A Closer Look at the Celo Stack

A Closer Look at the Celo Stack https://celo.academy/uploads/default/optimized/2X/1/1737d43953d5c46d03caca06aeed79363ae23940_2_1024x576.jpeg
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The Celo platform aims to make financial tools accessible to anyone with a mobile device, regardless of their prior experience with cryptocurrencies. By adopting a full-stack approach, Celo is designed to provide a seamless experience for end-users while also considering the needs of other stakeholders, such as node operators. In this post, we’ll explore the Celo stack, its blockchain, core contracts, and applications, offering an in-depth understanding of this innovative platform.

Celo’s Architectural Building Blocks

Celo’s architecture can be divided into three main components: the Celo blockchain, Celo core contracts, and applications. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Celo Blockchain

The Celo blockchain is a secure, decentralized platform that allows applications to conduct transactions and execute smart contracts. While it shares some similarities with Ethereum, the Celo blockchain uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism with Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) instead of Proof-of-Work. This makes the platform more energy-efficient and scalable, with unique transaction formats and gas payment mechanisms.

Celo Core Contracts

The Celo core contracts are a series of smart contracts running on the Celo blockchain. These contracts govern key platform features such as stablecoins, identity attestations, proof-of-stake, and decentralized governance. The smart contracts are upgradable and managed through the platform’s governance process, allowing for continuous improvements and adaptations.


Celo’s applications, such as the Celo Wallet app, provide end-users with a user-friendly interface to interact with the platform. Applications can be built by third parties, leveraging the Celo blockchain and core contracts to provide a range of services, from remittance solutions to decentralized finance (DeFi) products. While applications primarily interact with the Celo blockchain, they may also use centralized services to enhance the user experience.

Exploring the Celo Network Topology

The Celo network comprises various nodes operating in different configurations, including validators, full nodes, and light clients.


Validators are responsible for forming new blocks and securing the network through the BFT consensus protocol. Due to scalability constraints, the number of validators is limited, and they are selected through a decentralized election process involving cGLD token holders.

Full Nodes

Full nodes support the network by serving light clients, forwarding transactions, and receiving associated fees. Unlike traditional proof-of-work networks, Celo nodes do not engage in mining activities.

Light Clients

Light clients are instances of the Celo blockchain software running on end-users’ devices. They connect to full nodes to request account and transaction data and submit new transactions. Light clients offer a lightweight solution for users, without the need to maintain the entire blockchain’s state.

Celo Wallet

The Celo Wallet is a user-friendly application that allows individuals to manage their accounts and conduct transactions securely. Although the wallet relies on the peer-to-peer light client protocol for critical features, it also employs centralized services like push notifications and transaction activity feeds to enhance the user experience.


Understanding the Celo platform’s architecture and components is crucial to fully appreciate its potential to democratize access to financial tools. As you explore the Celo ecosystem, you’ll find that its innovative approach to blockchain technology, core contracts, and applications creates a powerful foundation for accessible, user-friendly financial solutions. With this knowledge, you can confidently navigate the world of Celo and leverage its capabilities to benefit both your business and the broader community.