[FINAL] Proposal for Funding Stabila: Driving Stablecoin Adoption on Celo

Dear Celo Community,

We are excited to present a proposal for funding Stabila Foundation, a new entity dedicated to accelerating the adoption of stablecoins on the Celo blockchain. Stabila’s mission is to not only drive adoption metrics but also to foster education, awareness, and ecosystem growth, particularly in emerging markets such as Africa, Latin America and South East Asia.

Introduction

Stablecoins play an important role in providing stability to crypto markets, enabling real world use cases in line with Celo’s mission of prosperity for all. Today the market value of stablecoins is in excess of $150bn. As market sentiments improve, this is likely to grow. The Celo blockchain has undergone much development and established a strong foundation, over the last few years to make it the place to launch stablecoins for real world use around the world. Beyond a mission led and dedicated ecosystem focused on real world use cases, Celo’s technical features such as sub-cent transaction fees, native gas currency for ERC-20 tokens, and a mobile-friendly infrastructure provide strong reasons for stablecoin issuers to consider Celo for launching their stablecoins. With the recent successful launches of native USDT, native USDC, and innovative stablecoin players consisting of Mento, Angle, Glo and more, there is a thriving ecosystem of stablecoins on Celo. Driving adoption of these stable assets will help accelerate Celo’s mission.

Stabila seeks funding of 5 million CELO over a period of 12 months to execute a strategic roadmap aimed at advancing stablecoin adoption on Celo. Our approach encompasses a blend of short-term rewards programs and long-term integration efforts, all designed to achieve our overarching goal: to increase adoption and active use of these stablecoins on Celo throughout the ecosystem. The increased adoption and activity will provide stability to the platform which in return will help create a positive feedback loop for everyday people using the platform and for delivering on real world use cases such as payments, remittances, microtransactions etc. that Celo blockchain is well positioned for.

Objectives

Stablecoin Adoption Acceleration

Stabila will spearhead initiatives to drive adoption of stablecoins on Celo, targeting diverse user segments including individuals, merchants, developers, and enterprises. The focus will be on facilitating easy onboarding processes, providing user-friendly interfaces, and offering incentives to encourage stablecoin usage.

An example of activities in this category would be to partner with ecosystem projects that provide merchant tooling to accept stablecoins on Celo and provide temporary rewards to merchants to promote usage of stablecoins (on Celo) for payments received.

Educational Outreach and Awareness and Emerging Market Activation

Recognizing the importance of education in fostering adoption, Stabila will work with global and local partners to develop comprehensive educational campaigns, tailored to different user demographics and cultural contexts, to raise awareness about stablecoins, Celo blockchain’s capabilities, and the benefits of decentralized finance (DeFi).

Believing in the transformative potential of stablecoins for emerging markets, Stabila will implement targeted initiatives to activate stablecoin usage in regions where access to stable financial infrastructure is limited, with a special focus on Africa and Latin America. These efforts will include partnerships with local communities, educational programs, and tailored solutions to address specific market needs in collaboration with local partners and subject matter experts.

Infrastructure and Integration

Seamless integration of stablecoins into critical infrastructure components is essential for widespread adoption. Stabila will collaborate closely with key ecosystem partners to ensure that stablecoins are seamlessly integrated by on/off ramp providers, wallets, institutional partners, centralized and decentralized exchanges, and merchant services. The aim is to provide users and merchants with easy access to stablecoins and to enable frictionless transactions.

Liquidity Support for New Currency Stables

Diversity and innovation are essential for the long-term sustainability of the stablecoin ecosystem. Stabila will support liquidity provision mechanisms for new currency stables, fostering a diverse and resilient ecosystem on Celo, enabling it to thrive in the face of changing market conditions.

An example of a new stable being proposed is cCOP. As for liquidity support, Uniswap and Curve pools, including providing multiple FX pairs like cEUR/USDC, cBRL/USDT as well as cross-USD pools (e.g. tripool USDT/USDC/cUSD).

This proposal includes two separate programs for driving stablecoin adoption.

Stabila Reward Program

A short term rewards program over a 6 months period to reward on-chain participants and merchant partners. These rewards will be tied to specific KPIs for eligible partners. A maximum of up to 40% of the budget request is to be used for this program. The budget allocation will be adapted based on market conditions.

  • Implementation of on-chain rewards programs for liquidity providers, stakers, and active users to encourage stablecoin usage, active participation through staking and governance participation. This will help provide the necessary stability and resilience to the network needed to help drive real world use cases on the Celo blockchain.
  • Development of merchant rewards programs to support adoption of stablecoins for everyday use and payments, including discounts, cashback rewards, and others.

Stabila Partner Program

A strategic program focusing on partnership with key infrastructure providers. The program will enable Stabila to align with partners on long term value creation for the Celo ecosystem. Any grants or rewards would be tied to reaching milestones and meeting KPIs over a period of 12 months, but with an eye towards a longer time frame of up to 3 years. The program is expected to use 60% of the budget request for this purpose.

  • Integration of stablecoins into wallet and ramp solutions to streamline access for users, including easy fiat-to-stablecoin on/off-ramps.
  • Merchant integration initiatives to enable stablecoin payments for goods and services on a global scale, including partnerships with e-commerce platforms, payment processors, and point-of-sale solutions.
  • Strategic partnerships with centralized exchanges and other financial intermediaries to facilitate global and in-market stablecoin integrations, usage and adoption, including educational and marketing campaigns, as needed
  • Provision of support and resources to enhance liquidity for new currency stables, including new liquidity pools, and liquidity bootstrapping events.

Expected Outlay for funding the Programs

Q2 2024 Q3 2024 Q4 2024 Q1 2025
Rewards Program 5% 10% 15% 10%
Partners Program 10% 25% 15% 10%

Overall the capital allocation approach is tied to the quality of proposals and the potential partnership opportunities that bring value to the Celo ecosystem. In the initial quarter i.e. Q2, 2024 it is anticipated that more time will be spent mapping potential partnerships and using time to set up the corporate structure for the new entity and establish review, funding, and decision-making processes. Some of the preliminary work related to this has already begun but we will be pursuing this with more focus should this proposal pass. In Q3 and Q4 2024, the expectation would be that the bulk of program funding allocation would occur as long as the quality of proposals received are in line with the mission of this proposed program. At that time also, there would be more advanced discussions with potential partners related to this program. Depending on the partnership opportunities we could see a potential spillover to following quarters.

Expected Outcomes

Celo becoming the leading chain for stablecoin activity

Through this Program, the goal is to help new development and design of stablecoins to be used for real world use in everyday lives. With an increase in adoption on a strong Celo infrastructure, the increase in use of these stablecoins would also reflect in the transaction volume of stablecoins on the Celo blockchain, which would create a more vibrant and robust ecosystem. The goal is to help Celo become one of the top 5 EVMs by stablecoin activity.

Educational Outreach and Awareness and Emerging Market Activation

Stabila will support educational campaigns and outreach initiatives which will result in heightened awareness and adoption of stablecoins and Celo blockchain contributing to a more educated and engaged user base. Our targeted initiatives in emerging markets will support stablecoin usage, driving financial inclusion in regions where access to stable financial infrastructure is limited or nonexistent. This is expected to overlap with the markets that are strong for key non-custodial wallet providers such as Minipay and Valora.

Enhanced Infrastructure and Accessibility

Seamless integration of stablecoins into critical infrastructure components will enhance usability and accessibility for users and merchants alike, making it easier than ever to transact with stablecoins on Celo.

Diverse and Resilient Stablecoin Ecosystem

By supporting liquidity provision for new currency stables, we will foster diversity and innovation within the stablecoin ecosystem on Celo, ensuring its long-term sustainability and resilience.

Overview of Technical features

Sub-cent transaction fees

Celo offers extremely low transaction fees. This affordability makes the Celo blockchain particularly appealing for payments, microtransactions, cross-border remittances, and other use cases where transaction costs are a critical factor.

Gas abstraction (paying for fees in stablecoins)

Celo uses gas abstraction, enabling users to pay for transactions fees using any ERC-20 token natively deployed on Celo. This abstraction simplifies the user experience by allowing transaction fees to be paid in stablecoins. This mechanism enhances usability and reduces friction for users, especially those who are new to digital assets.

Mobile-friendly infrastructure

Celo is designed with a mobile-first approach. SocialConnect, an open protocol on Celo, enables key identifiers such as phone number and social network IDs to map to on-chain addresses simplifying the onboarding process and makes it easier for individuals to participate in the Celo ecosystem. SocialConnect is being used by mobile apps like MiniPay and Valora, which leverage social connections to enable seamless payments and financial interactions among users.

Multi-Sigs & Advisors

The committee will consist of known Celo contributors. They will not be taking any compensation in any form from the Stabila Foundation – both advisors and individuals on the multisig. All funds will be distributed according to the mandate of the entity. The funds will be withdrawn once the Stabila Foundation is formed.

The goal of the multisig is to move to 3 of 5 once the proposal passes and the Stabila Foundation can be formed. The Stabila group will provide multisig updates or changes as part of its quarterly updates.

Multisigs at the time of proposal submission:

Safe Wallet Address: 0x9C257bDC314dc516e673728D70F45444F6e22412

  • Kevin Tharayil 0x3489A2Fe2924275c6A4b05508C77802f272d6D00
  • productmatt 0x1f5979355411dF24c5Ce21Df5bD9f2fff418c194
  • Martin Volpe 0x978727D0b401B66Cf3891AaF9a40826765469bA2

Advisors will provide feedback, guidance and expertise on stablecoin related topics… They will help tap into their networks to connect with relevant services providers and partners to support the Stabila Foundation’s goals.

Advisors:

  • Alex Witt
  • Amit Chu
  • Tomer Bariach
  • Nikhil Raghuveera

Conclusion

Funding Stabila represents a strategic commitment to the growth and adoption of stablecoins on Celo. With a comprehensive roadmap, committed contributors to the Celo ecosystem and a shared commitment to the Celo community, Stabila will be able to meaningfully drive impact and achieve long term sustainability for Celo and its mission aligned ecosystem partners old and new.

Thank you for considering this proposal.

5 Likes

Thanks for good initiative. However, In my opinion, each program must be much more intricately designed, and the KPIs and goals need to be clear.

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The purpose of the proposal, while seemingly well-intentioned, lacks clarity. It bears resemblance to the great initial strategies employed by the Celo Foundation, Ecosystem Lead roles. These roles were crucial in penetrating new markets within various countries, a goal achieved through on-the-ground efforts to forge partnerships, identify key regional stakeholders, initiate pilot programs, and enhance Celo’s visibility.

However, Ecosystem Leads encountered challenges, primarily due to the unique characteristics inherent to each region, even amongst those sharing a common language. These challenges include, but are not limited to, regulatory frameworks, country readiness, and the prevailing level of cryptocurrency comprehension. The cReal stablecoin initiative, although impressive, encountered obstacles in its usability. The necessity for stablecoin use cases within fintechs is evident, yet such cases are perceived more as Nice to have rather than Must to have.

Taking these considerations, one queries the approach this proposal intends to adopt in addressing the mentioned regional challenges.

Furthermore, the proposal references cCOP as an example, an initiative led by @juancamp1987 over the past two years, it is pertinent to encompass individuals advocating for stablecoin initiatives within the multisig, or at the very least, consider their perspectives.

4 Likes

Without a doubt, the inclusion of backed stable assets will have a very positive effect on the development of the economy that utilizes digital assets as a medium of exchange.

Promoting the local use of a stable digital asset requires tremendous effort on multiple fronts. From educating the population on the use of digital assets to successfully demonstrating the effectiveness of the mechanism itself, which adds value and energizes certain microeconomic cycles. None of this would be possible without the team leading this project and initiative for the Colombian crypto market. Therefore, it would be fair to recognize the work of the team led by @juancamp1987 @ocandocrypto @londo @Ximemonclou @davidmriascos and @Miltonhenao in driving the proposal forward and turning it into reality.

Let’s go!

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I agree with @Wabisabi, proposal lacks clarity. I also see some role overlap with existing DAOs and programs within the Celo ecosystem.

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I would suggest adding deployment of native bridges to the roadmap e.g. CCTP. Native bridges are a key if Celo is supposed to become a stablecoin hub of any relevance.

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Hi @Kevin and team,

First, I completely support the vision of making Celo one of the top 5 EVMs by stablecoin activity. I believe we’re well-positioned and should aim to achieve this.

However, I believe the current proposal should be tweaked on several fronts.

  • Operating onchain: In contrary to many other L1/L2 programs, many of the early Celo Community Treasury-funded groups operated a bit in a silo and only occasionally provided updates and transparency to Celo Governance. I would love to better understand how the Reward and Partner programs will be established, operated, and reported to Celo Goverance. Ideally, Stabila or any liquidity initiative would operate as public as possible and be data-driven.

  • I see clear value in the Strategic partnerships element of the Stabila Partner Program and believe this is the key task Stabila should focus on early on. The other elements of the Partner Program also seem relevant, but I would love to better understand where the current wallet (Valora/Minipay) and ramp (fiatconnect) systems are limited and leverage them as much as possible.

  • When it comes to Rewards Programs, I would much rather follow the structure operated by other Ecosystems such as Aribtrum (STIP/LTIPP), Gnosis, or Optimism(Growth Mission), where there are clear, on-chain reward incentivization campaigns funded by the Treasury with clear guidelines and wider ecosystem involvement.

  • Requesting the budget in CELO seems counterproductive to me, as there should be sufficient cUSD available to operate the program. Especially given that the Multi-Sig signers won’t be compensated, I assume most funds are allocated to third parties, which will likely sell CELO to fund operations. Unless you have clear signs that most allocated CELO would not be sold, I would highly encourage you to request a budget mainly consisting of cUSD.

  • On the budget front, I truly think we need a more detailed write-up of the expected costs and clarity on how expenses will be reported. 5M CELO is a significant sum of money, and we need ways to understand in more detail where funds are flowing, who made those decisions, and what the results are. A more detailed budget would also give us more insights into how the proposal could potentially be tweaked.

Overall, I feel a detailed proposal with a narrower scope (regarding regions and initiatives) would be a better fit. This proposal should mainly focus on the Partner Programs and go into more detail about how the group would operate, how Celo Governance will be kept up to date and revoke certain commitments, and how this initiative would connect to the other activities taking place in the Celo ecosystem.

3 Likes

Hi all, Thank you for the thoughtful comments. Appreciate the overall positive feedback.

Addressing some of the points raised.

Although the request is for a one-time 5M CELO allocation, funds will be withdrawn quarterly. Grants issued will be milestone based and spread over a period of time. Any unused funds will be returned to the on-chain treasury.

We will be sharing a quarterly update with expenditure to the community on the partnerships and projects that will be supported. In case partners are not comfortable with us sharing this information publicly and we are required by contractual terms, efforts will be made to share this objectively under a category spend, for e.g: CEX marketing campaign, Ramp rewards and so on.

All on-chain rewards will be focused on stablecoin related action and will be available to anyone participating. As this initiative is focused only on stablecoin liquidity and adoption, the scope is already limited (and focused!) compared to other short-term incentive programs mentioned above which have a wider mandate.

As highlighted in the proposal, key regions of focus will be Africa, LatAm and South East Asia. With wallets like Minipay and Valora, stablecoin infrastructure like Fiatconnect and general defi infrastructure like bridges – we see a lot of complementarities for supporting ramps where critical to provide coverage and drive usage.

We are preparing some additional materials for KPIs. Happy to share this over the governance call tomorrow.

3 Likes

While I appreciate the intent behind the Stabila Foundation proposal, I share the concern about its clarity. It’s imperative that such initiatives have well-defined goals and measurable KPIs.

I echo @Wabisabi 's insights regarding the necessity for detailed regional strategies, acknowledging the unique challenges each market presents.

Furthermore, considering @juancamp1987’s dedication over the past two years to cCOP and his in-depth understanding of the local context, it seems a missed opportunity not to integrate these proven initiatives. Their clear KPIs and localized strategies could significantly enhance the proposal’s effectiveness.

1 Like

I was really surprised when I stumbled upon this proposal, especially given my involvement in Celo Governance through my work account @juanjgiraldoc. It made me consider stepping back from this discussion.

On another note, I can’t help but feel disappointed. I’ve been passionate about introducing the Colombian Peso for quite some time, but I’ve often felt unsupported by the community. Now, with this new proposal emerging, I’m feeling a bit left out. How can we work together more inclusively?

First post

Back in March 2022, I posted about introducing the Colombian Peso, and it received an overwhelming response with over 4.3K views, 193 likes, and 44 replies. You can find it here.

Second post

In October 2022, I posted in Spanish to make it more accessible to our Colombian community members. It garnered over 1.2K views, 46 likes, and 17 replies. Check it out here.

We also submitted a Draft proposal on GitHub under CGP-0060 via PR 156, which was merged. However, out of respect for the community’s concerns, we decided not to submit it OnChain and opted for more discussion before proceeding.

Third Post

In October 2023, after months of hard work, we posted a highly detailed proposal aimed at the Community Fund, which received over 1.8K views, 142 likes, and 41 replies. You can find it here.

This post wasn’t submitted to Governance because we wanted to respect the new Governance Guidelines and wait for the updated framework.

The last reply to this post was from @rene_celo after I tried numerous times to convince him of the benefits of our proposal.

Fourth Post

Our most recent post, made in February 2024 with a more focused scope under the Celo Public Goods umbrella, unfortunately didn’t receive any replies. You can view it here.

Thoughts

One of our main obstacles has been waiting for support from Mento StableCoin Factory. We tried persuading them to help us launch a test of the StableCoin Contract with a small minting allowance to gauge interest and work on liquidity efforts.

We deeply respect governance and haven’t submitted the proposal because we believe in having meaningful conversations with the community before taking action. However, I can’t help but notice that key figures in this new proposal, such as @Kevin, @martinvol, @nraghuveera, @Isha, haven’t engaged with our posts as far as I can recall.

While I truly appreciate the initiative dedicated to StableCoins in Celo, I would love to be included in this endeavor and am more than happy to contribute.

3 Likes

What tools or techniques will be put in place to filter out gamifying on-chain activity to achieve incentive goals?

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I think a lot of this will be on partners to have tools/mechanisms in place to prevent this from happening. It’s a good call out.

Hey Kevin can you also let the community know more about the team behind this proposal and their background?

I see a lot of familiar name in the Multi-Sigs but is not specified if those people are also part of the team.

Thanks!

I fully support the Stabila proposal and think it is a great initiative, strengthening Celo as the leading chain for stablecoin activity.

Thank you, Kevin, for presenting this in the community call today.

Please allow me to quickly give some background on why I think the proposal comes at the right time:
Together with the whole community, Mento Labs is working on the Mento Platform. An important part of Mento is being an exchange infrastructure, not only for exchanges between stablecoins and Mento collateral, but also for swaps between stablecoins. For example, users can swap cUSD seamlessly against USDC and USDT, and Mento offers access to other currencies as well. On Mento there is already a EUR, BRL and XOF stablecoin, and the community is working on adding a KES, COP (yes :-)) and several more. With this the Mento Platform is giving everyone access to local digital stable currencies. This is highly beneficial to users in countries with high inflation, and might be especially relevant for (micro-) loans. With the Mento Platform, users on Celo can access stablecoins for payments, remittances, lending, borrowing, saving and other stablecoin use-cases.

Additional local currencies can bring even more users into the digital economy. However, especially important in the multi-currency case, liquidity is of the utmost importance. Users should be able to get in and out of different currencies without high spreads / costs. For this, both, the reward program and the partner program in the Stabila proposal, are highly relevant.

2 Likes

Important Reminder: Transparency for Proposals

Just a quick reminder: when submitting a proposal for funds, it’s crucial to disclose all Multisign addresses involved and who is behind each address.

Additionally, each individual associated with these addresses should confirm their wallet address in a comment from their Forum Account. This is a requirement from the Approvers, so let’s ensure we meet their standards for transparency.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

I spent some time reviewing the feedback, questions, and responses. I feel more informed now about the Stabila proposal in that it is distinct from an individual stablecoin launch like cCOP, and instead is inclusive of supporting stablecoin launches, and other aspects that aren’t often taken to consideration with recent community proposals such as education, marketing, and covering additional fees. Also, since some partnerships require a legal entity with which to enter a contract, Stabila can provide that legal structure that may normally be hindered when interacting with a community organization. I now see how Stabila will support stablecoins on Celo as a whole.

3 Likes

In my opinion, the each sub-plan should be more detailed and more elaborate, when considering the fact that the amount of the funding is really huge.

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Verifying my address: 0x3489A2Fe2924275c6A4b05508C77802f272d6D00

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Hey @Kevin looking again at the proposal I cannot find the part about the compensation for the team and as I asked in my (ignored) previous message:

can you also let the community know more about the team behind this proposal and their background?

I see a lot of familiar name in the Multi-Sigs but is not specified if those people are also part of the team.

Thanks for your answer.

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Hey, as mentioned in the proposal no compensation will be taken by the multi-sig or advisors from Stabila. You can find their backgrounds in detail on LinkedIn. Here for reference:

Advisors:

Multisig:

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