Celo – What Tether should have been
Every cryptocurrency has one underlying goal – to serve as a payment system and a personal bank, sidestepping the antiquated legacy systems—an upgrade to the concept of money. But for developing nations, this technology will be crucial, as it will play a role in building infrastructure; where before, there wasn’t anything at all.
Ease of use and accessibility are the two fundamental aspects of success of any cryptocurrency.
However, at the moment, there are several barriers to the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. Generating wallets and learning how to use their keys can be a hassle, even an obstacle for some. Here’s where Celo comes in.
Celo is a new protocol for decentralized social payments that aims to connect people and bank the unbanked through a network of mobile payment apps, among other things.
The biggest point of differentiation of Celo’s network versus other blockchains is that payments in the Celo Dollar stablecoin can be sent to people’s phone numbers rather than complicated and long addresses.
They have a built-in identity layer that maps phone numbers to wallets, which makes it easy to send payments to anyone, no matter if they’re already registered on the network or not. Furthermore, that number serves as an anchor for a reputation system, that can be used in the context of peer-to-peer lending or other types of financial activities. Their focus is on creating a genuinely permissionless platform.
One of the main deterrents of using cryptocurrencies for everyday payments is their volatility, since the purchasing power of a coin can fluctuate widely according to the market demand for it.
Celo combats this with a system of two-tier currency – Celo Dollar is backed by Celo Gold, which is earned by verifiers on their proof of stake blockchain.
Alliance for Prosperity
One can say that Celo holds many similarities to Facebook’s Libra, and it would be correct. They both want to build a payment system with its goal being financial inclusion, with a stablecoin moving through the pipes of the system.
Another similarity is sharing multiple backers and members in the “Alliance for Prosperity”.
Celo’s members have a combined reach of 400 million people. Use cases include remittances and payments, microlending, and making it easier to deliver humanitarian aid.
The organization has raised over $36 million to date mainly through the sale of tokens, including $15 million from Andreessen Horowitz, who has also backed Libra. The Alliance has over 50 members including Coinbase, Anchorage, BisonTrails and MercyCorps.
Other high-profile Alliance partners include Carbon, GiveDirectly, Grameen Foundation, Maple, and Polychain.
On May 11 ten million dollars’ worth of Celo Gold were sold on CoinList. The minimum purchase amount was $100, and each token went for $1.
It was an addition to the existing $30 million funding the organization had raised from Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital and other private investors back in April last year.
- Market Cap: Unknown
- Market Cap ATH: Unknown
- Current price: $1.76 USD
- Price ATH: $1.88 USD
- Circulating Supply: 188,448,000 CELO
- Total Supply: 1,000,000,000 CELO
- Total % of the supply released so far: 18.84%
Discord: Although it seems to be quite active for a project that is just recently starting to take a step into the broad daylight, they could try to condense things.
There are way too many channels, which creates visual clutter, and this adds to none of them being a go-to main channel, where everyone shares from time to time.
Medium: their Medium blog is honestly a joy to look at; there are constant project updates, plans on how to achieve their goals, and other articles.
That is an excellent way to handle a blog, giving the community a connection with your inner workings, and bringing new people, that maybe don’t know about the project, closer.
Twitter: they seem to know what attracts people, and they aren’t missing their step in this one. Constant interaction with the public and community updates is a recipe for success.
Telegram: as far as I know, they don’t have a Telegram community. Telegram is the primary social media and means of communication for the crypto demographic, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt them to add it to their list.
Celo has a vast team of contributors from all around the world. Their collective experience ranges from the public and private sector to technology and nonprofits.
Rene Reinsberg is currently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at General Catalyst Partners. Most recently, Rene was GoDaddy’s Vice President of Emerging Products, responsible for bringing new products to GoDaddy’s portfolio, focused on helping entrepreneurs and small businesses establish and grow their ventures. He co-founded Locu and served as CEO until Locu’s acquisition by GoDaddy in August 2013.
Sep Kamvar is a computer scientist, artist, and entrepreneur. He is currently the LG career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, was also the director of the Social Computing group at the MIT Media Lab.
Started Locu out of MIT, a venture-backed company that was acquired by GoDaddy. His past research includes work on deterministic multithreading and transactional memory for which he received a 2011 Face Fellowship. Has also worked at Microsoft Research, Google and Sun Labs.
Celo is a project that could affect the lives of millions around the globe. It certainly could make banking and remittances accessible to many. Still, a lot of work is going to be needed.
For any of this to happen, it will need developers to build actual useful products. To make their dream of accessibility a reality, the simplicity and ease of use are 100% necessary for it to have any success in developing countries.
To be able to reach all of the places that it wants to, they will undoubtedly need the help of the Alliance of Prosperity, not to mention their hard work as well.