To illustrate how to build with Interledger, I will tell you a story. It’s December 2021, and many Nigerians from the South are back in Nigeria to spend Christmas with family and friends from all over the world. They will attend many scheduled weddings. It’s December 26, 2021, and Obi and Kelechi are getting married. Kelechi lives in Toronto, and Obi lives in San Francisco. Obi is a startup founder making Silicon Valley Money mixed with Henny, $73m last year, and Kelechi is the Vice President of Innovation at one of Canada’s largest banks. They have worked hard and are both doing well in their early 30s. Combined, they’re worth over $50m in liquid cash and have friends that also have much money. So, they are not looking to be modest on their special occasion.
I meet Kelechi, and we discuss plans for their Wedding. She tells me about the Doings* at the Wedding she attended when she was in Nigeria a year ago. She’s smiling and excited about her Wedding as she describes the plans for the Doings they have planned for it. Something stands out; they’re discouraging cash spraying but encouraging digital cash and crypto spraying. Digital cash spraying? I ask. Yes, she answers. Then she goes on to tell me about DoingsMachine*, a new solution that enables people to spray all kinds of currency and cryptos right from their phone at events and weddings built with Interledger. She works in Finance and Obi in tech, so they are the first to use DoingsMachine.
The Interledger-powered Cash Sprayer
As Kelechi explains DoingsMachine, Obi walks into to room with a giant smile on his face. You’re talking about DoingsMachine? he asks. Yes, Kelechi replies, smiling. They both smile, and Obi kisses Kelechi on her forehead. And he listens as Kelechi starts describing the digital money spraying machine. Kelechi talks about the mobile app that allows users to sign in to an event with a QR code. She explains that once users get the app, they log in with their phone number and receive a link via text message, which they use to fund their Wallet by card, bank transfer, crypto, and other methods. Once funded, she adds, they get the option to spray any of the supported twenty Cryptocurrencies and ten fiat currencies in real-time at an event.
Obi jumps in; what is money spraying without some form of money raining? He asks and explains the second component of DoingsMachine: A web app projected to a mighty screen at large events. On this screen, everyone can see money falling from the top of the screen. Think of drive-in movie theatres but with cryptos raining down the screen. As users spray any of the supported currencies, the screen displays it falling from the top, and the sprayer’s name and ranking increase as they spray more. Sprayers can set their name and picture on the app, which then gets projected to the screen. How is all this built? What powers the money transfer? How can you support so many currencies and cryptos? I have many questions, I wonder. Kelechi, the Fintech Queen and Cryptocurrency Scarface, jumps in: Interledger powers it all, she says.
The Tech and Nitty-gritty
The Sprayer app
Kelechi is speaking. She mentions that the app is a simple web app built with React that pulls a User balance from the platform wallet. And that on the screen, the user can enable up to 5 live sprayer currencies, which show up on the Large-screen display app when sprayed. As they swipe up or spray, a fraction of the currency is debited from their Wallet, and a transaction is created to send funds to the live event. The backend handles reconciliation and exchange rates.
The Large-screen Display
Because Obi loves the ability to see the ranking of sprayers and the amounts sprayed, he jumps in to start explaining the large screen display. The large-screen Display, he begins, is also a web app that uses Websocket to get the latest transactions for the live event and updates the Display. It shows the funds being sprayed raining down on the screen and shows a chart of the sprayers with their name and profile picture as a thumbnail.
The backend is where the magic happens, continues Kelechi. Here you have streaming payments built with Interledger. Obi then goes on to explain how to build with Interledger. He says that Interldger Protocol is an open protocol suite for sending payments across different ledgers. Like the internet, connectors route packets of money across independent networks. And he then adds that the open architecture and minimal protocol enable interoperability for any value transfer system.
Obi mentions one more consideration in Passing: Chimoney. With this option, you call the Chimoney API /send endpoint and pass the appropriate redeem option. One downside is that you cannot withdraw fiat currency but can withdraw multiple cryptos, mobile money, and even gift cards and airtime.
Obi continues, whether you build with Interledger and or with Chimoney, you’re storing the Interledger or Chimoney transaction details alongside the sprayer ID and the live event ID in DoingsMachine’s database. With this information, you can use a web socket to get the transactions for the live event in the Large-screen Display app and group them by sprayer or currency/token to render the user interface.
End of story.
How it all fits together
- A user planning an event like a wedding signs up to DoingsMachine and creates a live event. They get an event code.
- Before or during the event, attendees get the event link or code and create an account. And they sign up with their mobile phone on the mobile app.
- They fund their DoingsMachine Wallet.
- Before or during the event, an attendee sets their preferences like their display name, thumbnail picture, and live coins/currencies.
- On the dance floor, they swipe on their screen to spray one of the live currencies.
- They can see their name and currencies falling from the top of the large live Display screen.
- At the end of the event, the event planner cashes out all the money. They can either request payout in the sprayed currencies or convert to a single local currency.
- DoingsMachine charges transaction fees.
DoingsMachine will likely result in many transactions on Interledger. The proper marketing and UI/UX will generate revenue for the creator of DoingsMachine, especially in the Nigerian wedding context. And I am happy to mentor anyone looking to build this or work with others looking to fund a team to make this a reality!
Getting started with Interledger
- See the getting started guide to build with Interledger.
- Refer to the Interledger Spec
- Ask questions in the Interledger forum and
- Get some free and open-source tools
- People should be able to celebrate in a way that works for them but without causing harm even to paper currency. That is why bringing spraying digital and giving people more options is essential.
- DoingsMachine is a random name I came up with and can be changed. I was going to call it SaaS: Spraying as a Service. DoingsMachine is an idea right now.
See my other articles at uchibeke.com/blog.