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CELO, the native token behind the eponymous blockchain protocol, is leading the charge in an otherwise sideways crypto market. The token soared to a three-month high of $5.19 in the early hours on Tuesday.
According to data from CoinMarketCap, the last time CELO traded at those levels was at the beginning of January. Despite a consequent correction to $4.89 at writing, the token is still up more than 20% over the last day and a hefty 42% in the past week.
The latest price action also saw the token’s market cap swell to over $2 billion, with the token climbing up the ranks into the market’s top-60 largest cryptocurrencies.
What is Celo?
Backed by several high-profile investors, including a16z, Polychain Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Deutsche Telekom, and Jack Dorsey’s Block (formerly known as Square), Celo is a layer-1 proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain promising access to a variety of financial tools to anyone with a mobile phone, with phone numbers acting as public keys.
The Celo network, like other-enabled networks, lets users create decentralized applications (dApps) targeting sectors such as decentralized finance ( ) and non-fungible tokens ( ).
Apart from the native token, Celo has three, including the Celo U.S. Dollar (cUSD), Celo Euro (cEUR), and the recently added Celo Real (cREAL) which is focused on the platform’s user base in Brazil.
“The company’s mission is to build a financial system that creates the conditions of prosperity for everyone. Celo enables native and non-native digital assets—both cryptographic and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)—to circulate freely across devices, carriers, and countries,” reads the description of Celo’s mission.
Celo's $20M fund
The spike in the token price comes amid the Celo Connect event, a two-day conference that kicked off on Monday in Barcelona.
One of the highlights of the first day of the conference was the announcement of “Connect the World,” the Celo Foundation’s $20 million initiative to push global adoption of crypto payments.
The Foundation will be offering cash incentives to reward payment providers who decide to implement FiatConnect—an open-source API that enables users to quickly convert fiat to a crypto of their choice or vice versa.
It also announced a partnership with PrimeDAO, a developer collective building what it calls “next-generation coordination tools” for decentralized autonomous organizations ( ).
The partnership is part of the so-called ReFi (the Regenerative Finance) movement, with the declared goal “to accelerate DAOs building at the nexus of web3 and climate.”