Digital Assets: The Celo Foundation Plans Cryptocurrency for Billions of Smartphone Users

Celo counts Grameen Foundation and Andreessen Horowitz amongst its backers.

The Celo Foundation announced the Alliance for Prosperity with 50 founding members. They share a common mission to make digital assets available to everyone through Celo’s decentralized, open-source blockchain platform. They will enable the various use cases of digital currency such as to give, earn, spend, lend, or send, etc.

For example, humanitarian organizations may use the Alliance’s digital asset, dubbed Celo Dollars, instead of distributing food or fiat. This will reduce the cost of sending perishable items or prepaid cards.

Furthermore, the Alliance members will enable financial tools for over 5 billion smartphone users globally, some of whom are very poor. (VentureBeat)

How the Alliance members will advance the cause of financial inclusion

By using the blockchain in making payments to these people, the Alliance could eliminate remittance delays and reduce their cost.

Members of the Alliance plan to use the Celo open blockchain platform to build out their own mobile-friendly financial tools. These tools will work with the Celo Dollar and a mobile number to bring the person into the financial mainstream.

Furthermore, the Celo Dollar may be sent directly to users’ accounts associated with their mobile numbers, instead of complicated cryptocurrency wallet addresses.

“Many of these organizations have on-the-ground operations that will begin to get Celo into the hands of those who have been underserved by the current global financial system,” said Andreessen Horowitz general partner Katie Haun to TechCrunch. “Our hope is that this partnership will start unlocking the potential of internet money.”

Moreover, the new cryptocurrency is a stablecoin, said Chuck Kimble.

Kimble is head of business development at cLabs and head of the Alliance for Prosperity.

However, the Celo Dollar would be backed by other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum rather than fiat.

“I think the similarity with Libra is that we share a similar mission,” Kimble said. “We both want to help create prosperity, but I think there are many differences. Our collective of mission-aligned organizations is completely decentralized. There’s no central governing body to determine how Celo will evolve, and people will be able to vote on how Celo evolves.”

Since it will not be backed by fiat currency and is not attempting to dislodge the dollar as a global reserve currency, the cryptocurrency may be more acceptable to global regulatory authorities.

Related Story:    Digital Assets: Swiss President Says That Facebook’s Libra Has Failed                                               

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