Celo Team Updates | August 2018
In this newsletter, we share progress and highlights from the team over the past month.
Field Notes on Kenya & Mobile Money
Our team returned last week from a field research trip to Kenya on mobile money. Our goal is to launch a product and platform to empower the 1.7 billion people around the world that don’t have access to formal financial services. Using design research methods, we spoke to 24 mobile money users and financial experts about their thoughts, feelings, and pain points around financial services. We also co-hosted three events with local educators and entrepreneurs. Read more about our takeaways from the trip.
Event on 9/25 | Decrypting Crypto: A Primer on Crypto & Financial Inclusion
Join us as we open the doors to our new office in San Francisco on September 25th for an introduction to crypto. Our investor Linda Xie will give an overview of crypto and we’ll help connect the dots on how our technology is working to advance financial inclusion. Request an invite to attend.
Announcing the Celo Fellowship
In the spirit of decentralization, we are establishing a fellowship to allow people to participate in the Celo ecosystem from any location and for a flexible amount of time. Each fellow will have a specific project and deliverables aligned to their area(s) of expertise.
Interested fellows submit a project proposal outlining the project scope, deliverables, structure, and resources needed. Each fellow will receive a stipend for contributions, which is determined by project.
Our first fellow is Will Le. Will is pursuing a double MBA from MIT and MPA from Harvard. He previously was a Business Designer at IDEO.org, the Country Director for GiveDirectly in Kenya, and worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Bain Capital. As part of his fellowship, he led the field research trip to Kenya and is helping to initiate a pilot for Celo in 2018.
This month, we continued to make lots of progress on the protocol and payments mobile app.
On the protocol side, we’ve been hard at work building out more aspects of our stability protocol. We have all three of our asset types built and have shipped a first-price sealed-bid decentralized auction contract that runs periodically to expand and contract our Celo Dollar monetary supply as needed.
On the mobile side, we continue to build and refine our payments app. We’ve studied the best centralized payment app experiences and have modeled our product and flows heavily off of them. It is now possible to signup, verify your phone number (with our decentralized address-based-encryption protocol) and begin sending transactions to people in your contact list in just a few minutes.
Finally, we’ve re-architected and rebuilt a new version of our Verification App, which users can install to let the protocol send verification text messages via their phones in exchange for Celo Gold. We’ve been testing both of these apps, running on our internal testnet, in our two offices and out in the field and continue to iterate based on feedback.
Celo Team Growth
Our team grew to 20 full-time employees in San Francisco and Berlin, including four engineers, a product lead, a recruiting lead, operations, and a data scientist.
Want to help build products for financial inclusion? We are actively hiring across a variety of specialities across engineering, legal, and business and are looking for folks who are particularly inspired by our mission to build a system that creates economic prosperity for all. Apply at celo.org/jobs and tell us how you’d like to contribute.