Note: The resource above offers an in-depth explanation on the information summarized below.
Celo is a project aimed at removing barriers for large-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies as means-of-payment. The team is dedicated to building products for financial empowerment to address shortcomings in the global financial system. This initiative has been in progress for over 20 years, with roots in peer-to-peer reputation systems and decentralized identity prototypes. With the advent of blockchain technology, powerful mobile phones, and global internet penetration, Celo aims to bring financial inclusion to everyone, everywhere.
1.7 billion people worldwide do not have access to basic financial tools, according to a financial inclusion report by the World Bank Group. A key issue is that 1.1 billion people lack an officially recognized form of ID, a requirement for accessing essential services like banking, healthcare, and education. While two-thirds of this “unbanked” population have a mobile phone, mobile money services are often costly and fragmented, posing challenges for cross-border transactions.
Celo facilitates large-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies by making participation easy and accessible, even for those with budget Android smartphones. This is achieved through an innovative address-based encryption algorithm, which simplifies money sending to the level of sending a text. Moreover, Celo uses stable-value tokens tied to fiat currencies, such as the US Dollar, to reduce payment volatility. The first application launching on the Celo platform is a social payments and money transfer app, intended for developing markets.
Celo equates the ease of sending payments to that of sending a text. This is achieved by mapping phone numbers to wallet addresses via a decentralized address-based encryption algorithm. Mobile participants also earn rewards for securing and maintaining the system.
Celo has stable tokens pegged to fiat currencies, such as the US Dollar, to minimize volatility. These tokens are supported by a diversified, overcollateralized, and publicly auditable crypto-asset reserve.
Celo’s core technology is based on the same reliable distributed ledger technology that powers Bitcoin and Ethereum. This allows for the issuance of efficient digital currencies that are secure, immutable, non-counterfeitable, and interoperable.
Celo is committed to building a global system that enables more people to participate. The team, comprising experienced engineers, entrepreneurs, designers, legal and policy experts, thinkers, and researchers, is supported by a broad range of backers, including C-level operators, investors, academics, and experts across fields such as finance, international payments, security, and cryptography.
Celo recently announced an initial funding round of $6.5M by Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Polychain Capital, Coinbase, Reid Hoffman, Jack Dorsey, Naval Ravikant, Linda Xie, Arianna Simpson, Social Capital, and Lakestar, among others.
Celo is always seeking to expand its team with diverse perspectives and experiences. Visit celo.org/jobs for more information on current openings. Join the journey of Celo towards building a monetary system that creates the conditions for prosperity for all.