The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is a charitable organization launched by the legendary Microsoft founder and his wife, is reportedly helping Ripple Labs develop its Interledger Protocol in cooperation with a digital payments company called Coil. Miller Abel, who is the foundation's Chief Technologist and its Deputy Director, announced the partnership in a recent tweet. Though the foundation has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Abel mentioned in the tweet that the foundation's activities will not be limited to just helping Ripple implement the Interledger Protocol, which is a system for connecting disparate payment ledgers and for facilitating quick processing of international money transfers. The foundation, he said, will also help Ripple devise means of using Mojaloop to support payment systems for the poor. Mojaloop is open-source financial software focused on interoperability that uses Interledger functionality and is intended for financial companies, government regulators, and others involved in fintech. The Gates Foundation released the software a year ago with the hope of creating a mobile payments platform geared toward the developing world, which in turn would provide a wide range of financial services for those who currently do not have proper access to banks. According to the World Bank, last year around 1.7 billion people around the world could technically be classified as "unbanked," which equates to nearly a third of the world's population. Most of these people live in various types of emerging markets where there is no true access to modern banking services due to the inability to properly identify individuals. Platforms powered by the blockchain can solve this problem, by providing people with a digital identity when using banking services. This can be achieved through simple and widely available technology, such as smartphones and biometric scanners. Coil, which is the third player in this partnership, is a company started by Stefan Thomas, who was once the CTO of Ripple. They offer a subscription platform based on Interledger that — among other things — lets individuals financially support various creators of content.