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Celo is a blockchain specifically designed for mobile platforms, aiming to provide smartphone users with a seamless ecosystem for cryptocurrency transactions, emphasizing ease of use and global reach. In addition, this network supports the creation and deployment of decentralized applications (dApps).  

Celo offers two native tokens: cUSD, a stablecoin mirroring the USD value, and CELO, a multi-purpose utility token that supports a variety of operations, and serves as a governance token within the ecosystem. 

In this article, we explore the inner mechanisms of Celo, its core functionalities and the role of its native tokens: CELO and cUSD. 

The Celo blockchain: an overview

The Celo blockchain was founded in 2017 by The CELO Foundation, a U.S.-based non-profit organization. This project aims to address the two major roadblocks to widespread cryptocurrency adoption: usability and price stability. 

Its entire ecosystem is centered around mobile technology. Celo's applications and mobile gateways are developed for smartphone users specifically. Through this concept, Celo aims to build an international financial system that will serve anyone, especially underbanked populations, where access to traditional banking services is either restricted or forbidden. 

Similar to our Bitcoin payment app, which requires a mobile phone (iOS or Android) and an internet connection, the Celo ecosystem welcomes anyone with a smartphone device, and access to mobile data or WiFi to participate and contribute to network growth. 

Also, Celo aims to simplify the crypto transaction processes by using a recipient's mobile phone number instead of a wallet address. Its ultimate goal is to make financial transactions as seamless as sending a text message. 

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Celo's unique features

Here's a brief overview of Celo's unique features. 


Celo places a strong emphasis on mobile accessibility, intending to enable financial inclusion in regions where access to traditional banking services is limited. This is backed by a lightweight architecture, making this platform especially suitable for running on mobile devices. 

Digital Identity

Unlike traditional usernames or accounts a user typically needs to manage their crypto wallet, Celo uses decentralized identifiers (DIDs) to enable digital identity on its platform. 

This allows participants to control their Celo "accounts," and virtually decide what information to share and with whom. In contrast to traditional iOS and Android apps that demand personal information upfront, Celo's DID system lets users interact with applications and services privately on the Celo network.

Mobile payments

While mobile payments aren't entirely unique to Celo, given the fact that other blockchain platforms, like Stellar Lumens (XLM), also support this functionality, this blockchain might offer some specific advantages for mobile users. 

Instead of using wallet addresses for sending and receiving payments, Celo allows crypto transactions using phone numbers, which could encourage adoption among less crypto-savvy individuals. 

Another distinction includes Celo’s focus on mobile integration and low transaction fees, which aim to make financial tools more accessible through smartphones. This way, Celo can empower users from emerging economies, as well as areas with truncated access to conventional monetary systems. 

Celo tokenomics

CELO has a capped supply of 1 billion tokens, with 533.8 million (53.38%) CELO in circulation as of this writing. The expected allocation of the Celo's native token is as follows:

  • 12.5% to pre-launch sales purchasers
  • 18.5% to protocol contributors
  • 30% to Staking and Validator rewards
  • 19.5% to community grants
  • 7.5% to operational grants
  • 12% to initial reserve

Celo stablecoins and reserve mechanism

Celo aims to provide price stability for users on their network through several stablecoins pegged to traditional currencies, including:

  • cUSD – pegged to the U.S. Dollar
  • cEUR – pegged to the Euro
  • cREAL – pegged to Brazilian Real

These stablecoins are used for various purposes within the Celo ecosystem, such as payments, remittances, and digital economy applications. 


To combat market fluctuations, Celo implements a concept called over-collateralization, a reserve that holds more value than the total outstanding stablecoins. In essence, this model demands that network participants provide more value than they borrow. 

For example, a collateralization ratio of 120% means that for every $100 worth of cUSD issued, $120 worth of CELO is locked up as collateral. This way, Celo aims to reduce the risk to a lender or an investor in debt security. 

Elastic supply

Celo stablecoins, like cUSD and cEUR, have an elastic supply, unlike their traditional counterparts. The blockchain relies on the Mento and Multi-Collateral Mento (MCM) stability mechanisms, which automatically increase or decrease the supply of CELO stablecoins based on demand. This could potentially help to maintain the peg. 

Mento stability mechanism in Celo

Celo uses the Mento stability mechanism as a response to an increase or decrease in stablecoin demand. 

When the demand for a particular stablecoin (cUSD, cEUR, or cREAL) rises, the protocol mints new coins, allowing participants to buy these coins with its native token, CELO. This ultimately increases the circulating supply but should not affect the peg due to higher demand. 

Conversely, if the demand for a stablecoin falls, this mechanism offers to buy back the stablecoins in exchange for CELO, potentially reducing the overall supply and helping maintain the peg. 

Multi-collateral mento

The blockchain introduced Multi-Collateral Mento to help network users combat the high slippage when issuing or redeeming CELO stablecoins. This protocol should also enable participants to onramp from USDC or USDT directly while potentially offering a tighter risk measure to protect against price manipulation. 

Multi-Collateral Mento is a variation of Mento, which only allows users to trade Mento stable assets (cUSD, cEUR, and cREAL) for CELO tokens. However, with MCM, enthusiasts are able to trade stablecoins for any Mento collateral asset beyond CELO. 

While in the future, participants will be able to redeem stable assets with any collateral (cryptocurrency) held by the reserve, at the moment, the issuance of stablecoins is available with USDCet (USDC bridge to Celo). 

Celo's ecosystem and DeFi options 

The Celo ecosystem is built around its mobile-friendly blockchain, which is designed to be accessible to users with low-end smartphones. It offers a range of DeFi services, like stablecoins, lending protocols, decentralized exchanges, and mobile payment applications, to provide an inclusive ecosystem to users worldwide.

Celo DeFi protocols and applications

Here's a brief overview of real-world applications offered by Celo:

  • Celo Wallet – A smartphone app that provides network participants access to various DeFi protocols and applications built on the Celo blockchain. Like our CEX.IO mobile app, which allows eligible customers to seamlessly send, receive, and store crypto, Celo Wallet provides its users with intuitive pathways to manage Celo assets, such as cEUR, cUSD, and cREAL. 
  • Moola Market – A decentralized lending protocol that allows participants to potentially earn interest through borrowing and lending Celo stablecoins. 
  • Valora – A mobile app that integrates with various DeFi protocols and applications. It aims to allow enthusiasts to effortlessly send and receive Celo assets via a user-friendly mobile app. 
  • Ubeswap – A decentralized exchange (DEX) built on Celo that empowers crypto holders to swap various assets, including Celo stablecoins and other ERC-20 tokens. 

Governance and community

The Celo network is managed and upgraded using the stakeholder proposal process, meaning decisions are made through a voting system. The entire process happens on the Celo blockchain to ensure transparency and immutability. 

Anyone can suggest (propose) changes to the Celo protocol. These include upgrading smart contracts, adding new currencies, or adjusting reserve allocation. 

To prevent small and unrepresentative votes, Celo has introduced a quorum threshold, which determines the minimum number of votes required for a proposal to be considered valid. Participants with more CELO tokens have more voting power. 

Environmental commitment

Unlike other blockchains, which use resource-intensive consensus mechanisms like proof of work (PoW), Celo utilizes a potentially less-energy-consuming proof of stake (PoS) method to validate transactions. 

To reduce its carbon footprint, Celo allocates a portion of CELO tokens to an on-chain fund dedicated to financing carbon offset projects. This way, the network aims to compensate for its carbon dioxide emissions.

CELO market performance

Following its release in mid-2020, CELO exhibited an impressive initial surge, reaching a peak of $4.4 within a few months. The following year, 2021, proved to be eventful for CELO. 

The token established a new all-time high (ATH) of $6.1 in April, following a previous ATH of $5.2 in February. This was followed by a necessary price correction, with CELO retreating to $2.3.

However, October 2021 witnessed CELO defying the correction with another ATH of $7.2. Still, the broader market downturn, often called the "crypto winter," significantly impacted its price. Over the next two years, the token's value plummeted, even falling below its initial launch price and reaching a low of $0.5.

April 2024 seems to mark a turning point. The token has recovered significantly, surpassing the $1 mark and hinting at a potential return to form.

Those interested in learning more about the real-time value of CELO can explore our live crypto charts for a more detailed overview, including the overall market cap and 24-hour trading volume. 

Where to buy and trade CELO

CELO is available on various decentralized and centralized exchanges, including CEX.IO, which offers numerous gateways for crypto enthusiasts to acquire, store, and sell Celo's native token. The most intuitive pathway is through Instant Buy, which is tailored for beginners.

Alternatively, our members can obtain CELO through our iOS and Android mobile apps and Spot Trading platform, allowing curious participants to trade this cryptocurrency against USD and USDT.  

How to use Celo after the purchase

As mentioned in the entry above, the most seamless way to purchase CELO on CEX.IO is through Instant Buy. Here's how to do it: 

  1. Register on CEX.IO
  2. Verify your account
  3. Locate Instant Buy
  4. Select the fiat currency you wish to use for the purchase (USD, EUR, or GBP)
  5. Pick CELO from the dropdown menu
  6. Determine the amount you wish to spend to obtain the CELO tokens
  7. Choose a desired payment method (credit and debit card, bank transfer, Skrill, Neteller, Google Pay or Apple Pay)
  8. Initiate the purchase
  9. Confirm the transaction.
  10. Wait until CELO reflects on your CEX.IO wallet  

Once acquired, tokens will be stored in your CEX.IO wallet. You can trade CELO on our Spot Trading platform or use it to purchase other listed cryptocurrencies. Finally, you can sell your CELO holdings anytime through our web or mobile applications. 

Disclaimer: The availability of payment methods may differ between jurisdictions. We advise all interested parties to conduct thorough research before purchasing CELO. 

Staking CELO on CEX.IO

While CEX.IO supports crypto staking, allowing eligible members to potentially earn rewards by locking their digital assets, CELO isn't currently available for this service. 

Those looking for pathways to earn extra can explore our list of supported cryptocurrencies for staking, including:

  • Solana (SOL)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Avalanche (AVAX)

Educational resources and community engagement

Crypto enthusiasts interested in learning more about the Celo blockchain can visit its official website, offering multiple avenues for exploring its features. 

Those eager to discover the intricacies of Celo's open-source code can access developer resources on GitHub, while joining the community forums on Discord and its official Twitter channel can help them stay updated on the latest news and developments within the ecosystem. 


Can I buy CELO in the U.S.?

Unfortunately, CELO is not available for U.S.-based residents at the moment. Curious participants looking to buy crypto in the U.S. can explore our list of supported currencies for this region and discover numerous pathways to acquire different assets that suit their investment goals. 

How to buy Bitcoin on CEX.IO?

CEX.IO provides different gateways for purchasing Bitcoin, as well as other 100+ cryptocurrencies listed on our exchange. Our members can effortlessly buy crypto with a prepaid card, credit or debit card, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or via bank transfer. 

What is CEX.IO crypto savings? 

CEX.IO Savings is a service that allows eligible customers to potentially earn rewards on their crypto holdings by lending them out. It is vital to note that we offer a flexible crypto savings account, meaning our users can withdraw their crypto holdings whenever needed without penalty. 

Where can you buy Celo?


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