Updated: Apr 7
Celo is a mobile-first, carbon-neutral blockchain that makes decentralized financial (DeFi) tools and services accessible worldwide.
Celo, pronounced /ˈtselo/, means “purpose” in Esperanto.
It was founded in 2017 by the Celo Foundation, a US non-profit organization with a unique governance system that oversees the Celo platform's development; anyone can join it and help make decisions about it.
The Celo Foundation has a project called Celo Camp, a boot camp for developers who want to build applications on the Celo platform – to enable them to receive funding and support as they build their smart contracts and decentralized applications.
It is founded on two core values:
Unique purpose → embracing values that enable people to grow towards their full potential.
Connectedness → individuals are healthier and happier when they are members of a solid social community with meaningful relationships
To achieve these, Celo focuses on:
Inclusion: making financial services accessible to everyone;
Security: using strong cryptography to protect user data and transactions.
Sustainability: being a platform that constantly grows and evolves.
Speed: optimizing fast and light transactions for mobile users, lowering gas fees and making it more affordable.
Its network comprises the Celo Mainnet and two Testnet:
Alfajores (developer) first public Celo network;
Baklava (operator) second public Celo network.
The Celo's primary goal is to ensure that the benefits of cryptocurrencies are brought to anyone with a mobile phone. It combines the simplicity of using digital wallets and the decentralization of the blockchain. Thanks to it, you can easily use your phone number as your public address. This feature increases financial inclusion for all the unbanked people only using a smartphone with an internet connection.
Celo has some proprietor wallets, but it is also supported by third-party organizations, such as Metamask, Coinbase wallet, Dove wallet, and Ledger.
Valora: a mobile wallet created by Celo to make peer-to-peer payments simple. Users can use phone numbers to verify their accounts, receive payments, and send payments to contacts.
CeloWallet: a mobile-friendly wallet. It works on the web and desktop to support the core functionality of Celo – payments, exchanges, staking, etc.
Celo Terminal: a wallet and decentralized application that can be used for installing and running Celo DApps locally on your desktop.
The Celo Wallet simplifies the process of sending cryptocurrencies by using address-based encryption. This allows them to transact with anyone in their phone’s contact list, using an intuitive user experience but also permits payments to people not yet onboarded to the network.
If you need instructions on setting up your CeloWallet locally, consult the official Celo documentation.
The Celo native asset is CELO (previously called cGLD); it’s written in capital letters to avoid confusion with the Celo protocol. The CELO token is used to pay the network gas fees, vote on governing protocols, secure the network and power transactions, and build applications on the Celo platform. In addition, users who hold CELO can participate in the governance and submit proposals. Like most other cryptos, the number of CELO tokens is limited, around one billion.
The other tokes are Celo Dollar (cUSD) and Celo Euros (cEUR), two stablecoins pegged to the US dollar and Euro.
Celo Dollar and Celo Euro, unlike other stablecoins, aren’t backed by the value of fiat currencies as Celo’s protocol adjusts their values. Instead, the elastic coin supply and the Celo Reserve work synchronously to maintain stable values tracking $1 and €1, respectively. Moreover, Celo wants to allow its community to donate crypto to social causes in a simple and user-friendly way. For this reason, it partnered with DApps and protocols, raising funds for social causes such as alleviating poverty and offsetting carbon footprints while fighting climate change.
The first one is Celo’s mobile-first decentralized exchange and automated market maker (AMM) protocol, while Moola is the mobile platform for lending and borrowing crypto on the network.
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