Ask me Anything about Celo with Markus Franke and Rene Reinsberg


The transcript features a conversation between Markus Franke and Rene Reinsberg, both of whom worked together at “Jagang Nein Sin” in 2006 and are currently involved in the blockchain industry, specifically working on the Celo blockchain. They express their desire to engage with the community and discuss the open and inclusive financial system they are building. The audience is encouraged to ask questions through the chat field or the “Ask a Question” feature. It is clarified that the discussion will cover various topics related to blockchain, Celo, and investing in crypto, although no investment advice will be given.

Background and Expertise

Markus Franke shares his background, mentioning his experience in investment banking, his Ph.D. in quantitative finance, and his work as a portfolio manager. He highlights his transition to the blockchain space, where he has been working on Celo for almost two years. The focus of his work involves the development of a 1.6 billion euro portfolio for different pension funds, including the Bank for International Settlements.

Renee Reinsberg’s Journey

Renee Reinsberg discusses his experience working in Latin America with organizations like Technosurf in Guatemala and the World Bank’s local office in Venezuela. He expresses his entrepreneurial aspirations and the formation of a company before joining Celo. Renee reflects on the similarities between the decentralized infrastructure of blockchain and the concept of the semantic web, drawing parallels to organizations like Mercy Corps and the Grameen Foundation.

Differentiation in Blockchain Platforms

The conversation shifts towards discussing the unique selling proposition (USP) of Celo and other blockchain platforms. Bitcoin is acknowledged as the first and most prominent blockchain with simplicity and high name recognition. Ethereum is mentioned as a layer one protocol, with examples given of layer two protocols such as Compound for collateralized lending. The discussion highlights the presence of numerous layer one protocols that are not differentiated and are based on forks of Bitcoin or Ethereum. Recent layer one protocols have adopted proof-of-stake architecture and other unique features.

Celo’s USP and Partnerships

Celo’s USP is highlighted, focusing on its ultra-light client that can run on simple Android phones, making it highly accessible, particularly in regions with limited access to mobile technology. The importance of partnerships is emphasized, with organizations like the Grameen Foundation and venture funds like Polychain being mentioned. The growing interest from institutional investors and endowments is seen as a sign of the maturing and long-term nature of the blockchain industry.

CoinList Auction and Compliance

The speakers discuss an upcoming auction on CoinList, explaining that it provides an opportunity for the community to access Celo tokens before they are listed on exchanges. The auction aims to ensure compliance and avoid potential regulatory concerns related to Know Your Customer (KYC) information. They acknowledge the involvement of Olaf Carlson-Wee as an early backer and express their belief in the long-term view of projects like Celo.

Celo’s Business Model and Ecosystem

The question about Celo’s business model is addressed, highlighting that part of the transaction fees supports the development of an ecosystem of applications built on the Celo blockchain. The open-source nature of Celo allows for the creation of various applications beyond simple money transfers, including savings, loans, micro-pensions, and microwork. The speakers emphasize the alignment of incentives in the Celo ecosystem, where participants hold Celo Gold, which serves as both a utility token and a governance asset.


In the closing remarks, the speakers encourage further questions and discussions from the audience. They express their willingness to provide more information and support to those interested in the blockchain space, while.