Marek Olszewski's Keynote at Buidl Asia


In this tutorial, we will explore Marek Olszewski’s keynote speech at Buidl Asia, where he discusses the importance of building accessible Web3 applications. Olszewski emphasizes the need to make Web3 technology available to the masses and outlines how Celo, a platform built with mobile devices in mind, enables developers to create easy-to-use and delightful experiences for users worldwide. This tutorial will cover the key points discussed in the speech and provide an overview of the features that make Celo a suitable platform for building Web3 applications.

Understanding the Current State of Web3 Accessibility

Olszewski starts by asking the audience if they believe Web3 technology is accessible to everyone. He notes that not a single person raised their hand, indicating that the current state of Web3 accessibility is lacking. He expresses his disappointment, as it has been 15 years since the release of the Bitcoin white paper, yet Web3 remains inaccessible to the majority of people. Olszewski highlights the missed opportunity to bring new users into the world of Web3 and calls for the development of products that can better target and engage a broader audience.

Celo: A Platform for Easy-to-Use Web3 Applications

Olszewski introduces Celo as a platform that unlocks the capability for developers to build easy-to-use Web3 applications. He explains that Celo is an EVM-compatible proof-of-stake network, which has been live for three years and is the first chain to be carbon-negative. However, the focus of his speech is on the ease of use provided by Celo, particularly in the mobile domain where most users are present.

Key Feature 1: Gas UX and Scalability

One of the essential aspects of making Web3 accessible is improving the gas user experience (UX). Olszewski mentions that Celo has dedicated significant effort to designing a scalable proof-of-stake consensus protocol that can process up to a thousand transactions per second. The platform offers one-block finality, ensuring that transactions cannot be rolled back after validation. Additionally, Celo is committed to maintaining low gas fees, aiming to keep them below one cent per ERC20 transfer. By addressing scalability and gas fees, Celo enhances the overall user experience and prevents users from being deterred by high costs.

Key Feature 2: Token-based Gas Payments

Olszewski highlights another key feature of Celo: the ability to pay for gas fees using ERC20 tokens. Celo allows users to pay for transactions using stablecoins that have been added through on-chain governance. This eliminates the need for users to acquire a separate gas currency before performing transactions. Olszewski emphasizes that this feature makes it significantly easier for users to send and receive tokens without worrying about additional gas costs. By simplifying the transaction process, Celo improves accessibility for mainstream users.

Key Feature 3: Mobile-Focused Features

To target a broader audience, Celo was built with mobile devices in mind. Olszewski explains that Celo includes mobile-focused features such as a phone number identity system and social connections between wallets. The phone number identity system enables users to send tokens or crypto to people in their contact list using phone numbers as identifiers. This feature simplifies transactions and improves user engagement. Additionally, Celo offers efficient data synchronization, allowing users to sync with the chain using minimal data from their mobile phones. These mobile-focused features enhance usability and accessibility for users on the go.

FIA Connect: Simplifying On and Off-Ramps

Olszewski introduces FIA Connect, a hub and spoke model that simplifies the integration of on and off-ramp services into wallets. He explains that FIA Connect enables wallets to integrate with multiple on and off-ramp providers through a single integration. This streamlines the user experience by allowing users to easily convert between fiat and digital currencies within their wallets.

Key Feature 4: Seamless Fiat-to-Crypto Integration

Olszewski emphasizes the importance of enabling users to seamlessly convert between fiat and cryptocurrencies. With FIA Connect, wallets can offer users the ability to purchase cryptocurrencies directly within the app, using various payment methods such as credit cards or bank transfers. This feature eliminates the need for users to rely on third-party exchanges or services, simplifying the onboarding process for new users and making it easier for them to enter the world of Web3.

Key Feature 5: Global Compliance and Regulation

To ensure that the integration of on and off-ramp services complies with global regulations, FIA Connect incorporates a compliance layer. This layer includes Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes, allowing wallets to verify user identities and ensure regulatory compliance when facilitating fiat-to-crypto conversions. By addressing compliance requirements, FIA Connect enables wallets to provide a secure and trustworthy environment for users.

Conclusion and Call to Action

In conclusion, Olszewski reiterates the need to make Web3 technology accessible to everyone and emphasizes the importance of building easy-to-use and delightful experiences for users. He highlights Celo as a platform that enables developers to create accessible Web3 applications, with features such as gas UX and scalability, token-based gas payments, mobile-focused features, and integration of on and off-ramp services through FIA Connect.

Olszewski concludes his keynote speech with a call to action for developers, urging them to leverage the tools and features provided by Celo to build applications that can bring Web3 to the masses. He encourages developers to focus on user experience, simplicity, and addressing the needs of mainstream users. By working together, developers can drive the adoption of Web3 technology and make it accessible and inclusive for everyone.

That concludes the summary of Marek Olszewski’s keynote speech at Buidl Asia. I hope you found this tutorial helpful in understanding the importance of building accessible Web3 applications and the features that make Celo a suitable platform for achieving that goal.

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