In this tutorial, we will explore the transcript of a presentation titled “Connect the World: Onramps and Access.” The presentation discusses initiatives called Connect the World and Fiat Connect, aimed at solving a major challenge in the Celo ecosystem: the lack of widespread on and off ramps for Celo assets. We will dive into the details of these initiatives and understand how they can revolutionize the accessibility and usability of Celo assets worldwide.
The presentation starts by introducing Lucy Actiano, a microworker from Kenya. Lucy supplements her income by performing small tasks on her phone, such as data annotation or image labeling. She earns about $7 USD per day in Celo Dollars (cUSD) and can immediately cash out her earnings into mobile money called M-Pesa using an integration called Katani Pay. This integration serves as an off-ramp for Celo assets in Kenya.
The presenter acknowledges that Lucy’s case is more of an exception rather than the norm. Currently, there are limited on and off ramps for Celo assets around the world. The goal is to create a world where people like Lucy have the opportunity to use their Celo assets in valuable ways that benefit their everyday lives.
The presenter invites the audience to imagine a world where sending money to anyone in the world is immediately usable. Similar to the revolution brought by messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal, they aim to make Celo as revolutionary for value as those apps were for messaging. Celo’s mobile-first blockchain, supported by apps like Velora, already allows for quick and low-cost transactions. However, the focus now shifts to making Celo assets immediately available for use, which requires expanding the on and off ramps globally.
To address this challenge, the Celo Foundation announces two initiatives: Connect the World and Fiat Connect. Connect the World is a programmatic approach aimed at expanding the on and off ramps for Celo assets worldwide. Fiat Connect, on the other hand, is the underlying technology that will power this expansion. The presentation emphasizes the importance of these initiatives in achieving Celo’s mission of prosperity for all.
The Celo Foundation commits up to $20 million to build better on and off ramps worldwide. They offer a financial incentive of $50,000 per country for the first provider to offer a working on and off ramp using Fiat Connect. This creates a sense of urgency, encouraging providers to participate. Additionally, the foundation subsidizes on-ramp fees of up to $100,000 per country, reducing barriers for users to enter the Celo ecosystem.
The ultimate goal of these initiatives is to create the most robust on and off ramps with the simplest cash-in and cash-out experience ever. This expansion will have a significant impact, enabling individuals like Lucy to send value or money to almost any country in the world, knowing that it can be immediately used by the recipients. It will also benefit companies with global workforces, payroll providers, NGOs delivering aid, and DeFi applications, unlocking a host of new users and use cases.
Fiat Connect is introduced as the technology that will solve the cash-in and cash-out challenge in the Celo ecosystem. The current approach faces difficulties due to a lack of agreement between wallets and providers on how these processes should work. Fiat Connect aims to establish a formal agreement, an API specification, that outlines how cash in and cash out should function.
Fiat Connect aims to establish a formal agreement, an API specification, that outlines how cash in and cash out should function. It also provides building blocks for wallets and providers to integrate with each other seamlessly. By standardizing the process, Fiat Connect ensures interoperability and a consistent user experience across different wallets and providers.
The presenter explains the cash-in experience with Fiat Connect. When a user wants to convert their fiat currency into Celo assets, they can initiate the process through their wallet. The wallet communicates with the selected provider using the Fiat Connect API, which facilitates the exchange of funds. This process can involve various payment methods, such as bank transfers, debit/credit cards, or mobile money, depending on the available options in each country.
Similarly, the cash-out experience with Fiat Connect is designed to be simple and convenient. When a user wants to convert their Celo assets back into fiat currency, they can initiate the process through their wallet. The wallet communicates with the selected provider using the Fiat Connect API, and the provider facilitates the transfer of funds to the user’s preferred cash-out method, such as a bank account, mobile money, or a physical cash pickup location.
The presentation explains that providers play a crucial role in expanding the on and off ramps for Celo assets. They are encouraged to integrate with the Fiat Connect API and become part of the network of providers that users can choose from within their wallets. By offering reliable, efficient, and user-friendly cash-in and cash-out services, providers can attract more users to the Celo ecosystem and benefit from the growing demand for on and off ramps.
Competition among providers is essential to drive innovation, improve services, and reduce fees for users. However, collaboration is equally important to ensure interoperability and a seamless experience for users across different wallets and providers. The Celo Foundation encourages both competition and collaboration within the ecosystem to achieve the best possible outcomes for users worldwide.
The presentation concludes by reiterating the vision of connecting the world through accessible and usable on and off ramps for Celo assets. The Connect the World and Fiat Connect initiatives, supported by the $20 million investment and the participation of providers, aim to make this vision a reality. By enabling individuals like Lucy Actiano to easily send and use Celo assets globally, these initiatives unlock new opportunities for financial inclusion, economic empowerment, and prosperity for all.
At the end of the presentation, the audience is directed to visit the Celo Foundation’s website and join the community to learn more about Connect the World, Fiat Connect, and how to get involved in expanding the on and off ramps for Celo assets.
That concludes the summary of the presentation “Connect the World: Onramps and Access.” The initiatives introduced, Connect the World and Fiat Connect, hold great promise for improving accessibility and usability of Celo assets globally.