Why are we denominating grants in CELO?

Hi folks, to date - many of our on-chain grants have been denominated in CELO. I think there is a better way.

We should plan for success
Right now, if a grant receives 1M CELO (based on needing $3M USD and CELO at $3), and the price then goes up to $30 per CELO, then the reserve has overused $27M worth of CELO.

We should instead be planning for success here and that we get the CELO price to $10, $20 or whatever based on making tangible progress on our mission (natural capital, cStables, UBI etc.) + being smart and safe on protocol economics.

A Better Approach: A Recommendation
I suggest that all grants be denominated in cUSD (or another cStable).

If we are worried the Celo price drops and we run out of funds, then we can simply have a “Celo cap” to the total value of funding a grant receives.


Today, a project needing $3M would ask for about 1M CELO.

In the approved proposal, the project would ask for:

  • $3M cUSD, but no more than 1M CELO.

So, if CELO price goes up, the grant still gets $3M. If CELO price goes down, the grant gets 1M CELO (which is no worse than today).

To repeat - I think we need to plan for success, and planning for success means that we need to treat our community fund with the potential it has.

The reason I bring this up is because I’m am talking to lots more groups that want to do proposals and we have 10M CELO in our community fund and we want to maximise the use of it.


Dang, groups asking for million dollar grants when all I wish for is 500 cUSD a month to eat sandwich’s.

I don’t see a problem with groups getting cUSD because real world costs for R&D like salary, infra structure, bills all have to be paid out in dollars anyways, so granted celo will likely get converted to dollars eventually.


Just a comment on how that could work technically: Denominating in cUSD would require cUSD in the governance contract or some feature to swap existing CELO to cUSD. Swapping existing CELO into cUSD seems hard, as only governance controls the funds and it’s a size where liquidity is a trade execution problem.

Minting future epoch rewards as cUSD would require core contract and blockchain code changes equivalent to the validator epoch rewards logic, which are minted distributed in cUSD here:

I was thinking something simpler @Tobi . Basically what I’m saying is that when grantees apply, they specify a max total of CELO they will receive, but also a max total on an “as converted to cUSD at the time of withdrawal”. Harshly put, it would keep the upside of CELO price appreciation to the community fund, while the grantee keeps the downside of the depreciation.

I think good arguments can be made that this is wise for Celo community but also unfair on grantees.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that we should have any rules here. I think it’s up to individual proposals to suggest how they wish funding to work. I’m just saying that - as a community - we should consider that if a grant applies for a large amount of CELO, it means the community is distributing the upside (and the downside) of that CELO (which may be fine in certain cases).