My name is Chris Hayes and I am the Head of Government Relations, and I am Jake Leraul, Legal Counsel for the Celo Foundation. As part of Season 11 Planning, we would like to share details about the Foundation’s legal and policy work to support projects and builders on Celo and goals for the upcoming season. With our post, the goal is to introduce more transparency into the work we’re doing at the Celo Foundation as well as ask for your feedback on the plan and activities listed below.
Working Group Purpose
Since day one, the Celo Foundation has prioritized legal and regulatory compliance. In addition, since March 2022, the Foundation began engaging in the policy discussion around blockchain and web3 technology, the use of blockchain technology in the voluntary carbon market (VCM) and the regulatory landscape contemplated in global jurisdictions. The goal is to support long term, mature, sustainable, mission aligned projects and innovation on the Celo Platform and educate policymakers and the community about the technology’s potential for building positive externalities. In particular, we’ve focused on advocacy and education in the US and EU, telling the story of the unique companies building on the Celo blockchain.
A view of the the last season
Introduced climate focused builders and projects in Washington, D.C. to meet and speak with members of Congress and their staff;
Held a series of meetings in Paris with EU regulatory agencies with Mento Labs to focus on best practices for regulatory compliance and fostering robust and safe digital assets on chain in the EU;
Participated in an educational event for blockchain use cases with US policymakers titled Web3 IRL with Coinbase, Filecoin, Uniswap and others;
Presented at Messari Mainnet in September 2022 in New York on stable value assets;
Increased policy support and engagement for climate projects and the Climate Collective to build strong connections with carbon registries and other stakeholders in the VCM.
Support and educate policymakers about how mission aligned projects and builders on Celo contribute to positive externalities and create conditions of prosperity for all;
Serve as a resource for the Foundation and projects with specific policy goals for robust, thoughtful legislation and regulation in the US and EU, as well as policies with VCM stakeholders which fosters and protects innovation in Web3;
Connect and engage with legal counsel with blockchain and web3 expertise in countries around the world to support Celo Jura.
Key Milestones and Dates
Success will be defined by continuing to support a legal and compliance culture within the Foundation and within the Celo ecosystem;
Provide legal and regulatory training in house, and provide best practices resources for Celo Camp participants;
Continue to elevate awareness of use cases and mission aligned projects building on Celo and in the Celo ecosystem with web3 peers.
Deepen relationships, understanding and support with VCM stakeholders to support blockchain climate projects.
We would love your feedback on this post. Please share your thoughts on the areas that we’re working on, what you think we should be doing more or less of, and how we can improve. We truly believe that we can get better with the inputs from you all in the community and we look forward to it.
My first feedback (for you and Celo) is to stop dancing around the real subjects and lose the fluffy language about attending meetings, doing trainings, awareness, mission alignment, best practices, etc…
That creative writing and fluff gives us nothing on which to base good investment decisions, it is a distraction and a waste of our time.
It would be very helpful instead to get direct simple factual plain english legal summaries and updates about the major risks Celo specifically and Crypto in general are facing. (Where you see the environment you exist in.)
Those updates could/should be followed up with concise/no fluff statements about the outcomes Celo is going to try to get and address each major risk and why Celo is choosing that path and how that path should lead Celo to economic viability.
I want to follow up my post yesterday with a bit of context.
Issuing ‘private currencies using ledgers to keep track of said currencies’ isn’t a novel idea and that endeavor has regularly ended with many tears being shed as the companies minting them folded.
With regard to Legal & Policy I’d like to know how y’all intend to maintain ‘legal to use’ status and what policies y’all will implement to ensure it can be redeemed widely for face value in perpetuity.
@jkhodarkovsky Thanks Chris, would also like to see some thoughts here. There’s been plenty of people asking about it very little response along the lines of @markbarendt 's suggestions. Celo’s major use case as a mobile-first payments platform for the globe could be in danger if things fall the wrong way, regulation-wise.
Also, what is a Season? What is Season 11 planning? Is this an internal work-structuring period that the Foundation uses? What does it mean and where can we see the objectives/outcomes from Seasons 1 to 10?
Hi @markbarendt – Thanks for your reply here (also thanks to @ekprawees, @NameSurname, @Thylacine and others for your related posts here and here). Just want to jump in, as we’ve had a number of Mento-related calls and I know how valuable your insights are to the Celo community.
The Celo Foundation supports thoughtful, nuanced regulations that help support innovation and financial inclusion for un- and under-banked communities around the world.
It’s a US-based entity, therefore must comply with local, state, and federal laws and regulations––of course it is impossible to predict how this will unfold and when, and requires continued awareness and education for web3’s potential to create real world benefits for real people (which the Foundation is working towards). The main goal is to ensure the Celo ecosystem continues to be able to innovate and serve its mission of creating conditions for prosperity for all.
As it relates to cUSD and other Mento digital assets, I would suggest moving this discussion to a Mento community call (see channel #community-calls on Mento Discord). Kindly note that the Foundation, and even Mento, are unable to offer predictions or insights that may be perceived as legal, investment or financial advice. Hope this is helpful.
We understand that you can’t discuss certain things that are forward looking but as it relates to the businesses that the foundation and Mento, and Valora are managing/nurturing, I’d like to note that it is legal and even required for publicly held businesses and managers to regularly disclose the status of the business’s finances, the state of the market it serves, the headwinds and tailwinds it’s facing, what threats or opportunities face the business, what things are being done specifically to improve the business situation, what specific things pose a threat, any changes to the business plan, changes in key personnel, and any other factors that materially might affect the business’s prospects.
With privately held businesses it’s also normal for both current and prospective investors to be kept in the loop in a similar manner lest they take their capital and go a someplace else.
Furthermore, the thought of now relegating these discussions to ‘off line’ or ‘out of mainstream view’ venues is not a cool ask especially when it was Celo’s own legal team that started the discussion right here and asked specifically for our thoughts, then gave us a bunch of silence, not even a hello. That doesn’t inspire confidence.
Thanks @Thylacine – re: Season 11/Season Planning, Yes, you’ve got it right. It’s a system of work-structuring that covers 3 months and that we’re newly implementing inside the Foundation. Even though it’s a new process, we’ve chosen 11 to ensure we count for the 10 seasons that may have passed since our launch in May 2020. There’s more detail covered around this system in my previous Forum post here. Happy to answer any additional questions you might have on the process.