In partnership with BitcoinKe, we recently interviewed Umar Bukenya Sebyala, Uganda Ecosystem lead at cLabs and Daniel Kimotho, Kenya Ecosystem Lead at cLabs, a member of the Alliance for Prosperity and part of the community working on Celo. cLabs has built an open, decentralized platform designed to support stable coins and tokenized assets, which are optimized for mobile phones.
In the interview, we asked Daniel and Umar about their thoughts on the future of cryptocurrency, the state of the crypto market and Celo’s ongoing and upcoming plans in Africa.
We also discuss Celo’s journey on the African continent, and what it has done to power startups, website developers and entrepreneurs to launch blockchain products for their customers. Umar Bukenya emphasised that Celo is open to everybody. The approach is to build with people as opposed to building for people. People are at the centre.
On the Kenyan front, Daniel Kimotho explained how he initially joined the Celo ecosystem as an entrepreneur. He Joined cLabs through the Celo camp. Validation on Celo was his enterprise. During his time at the Celo Camp, he noticed the need for simpler ways for people to be onboarded and offboarded to crypto that is, exchanging the Kenyan Shilling KES to Celo dollar cUSD and vice versa.
During his time at the Celo Camp, he was able to access technical mentors, business model mentors and a huge base of support from members of the community rooting for them.
Daniel pointed out several observations on matters of adoption and emerging trends in the crypto and blockchain space, the first being the need for interoperable currencies; a currency that can be used across different countries. Another trend concerns developers increasingly leveraging Celo dollar/Celo Euro, that is, decentralized finance. Many developers are currently leveraging and building on this. Finally, making mobile payments cheaper, Celo has very low? Minimal? gas fees.
Focusing on the Celo Alliance for Prosperity, what it has achieved and its partnerships, Umar Bukenya explained that the Celo Alliance for Prosperity is a subset of the Celo Foundation, which aims to foster the Celo ecosystem. The Celo Alliance currently has close to 160 entities globally and alliance members from Uganda: Crypto Savannah, Spe Taxi Cab, Bit2Big, Kanzu Code & Murcom.
What about cLabs Kenyan members?
In Kenya, Daniel talked about Pezesha, which aims to reduce the cost of lending and many other members currently joining the alliance, such as PesaBase, which includes partners focusing on remittances across Australia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda.
When it comes to educating and raising awareness around crypto and blockchain, Umar explained that some of the fundings specifically come out to support education initiatives. There’s always a slot for education initiatives. There’s a mentorship panel as well, especially during Celo Camp.
Currently ongoing is a hackathon a part of the #DeFiforthepeople initiative for developers, to build mobile DeFi apps. Celo has committed $2.5 Million in prizes and seed funding to help projects that are committed to building mobile-first DeFi for the world’s 6 billion mobile phone users Those interested can sign up and find more information from DevPost.com.