Important milestones for the Celo protocol and ecosystem.
Deutsche Telekom made a strategic purchase of the Celo native digital asset (CELO) and joined the Celo Alliance for Prosperity as the first mobile carrier member. They also became a validator on the Celo network. This partnership is very aligned with Celo’s mission and the services Deutsche Telekom provides its customers worldwide, the majority of which primarily use their phones to access financial services. By building on Celo’s mobile-first platform, mobile carriers like Deutsche Telekom are able to seamlessly integrate mobile-friendly blockchain-based solutions and serve customers in new, meaningful ways. Deutsche Telekom is leading in this effort, and we’re excited to see how mobile carriers and other organizations take advantage of all that blockchain and cryptocurrency has to offer.
Celo Euro (cEUR)
We launched Celo Euro (cEUR), our second native Mento stablecoin on the platform for mobile payments that we’ve launched in the last year. cEUR creates an entirely new remittance market for the European Union where users can quickly and easily transfer digital money between countries with a phone number. It’s as easy as sending a text message and can be done in as little as 5 seconds for less than $0.01. Combined with the open nature of Celo’s platform, we can enable a mobile-friendly form of digital money that can be used by the 6 billion smartphone users around the world.
We introduced Optics, a new gas-efficient bridging standard that connects Celo with Ethereum. Optics enables interoperability between layer-one blockchains. It’s trustless, non-custodial, and designed to minimize gas costs to users. This means that developers can permissionlessly build custom cross-chain applications, cheaply move tokens and data between chains, and help users reach existing applications on chain.
PayU, one of the largest payment providers for emerging markets, is giving its nearly half a million merchants the ability to accept cUSD as a payment option. PayU’s merchant and customer base is mostly concentrated in high-growth markets, such as Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, so having a decentralized, over-collateralized algorithmic stablecoin provides access to USD and EUR-backed digital assets that are insulated from the volatility of some fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies more broadly. This integration is a big step toward making digital assets easier for customers to use and for merchants to accept, which we hope will accelerate the adoption of stablecoins in more communities around the world.
Valora is now a standalone company! When the cLabs team officially launched Valora in February, the immediate uptick in user adoption far exceeded what we envisioned at that stage of the project. It’s since continued on this upward trajectory: today, Valora has 200K users with a balance and 53K monthly active users in more than 100 countries. This reception made clear that Valora has grown to become more than a project on the Celo platform and has the potential to scale even further. That fueled the decision to make Valora an independent, standalone company, with Jackie Bona—who cLabs’ Head of Consumer Growth for Valora—as the Chief Executive Officer. The Valora team also raised a $20 million Series A to fuel the company’s growth.
In May we shared that Celo officially became one of the first carbon negative blockchains and highlighted some community initiatives underway to offset carbon emissions on Celo. Building on that, we recently submitted an on-chain government proposal to allocate .5% of the Celo Reserve to natural backed assets, the first being Mc02 tokens. This makes Celo the first blockchain to incorporate natural backed assets into its reserve, enabling users to support and protect the environment—just by using Celo Dollar (cUSD)—and we hope it will set a new standard for the industry.
On May 19th 2021, the donut hardfork went live.The Donut Hardfork is a non-contentious hardfork that includes many exciting network upgrades making Celo more gas efficient, improving interoperability, and allowing Celo users to connect to popular tools like MetaMask.
Important updates from the Donut Hardfork:
- CIP-20 | Toolkit for adding cryptographic functions that are useful to smart-contract devs
- CIP-25: Will help enable future bridging to Solana, Cosmos, and NEAR thanks to Chorus One
- CIP-35: Makes Ethereum transaction types accessible on Celo, which will enable access to all Ethereum’s tools