Celo is an EVM compatible Proof of stake layer 1 blockchain that powers multiple fiat-pegged stablecoins and assets, with CELO operating as the network's governance token. The main stablecoins it operates are, Celo Dollars (cUSD) and Celo Euros (cEUR)
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A brief history
Celo was founded in 2019 by employees of a multitude of notable organizations such as MIT, Stanford, Google, Visa, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Gates Foundation. Celo’s growth and development are handled by the Celo Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the USA. Celo’s main vision is to provide every smartphone user with access to financial services and the ability to send and receive payments with smartphones on a decentralized platform. Celo’s primary audience is non-digital natives with lower-end devices which may not have optimal internet connections- which is true primarily in developing countries. To serve this market Celo takes a full-stack approach to design. For example, Celo uses phone numbers as public keys to lower the barriers to entry. Celo is also aiming to be the first carbon-neutral blockchain. Celo incentivizes the protection of natural capital by creating a reserve for rainforests and other carbon sequestering assets. The more demand there is for the currency the more nature gets preserved.
CELO in practice
Built using the Go implementation of Ethereum, Celo uses a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm because of its light resource usage. As mentioned before Celo operates a few native tokens, notably CELO, cUSD and cEUR (stablecoins). The protocol that provides the cUSD with stability is a hybrid seigniorage and crypto-collateral model. This means the collateral backing the cUSD is a mix of CELO and other cryptocurrencies. These cryptocurrencies are used to adjust the supply of cUSD and maintain the peg. When the price of cUSD is above $1 users are expected to purchase CELO and exchange it for cUSD, then sell the cUSD to collect the profit- thus pushing the market price of cUSD back down to $1. If the price of cUSD is below $1 users create cUSD by sending $1 worth of CELO to the Celo Foundation reserve.