Initiating the Celo Community Fund

I am excited to write about the Celo Community Fund (CCF) and to announce that I will be applying as steward together with Deepak and Patrick. You can find Deepak’s blog here.

Celo is a project which is close to my heart. I have followed Celo since 2018 while I was building a wallet for another blockchain. I was impressed by the Alfajores wallet and Celo’s mission and values. When the Stake Off competition was announced, I was excited to participate in it and I am really happy to have become a genesis validator which launched mainnet on 22nd of April.

The launch of the mainnet is just the beginning of the journey. Celo’s mission is to build a financial system that creates conditions for prosperity for everyone. In order to make this a reality, we as individuals, teams and organizations need to leverage the opportunities created through blockchain and decentralisation to create these conditions. There has never been a better time to accelerate progress and have a big impact in the world. We see this as an opportunity and we’re asking others to join us.

The idea behind the CCF is to create another avenue of funding for project owners, builders and contributors from all walks of life. I am a builder. I have learnt to code and built applications but my background is in finance. I know the reality of navigating through uncertainties. I would like to become a steward and get the opportunity to contribute more to Celo and help build a decentralised ecosystem which empowers people to do more.

Last week, a discussion was held around the third version of the CCF proposal. Some interesting feedback was given during the call. Below are some of the highlights :

  • One of the challenges encountered in Cosmos is that there are very little funding requests being made. A high level of transparency led to lots of scrutiny and nit-picking around details which put an onus on the project owner and discouraged others.
  • There could be multiple individuals or teams acting as separate stewards and each one would be responsible for a portion of the community fund. The stewards would be voted on by the Celo Community and act like a fund manager to allocate the funds.
  • There have been lots of experimentations happening in this area. We will need to continue to learn, build and experiment and iterate over time as there is no precedent to this.
  • There is a need to KYC the project owners in order to avoid any legal risk.

This week a 4th iteration of the CCF proposal will be discussed. Please join us in the governance call which will be happening this Thursday on 3rd of November at 9am PT (5pm GMT).

I’m would like to end this post with an extract from 2015 Bill Gates’s Annual letter:

“Mobile banking will help the poor radically transform their lives

The financial lives of the poor are very complicated. The Kenya Financial Diaries, a fascinating project documenting the financial lives of hundreds of Kenyans over the course of a year, tells countless stories of people who had to forgo medical care or take their children out of school for want of a few dollars.

The reason poor people face these agonizing choices is not just that they don’t have enough assets. They also don’t have access to a bank to help them use their assets effectively. If their savings are in the form of jewellery or livestock, for example, they can’t very well chip off tiny pieces to cover routine daily expenses.

Instead, the poor use financial services that are extremely inefficient. They save by hiding cash around the house or buying commodities that lose value over time. When they send money to friends and relatives to help them through tough times, they either take a day off and deliver the cash themselves or trust someone else to do it for them. If they need to borrow money for an emergency, they have to pay usurious interest rates to a moneylender. Not having access to a range of cheap and easy financial services makes it much more difficult to be poor.

But in the next 15 years, digital banking will give the poor more control over their assets and help them transform their lives.

The key to this will be mobile phones.”

Celo is the only blockchain technology with a mobile first approach and it aims to build a financial system that supports the lives of everyone. There is another crucial detail: This can only be achieved with passionate, caring and informed individuals working together to build this change. And we hope that this fund can help you in this journey.

“We’ve all been given a gift. The gift of life. What we do with our lives is our gift back. — Edo”