This tutorial provides insights from a discussion at the Celo Connect Salon at EthCC Paris, highlighting the experiences of individuals using Celo technology in various applications. The conversation involves Bernard, who manages a community receiving Universal Basic Income (UBI) and selling products internationally; Immaculate, a digital worker earning cryptocurrency through online jobs; and Emma, who oversees a group of farmers accessing employer-based credit. The tutorial explores their impressions and thoughts on using cryptocurrency, the impact on their communities, and the challenges they faced.
Bernard shares that initially, the communities were unfamiliar with holding cryptocurrency like Celo Dollars (cUSD). However, over time, they found it more convenient than expected and realized its benefits. Building trust was crucial in introducing this new technology, as it was necessary for the communities to believe in its potential to improve their lives.
One positive change observed by Bernard was the increase in financial awareness and control among the supported communities. These individuals, who were previously unbanked, learned to save and manage their finances better through the Celo technology. Encouraged by the program, they started saving and even asked about adding more cUSD to their wallets to maximize the benefits of the reward system.
Emma describes the significant impact of Celo technology on smallholder farmers, who previously had little income and access to education. With Celo’s decentralized finance (DeFi) capabilities, farmers gained access to employer-based lending credits without the need for collateral or burdensome paperwork. This provided them with an opportunity to address their immediate needs and witness the potential of DeFi.
Emma highlights the need for a smoother experience for farmers in terms of managing loans and the monetization of cUSD. Currently, the process involves manual coordination and limited accessibility to on-ramps and off-ramps for cashing out funds. Simplifying these processes would improve the overall user experience and increase the benefits for the farming communities.
Immaculate points out the challenge of communicating the language of cryptocurrency to users with limited exposure and connectivity. Demystifying the language and ensuring reliable connectivity are essential to enable widespread adoption, especially among users who are less technologically advanced and may have older phones.
Bernard highlights the issue of phone compatibility, as many community members possess outdated or second-hand phones. This limitation hinders their ability to access and benefit from Celo technology. Developers should consider optimizing their applications to accommodate older phone models and ensure inclusivity.
The participants emphasize the need to improve accessibility by integrating Celo technology with existing financial systems. This includes establishing partnerships with banks for seamless fund transfers and exploring alternatives to traditional banking, such as mobile money platforms like M-Pesa.
The voices from the ground in this discussion shed light on the surprising use cases of Celo technology and the transformative impact it has on communities. Building trust, promoting financial awareness, and addressing immediate needs are essential aspects of successfully implementing Celo technology. However, challenges related to language, phone compatibility, and accessibility persist and require ongoing efforts to ensure inclusivity and user-friendly experiences. By addressing these challenges and implementing the participants’ recommendations, builders and developers can further enhance the adoption and effectiveness of Celo technology in various communities.