Celo Tech Talks Part 9 - Engineering in the field


Judy Piper, an engineering leader at C Labs and the host of the Celo Tech Talk series, thanks the audience for joining and introduces the purpose of the talks, which is to share knowledge about Celo technologies. She mentions that the recordings of previous talks are available on the Celo Foundation’s YouTube channel and encourages participants to provide feedback and suggestions.

Introduction to Anna and the Topic

Judy introduces Anna, who will be discussing her recent trip for research and engineering work in the field. She emphasizes that this session will be more conversational compared to the typical presentation style of previous talks. Anna is given the floor to introduce herself and provide some background information.

Anna’s Background and Interest in Blockchain

Anna shares her background and how she got interested in blockchain during her time at MIT. She learned about mining Ethereum and became intrigued by the concept of internet money. Through her involvement with the MIT Bitcoin Club, she realized the potential impact of blockchain technology in emerging markets.

Building Technical Products in Emerging Markets

Anna delves into the main focus of the talk, which is building technical products in emerging markets and how Celo approaches this. She highlights her experience working on a pilot project in the Philippines, collaborating with workers from a Jollibee restaurant to test the merchant experience using the Celo wallet.

Challenges and Lessons Learned in the Philippines Pilot

Anna discusses the challenges encountered during the pilot, such as slow internet connectivity and the need to optimize the transaction speed. She also mentions issues related to the backup phrase and the importance of user education. Anna shares that specific feedback and asking precise questions about user experience were key learnings from the project.

Cash-out Options and Trust Building

Anna emphasizes the importance of a good cash-out option to build trust with users. She gives an example of how users can cash out their Celo dollars and receive physical currency or mobile money like M-Pesa. Anna also mentions the importance of personalization in the app, as users wanted a sense of ownership and identity.

Expanding the Celo Community and Conclusion

Judy and Anna wrap up the conversation, expressing their enthusiasm for expanding the Celo community and receiving feedback. They encourage participants to join the Celo Discord channel and provide suggestions for future pilot locations. The session concludes with gratitude for the attendees’ participation.