Making complex technology digestible

What’s with Celo’s ❤ of food? It’s one way we aim to demystify “blockchain” and “crypto”. Plus it’s delicious!

vanessa slavich
Oct 22 · 3 min read
Chef photo from our Alfajores launch

Heard the term “alphanet”? What about “mainnet”? Proof-of-stake? I’m just getting started. The industry-specific terminology in blockchain is overwhelming, and 1.5 years in, I’m still learning.

When the team working on Celo was deciding the name of our alphanet (the first prototype of the Celo network), we held a brainstorm.

Our goal: select a name that ties to our mission of prosperity and is relatable


Celo’s mission is to build a monetary system that creates the conditions of prosperity—for everyone.

“What if money were beautiful?” video, about Celo’s mission

We define prosperity as three things:

  1. People’s basic needs are being met

Thus core elements of prosperity include water, food, shelter, community, and self-actualization.

These themes led us to food as a metaphor as many conversations happen in community over a shared meal. What is more universal, relatable, and connecting than food?

Our choice of food-related names is one way we hope to invite more people to learn and participate in the development of blockchain technology. You could be one of them!


In 2018, we met Hugo, a small business entrepreneur in Argentina and the type of person Celo is building for. The peso has decreased 60% in value since the beginning of 2018. To make ends meet and weather hyperinflation, Hugo has many side businesses including selling delicious alfajores cookies.

We named the first network for Hugo and people like him who need access to a secure, stable currency — the people we work for and design with around the world. Plus the similarity between “Alfa” and “Alpha” was a gratifying pun.

Launch video of Celo’s Alfajores Testnet


On the heels of our Alfajores launch, we solicited ideas for foods starting with “B” for our betanet (the next prototype of Celo’s network).

We then hosted a community vote.

Santiago’s tweet sums up nicely why Baklava is fitting for Celo’s betanet.

In November, we’re launching our incentivized testnet, part of the Baklava release. On it, we’ll be running The Great Celo Stake Off, where participants, called “cooks”, will be able to earn Celo Gold by running validators and full nodes and by completing challenges. The top three Celo Gold earners will be awarded the prestigious Master Validator 3 Star label. If you want more information, join Celo’s newsletter or follow us on Twitter to sign-up for the challenge when it opens.

Get involved with Celo

Do you love food too and are inspired by Celo’s mission? We’ve started hosting Celo Supper Clubs around the world. This local dinner gatherings create community over shared meals. Reach out to to organize one in your town.

Join the early Celo community by signing up for Celo’s newsletter and chat with us on Discord.

The Celo Blog

Celo is an open platform that makes financial tools accessible to anyone with a mobile phone. Visit for info on the community, team, and technology.

vanessa slavich

Written by Trying to make the world better through design.

The Celo Blog

Celo is an open platform that makes financial tools accessible to anyone with a mobile phone. Visit for info on the community, team, and technology.

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