhance the functionality of Podcrypt.

Any ideas? Am I thinking about this incorrectly? Should I still apply?

Micro-payments and P2P wallets are two different use cases. There is a cost to any ledger transaction, whether gas or latency, even with state channels or lightning networks. Micropayments is more sampling the attention of the browser, only the monthly (or otherwise) settlement needs to be fully on the blockchain so the individual costs are miniscule.

users to get an account with a provider

authorisation to disburse the micropayments to authors … entities such as coil effectively act as copyright collecting agencies. Until the content is fully-decentralised (with blockchain identity or IPFS) you still need that intermediatory, but wallets can be non-custodian as well.

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