Gates Foundation Gets Involved In Blockchain

Dawid Paluch
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Coil, a blockchain startup, joins forces with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The goal for them is to bring payment services for the poorest. They will try to implement the Interledger Protocol.

The Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the United States (holding over $50 billion in assets). The organization is run by Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and his wife Melinda Gates. The foundation, based in Seattle, is controlled by three trustees: beside the Mr. and Mrs. Gates, the third participant is Warren Buffet. The primary aim of the foundation is to upgrade the global healthcare and reduce extreme poverty.

Pro-poor systems

The news came from the twitter account of Miller Abel, the foundation deputy director and principal technologist.

Abel said that the foundation, Ripple and Coil will work all together with the Interledger Protocol (ILP). The new technology provides routing payments across different digital asset ledgers. It should also eliminate the risk of intermediary failures. Payments between other crypto networks should be simple, fast and safe with this interoperability protocol.

Heal the world, make it a better place

The Gates Foundation launched a partnership with Ripple a year ago. The two organizations released Mojaloop – open-source software focused also on payment services for the unbanked and the poorest.

Coil, a new startup launched in May, was founded by Stefan Thomas, an open-source developer and distributed systems advocate. Thomas is a former chief technology officer (CTO) at Ripple. He co-created the ILP.

For now, we don’t know how this partnership will work. However, Miller Abel created his own account on Twitter just before the announcement to give some explanations.

First, he denied that the Mojaloop is using XRP, the Ripple’s coin. Then, Abel said:

Mojaloop uses the Interledger Protocol to settle payments between customers of different mobile-money services.

The Deputy Director also explained that payment will be in the national currency of the given country. That should include and integrate the poor people. According to Abel, 90% of the world’s poor are covered by mobile signal, so even a “simple mobile phone can be a financial endpoint”.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been developing blockchain technology for three years.

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