Announcing DeFi For the People

DeFi ForThePeople
Aug 30 · 5 min read

With up to $100 million in incentives and education initiatives, DeFi for the People aims to bring the benefits of decentralized finance to anyone with a mobile phone

Today, a consortium of leading Ethereum decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols and projects announced DeFi for the People, a collaboration of global crypto organizations united by a common goal: bringing DeFi to the 6 billion smartphone users around the world.

Built on Celo, the new initiative counts Aave, Curve, Sushi, PoolTogether, 0x, UMA, Valora, Ubeswap, and Moola Market among its founding partners. Education and infrastructure partners include Chainlink, RabbitHole, The Graph and Wrapped.com. This new program will offer more than $100 million in educational initiatives, grants, and incentives. The majority of program participants will jointly contribute half the funds for incentive programs.

Full product integrations with PoolTogether, Sushi, Moola Market, Ubeswap, and Valora are available now, with more launching soon. Starting today, rewards are available for PoolTogether on Celo, and incentive pools with other DeFi protocols and projects will be launching in the coming weeks and months. Also expected this fall is the launch of Optics, a gas-efficient interoperability protocol for cross-chain communication. With Optics, users will be able to easily move assets between Ethereum and Celo.

DeFi has experienced explosive growth in recent years, but has yet to gain widespread adoption. Of the roughly 5 million people around the world currently using DeFi applications, less than 10% live outside of developed countries. DeFi for the People aims to change that by bringing builders together to create products that make DeFi more accessible and easier to use for the people who need it most.

For billions of people, a mobile phone is their most important device and often their only access to the internet. Celo’s mobile-first platform — with over 1 million wallet addresses across 113 countries — presents a unique opportunity to bring the benefits of DeFi to anyone with a mobile phone. New real-world applications for DeFi with Celo are already underway.

Take for example in Colombia, where last year, at the outset of the pandemic, a pilot program provided unemployed individuals with undercollateralized micro loans on Celo. The loans enabled users to purchase motorized bicycles so they could deliver for Rappi. With access to the right equipment, some members of the pilot were able to double — and in some instances quadruple — their earnings. This is just one example of how DeFi can provide instant access to capital for millions of people, particularly for those in emerging markets where access to traditional financial services has been limited.

“DeFi for the People aims to make DeFi accessible to everyone by powering real-world use cases and focusing on mobile-first adoption,” said Rene Reinsberg, Co-Founder of Celo. “We’re excited to collaborate with the biggest projects in DeFi to bring more than 1 billion new users into the DeFi ecosystem over the next five years.”

Now Live: PoolTogether on Celo with $500,000 in Prizes

PoolTogether, an open source and decentralized protocol for no-loss prize savings, is now live on Celo with more than $500,000 in prizes. Users can deposit into PoolTogether on Celo for a chance to win prizes, and even if they don’t win, keep all their deposited money. This is possible because prizes are funded by the interest earned on deposits. PoolTogether is a unique “no lose lottery” because everyone who participates keeps their money.

“Research shows prize savings is one of the most important and effective on-ramps into savings for underbanked people. PoolTogether on Celo can facilitate crypto and DeFi adoption for the unbanked and users in developing markets who benefit most from low gas fees and fast transaction times,” said Leighton Cusak, Founder, PoolTogether.

Coming Soon

Aave on Celo with $20 Million Incentive Program

Aave, an open source and non-custodial liquidity protocol, is designed to enable users to earn yield on crypto assets supplied to the protocol, and to borrow assets. Suppliers earn yield by depositing digital assets into liquidity pools.

“The Aave protocol on Celo’s mobile-first platform has the potential to bring crypto to the 6 billion mobile phone users around the world, unlocking value on DeFi and making DeFi more accessible,” said Stani Kulechov, Founder and CEO of the Aave companies, the software development company that developed the Aave protocol.

Curve on Celo with $14 Million Incentive Program

Curve, an automated market maker (AMM) protocol, uses market-making algorithms to reinforce the liquidity of its markets, unlike traditional decentralized exchanges. Curve on Celo offers users a decentralized platform that allows users to trade and earn returns on their cryptocurrencies.

“Celo’s built-in stability mechanism makes it an exciting platform for payments that will drive greater stablecoin adoption. We are excited to help make mobile payments and DeFi mainstream,” said Julien Bouteloup, Curve Core Team.

Sushi on Celo with $10 Million Incentive Program

Sushi is a DeFi platform that facilitates trading, lending, and earning yield. Currently, Sushi users can trade assets with the Swap feature and provide liquidities on Celo with yield farming rewards and incentives coming soon. With Celo, Sushi users can benefit from faster transaction speeds and lower fees through secure and Ethereum-compatible transactions on Celo’s Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network.

“The Sushi AMM, Kashi lending, and other BentoBox products provide the necessary primitives needed for users to connect to a global and permissionless financial system. By leveraging Celo’s mobile-first product suite and UX that expands reach beyond crypto-natives, Sushi can drive this mission forward and take DeFi to the next frontier,” said Joseph Delong, CTO at Sushi.

Join DeFi for the People

DeFi for the People builds upon Celo’s mobile-first approach to make crypto and DeFi accessible for all. This is an open initiative for builders and entrepreneurs alike. Anyone interested in accelerating the adoption of crypto and DeFi in the real world is welcome to join.

To learn more about the movement, please visit defiforthepeople.org.

Calling All Builders: Hackathon with $2.5 Million in Prizes and Seed Funding

As part of its commitment to bringing crypto to mobile phones, DeFi for the People is hosting a hackathon in October with the goal of bringing more DeFi projects to Celo. Developers around the world are invited to build their projects on Celo, with $2.5 million in prizes and seed funding available for teams to jumpstart their projects. Learn more about the upcoming hackathon at defiforthepeople.org.

About Celo:

Celo is a mobile-first, open-source ecosystem of technologies, organizations and individuals that all share a common mission of building a financial system that creates the conditions for prosperity for everyone. The Celo ecosystem includes a decentralized, Proof-of-Stake blockchain technology stack (Celo Platform), a native asset (CELO), stablecoins (cUSD, cEUR), and the Celo Alliance for Prosperity, with over 150 organizations around the world, including Deutsche Telekom, PayU, Opera, Andreessen Horowitz, Anchorage, Coinbase, GSMA, Grameen Foundation, Prosegur, Abra, and cLabs, a service organization dedicated to growing and developing the Celo ecosystem. For more information, please visit: celo.org

DeFi for the People