C Labs
C Labs
Dec 31, 2018 · 3 min read

“When new technology comes out, there is a lot of hype. It takes decades to live up to hype.” — Naval

In late November, Celo hosted a fireside chat with two thought leaders, Naval Ravikant & Sep Kamvar. The topic was the First Billion Crypto Users, reflecting on what it will take for mass adoption of crypto. The conversation addressed many topics; here are four takeaways and what it means for crypto in 2019 and beyond.

In the shadow of Wall Street

“If you squint with ETH and the emerging crypto environments, you see the creation of a new financial system — where they’re building all of the same stuff Wall Street has except it’s completely with code and there are no humans involved in the settlement.” — Naval

Blockchain provides digital scarcity

Technology creates physical abundance. For example, supercomputers, which were once scarce, are now in everyone’s pocket. With software, we have only had abundance, yet with blockchain, we are creating digital scarcity. When you’re representing finite resources, then you need to have consequences because in truth, digital resources are not completely abundant and blockchain helps bridge that divide.

Five features of money

“Today, anyone can create mass media because of the internet. Think about Twitter — the internet made mass media programmable. Cryptocurrencies bring the same two features to money, making money accessible and programmable. We’re seeing new types of money emerge as a result.” — Sep

Five new possibilities with money include:

1. A Universal Basic Income that is tied into a market creation system

2. Demurrage — institute a small charge for holding money.

3. Natural-capital backed currencies — why not back money with things that you see?

4. An ecology of money — local, regional, national currencies.

5. Earn money into existence. An alternative to interest-bearing debt.

Fairer distribution to gain adoption

“If you transfer the definition of money from one thing to another, that’s the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. You only get to do that if you bring so much value to the table that everyone wants to follow along.”-Naval

Final Reflections

“The opportunity for new stories to arise. There is some competition amongst those new stories. The old story doesn’t have the same power but the new story doesn’t exist yet. This is our potential right now as a field, to tell beautiful stories and build technologies that align with the stories. The stories that lead to the most posterity for all will lead to the most beautiful [world] for all.” — Sep

“In crypto, you can just put your head down and you don’t have to watch the stock ticker everyday. And build something that was not possible [because the] technology didn’t exist a decade ago. Build something new, like the internet, when the rest of the normal economy was suffering. These are the things that people can’t live without. But it will take a decade. There is a weird combo of governance, and economics, and technology — once you really get into it, you can’t see the world any other way. The build stage could last 3 years, 5 years, 10 years. I have a high inclination there will be a financial reward at the end.” — Naval


About Celo

Celo is building, and contributing to, a Platform and Protocol to foster a more connected society. Our goal is to positively impact the livelihood of billions of people around the world who today are involuntarily detached from the global financial system. In addition to financial inclusion, we believe there is an opportunity to create a more beneficial version of today’s money for everyone.


The Celo Blog

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

C Labs

Written by

C Labs

C Labs is the team working on Celo. Celo is an open platform that makes financial tools accessible to anyone with a mobile phone.

The Celo Blog

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

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