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What is CELO? A Guide to CELO Crypto

a logo of celo

There are so many cryptocurrencies in existence today – tens of thousands, in fact. As a result, it will be so easy for some coins to get lost in the sea and not be well-known. CELO is not one of them.

CELO cryptocurrency is one of the most “powerful” altcoins, and it has grown to show much potential. This post is a guide to understanding this cryptocurrency as well as a review of CELO.

What Is Celo Crypto?

CELO is mainly known as a cryptocurrency, but it is actually a platform, and the cryptocurrency is an asset of the platform. It was created in 2017 by Rene Reinsberg, Marek Olszewski, Sep Kamvar, and Marek Olszewski, IT professionals in companies including GoDaddy and Google. The coin wasn’t publicly offered until 2020.

The CELO platform is open source and on the blockchain to enable anyone to create their own financial applications. It has a programmable smart contract platform compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), making it easier to build and port decentralized applications.

Also, it is interoperable with MetaMask and other well-known Ethereum developer tools, allowing for bridging with Ethereum and several other blockchains.

One of the most notable creations of the company is the CELO token, which can be used to send and receive payments, store value, and build applications.

Celo is different from other cryptocurrencies because it uses a mobile-first approach. This means that the Celo platform is designed to be used on mobile devices first and foremost. Celo also has its own blockchain, which is a fork of Ethereum.

The CELO Foundation also has a project called Celo Camp, a boot camp for developers who want to build applications on the Celo platform – to enable them to receive funding and support as they build their smart contracts and decentralized applications.

How Does Celo Work?

The goal with Celo was to ensure that the benefits of cryptocurrencies are brought to anyone that has a mobile phone. It’s a combination of the simplicity of using digital wallets like Cashapp and the decentralization of the blockchain and other crypto benefits.

With CELO, you can use your phone number as your public address, and your family and friends only need it to send you money. If you are uncomfortable with that, you can also use the regular cryptocurrency blockchain public address.

Celo uses a two-token system:

The first cryptocurrency is Celo (CGLD), the main currency of the Celo network. The CELO token is used to pay the network gas fees, vote on governing protocols, secure the network, and power transactions on the Celo platform.

Like most other cryptos, the number of CELO tokens that can ever be in existence is limited; there can only ever be one billion CELO tokens.

The second token is Celo Dollar (cUSD), which is pegged to the US dollar. This means that 1 cUSD is always worth 1 USD. cUSD can be used to buy goods and services, or it can be traded on exchanges.

Celo has a novel consensus algorithm called Proof of Stake Velocity (PoSV). PoSV incentivizes users to hold onto their cGOLD and use it actively. The more cGOLD you have, and the more you use it, the more rewards you will earn.

Celo also has a unique system for governance. The Celo Foundation, a non-profit organization, oversees the development of the Celo platform. However, anyone can join the Celo Foundation and help make decisions about the platform.

By using CELO, people can access a wide range of financial services from anywhere in the world.

History And Values Of Celo

Celo was founded in 2017 by a team of cryptocurrency and software engineers.

The Celo Foundation’s mission is to “build a financial system that creates the conditions for prosperity for everyone.”

To achieve this, Celo focuses on the following:

  1. Inclusion: Celo wants to make financial services accessible to everyone, regardless of location or economic status.
  2. Security: Celo uses strong cryptography to protect user data and transactions.
  3. Sustainability: Celo is designed to be a long-term platform that will continue to grow and evolve.
  4. Speed: Fast and light transactions are important in being optimized for mobile users, as well as lower gas fees and transparency of the blockchain.

Celo’s whitepaper was released in 2018. In 2020, Celo launched its mainnet. Between 2018 and 2020, the company raised over $46.5million by selling about 120 million tokens of the CELO cryptocurrency.

The CELO blockchain/platform and cryptocurrency have grown since then with several financial applications like the ReSource marketplace and financial solutions, amongst others.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Celo?

Celo has a number of advantages over other cryptocurrencies:

Low Fees

Celo transaction fees are much lower than those of other platforms, making it more affordable to use. When performing transactions on the CELO blockchain, you can pay gas fees that are so low – as low as $0.01 – compared to other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, for example.

Fast Transactions

Celo transactions are very fast, often taking just a few seconds to confirm. It is way faster than transactions on Bitcoin; Bitcoin can handle only a few transactions per second, while Celo can handle around 200 per second, ensuring that it is viable for building commercial payment options.

Possibility And Scalability

Celo is designed to scale to meet the needs of a growing user base. Additionally, its platform supports the build of other financial solutions which can enable wider financial inclusion across the globe.

Ease Of Use

Celo is designed to be easy to use. Some of its apps, like Valora, are intuitive so that absolute beginners to the cryptocurrency world can get in, purchase Celo, send it to others, and use it to pay for goods and services easily.

Accounts Links To Phone Numbers

This can increase financial inclusion for the unbanked as anyone, as long as they have a phone number and internet access can use solutions on Celo. We may even see developers that may build on Celo and maybe the USSD technology, so internet access is not necessary.

Supports Slow Connections

Connecting with the above, Celo’s network is optimized for people with slow connections or high-cost data plans. It eliminates the need to verify every header before a received header may be trusted. Furthermore, it employs BLS signature aggregation and succinct zero-knowledge proofs via zk-SNARKs, to increase performance.

Transaction Fees In Any Currency

Users can pay transaction fees in any stable currency, so they don’t have to think of conversion rates or getting money in different currencies to support their transactions. This and the low transaction fees on Celo may encourage more innovation in the space.

What Are The Risks Of Using Celo?

Celo, like any other cryptocurrency, is not without risks. Here are some of the risks associated with using Celo:


The price of CELO can be volatile, and this volatility can impact the cUSD peg. This means that the value of your cUSD could fluctuate depending on the market.

Just to be clear, CELO is like any other cryptocurrency in terms of how high or low the price can go. When the entire cryptocurrency market is affected, the price of CELO is not always exempt.

However, the peg of the cUSD to the dollar is protected by what they call a programmatic reserve, which is an overcollateralized reserve that has CELO and other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. So, it’s possible that the cUSD can lose its peg at a particular time though there are protections in place. As we have seen from history, several stablecoins lose their peg from time to time.

Regulatory Risk

Cryptocurrencies are not currently regulated in most jurisdictions. This means that there is a risk that governments could impose regulations that would impact the use of CELO. However, as seen when we explored crypto regulations around the world, government regulations may help investors rather than hurt them. We can only wait and see what happens.

Security Risk

As seen so far, the risks of CELO are almost the same as most mainstream cryptocurrencies. This risk, in particular, is not tied to the Celo cryptocurrency itself but to how a holder of the coin manages theirs. There is always a risk that your CELO tokens could be stolen if you do not take proper security precautions with the wallet or exchange you use.

How To Get Started With Celo?

If you’re interested in using Celo, there are a few things you need to do:

  1. Get a Celo wallet
  2. Sign up on an exchange that supports Celo
  3. Buy Celo
  4. Use Celo

We will provide guidance on how to do the above four and strategies you can use to explore the Celo platform and grow your Celo holdings.

Get A Celo Wallet

Celo has some wallets, and there are third-party organizations that have wallets that support Celo crypto assets as well. Here are some of them:

  1. Valora: This is a mobile wallet created by Celo to make peer-to-peer payments simple. Users can use their phone numbers to verify their accounts, receive payments, and send payments to contacts.
  2. CeloWallet: This is another mobile-friendly wallet. It works on web and desktop to support the core functionality of Celo – payments, exchanges, staking, etc.
  3. Celo Terminal: This is a wallet and decentralized application that can be used for installing and running Celo DApps locally on your desktop.
  4. Celo Compatible Wallets: apart from the wallets listed above, there are third-party wallets that support a number of cryptocurrencies, including Celo assets. They are:

Sign Up On An Exchange That Supports Celo

This step is optional; if you have one of the wallets above that support the purchase of Celo, you won’t need to sign up for an additional exchange. One of those is Valora. It allows you to purchase Celo on it.

However, if you are using a wallet like Metamask, you will need to purchase Celo on another exchange such as Transak (supported by Metamask), Coinbase – one of the biggest crypto exchanges – or Binance – another big exchange.

Buy Celo

The process of purchasing Celo on each exchange depends on the exchange itself. Some may allow you to purchase it and pay through bank transfer, your credit card, or even apps like Paypal. Others will allow you to pay only by exchanging it for another cryptocurrency.

Typically, you should select the cryptocurrency you want to purchase, in this case, Celo. Then select how much of it you want and then pay. If you are exchanging it for another cryptocurrency, you must go to the crypto trading section to do that.

Use Celo

You can use Celo for a myriad of things, including paying for goods and services if the vendor supports Celo. You can also use it as an asset for investment; in this way, you purchase Celo, then invest it in the manner you choose in hopes that the value of your investment grows and you make more from it.

How To Grow Your Celo Holdings

You can grow your Celo holdings using the same crypto investment strategies you can use in cryptocurrency in general, that is, staking, holding, yield farming, and lending. We will explore each of these and the platforms you can use for them.


Staking is the process of holding cryptocurrency in a wallet to support the network and earn rewards. The Celo platform uses staking as a way to secure its network.

Users can stake their Celo (cGLD) or other cryptocurrencies like cUSD in return for block rewards. When you stake, you set your coins aside to validate transactions and secure the network, and in return, you earn rewards. The more Celo you stake, the higher the rewards. You can stake your Celo on exchanges like Coinbase or Binance or wallets like Valora or Celowallet. You can learn more about how to stake crypto here.


This strategy is pretty much self-explanatory; you simply buy Celo and hold it for a period of time, preferably when the market is bearish, in hopes that the value of Celo will increase over time and you can sell it at a profit.

Yield Farming

Yield farming is the process of earning interest or rewards on your investment by providing liquidity to DeFi protocols or participating in staking pools. It’s a riskier strategy as the value of your investment can go down and up, but if done correctly, it can lead to great returns.

To yield farm with Celo, you must first deposit your cGLD or cUSD into a reserve pool. Once your deposit is processed, you are now a liquidity provider and can start earning rewards. There are liquidity pools on several platforms you can choose from, each with different risk levels and rewards. One of them is Ubeswap. You can learn more about yield farming here.


Lending is another way to grow your Celo holdings. It involves lending Celo to others in return for interest payments. There are several crypto lending platforms; you can explore them and how to lend crypto for interest here.

What’s Next For Celo?

The Celo Foundation is continuing to work on developing the Celo platform. In the future, Celo plans to add new features and applications to the platform.

One goal is to make it easy for developers to build applications on Celo. Another goal is to expand financial services beyond peer-to-peer payments. Celo is also working on making it easier for people to use cUSD. For example, Celo is working on a system that would allow merchants to accept cUSD as payment.

With the possibilities below, we know more applications can come up built on the Celo blockchain with the support of the Ethereum Virtual Machine. 

Do you currently hold Celo? What are your thoughts on the platform and cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments.

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