Today’s guest is Rene Reinsberg, the President of the Celo Foundation. Celo is a mobile-first, open-source ecosystem of technologies, organizations, and individuals that all share a common mission of building a financial system that creates the conditions for prosperity for everyone. Celo is a blockchain ecosystem focused on increasing cryptocurrency adoption among smartphone users. By using phone numbers as public keys, Celo hopes to introduce the world’s billions of smartphone owners, including those without banking access, to transact in cryptocurrency. The company argues that the number of smartphone owners is increasing exponentially, but the number of people using cryptocurrency is rising much slower. Bridging the gap between the two technologies is what Celo aims to do. Before working on Celo, Rene was an EIR at General Catalyst after serving as GoDaddy's Vice President of Emerging Products. He co-founded venture-backed Locu and served as CEO until Locu's acquisition by GoDaddy in August 2013. We began our conversation with Rene sharing his experience being an entrepreneur and getting his MBA at MIT. He explains how this eventually brought him to crypto and co-founding Celo. We discuss various topics, including Celo, crypto adoption, the beauty of Web3, advice for founders, and much more. We pivot our conversation to discuss Celo. Rene explains why the optimized Celo is a smart-phone centric blockchain. We discuss why Rene and his team decided to go to market by targeting micro-transactions. Rene shares a fantastic story about how they were able to bootstrap the Celo ecosystem by sharing their vision and showcasing their Beta during the previous bear market. Rene stresses this is one of the major benefits of web3 and the open source movement. We transition our discussion to focus on the current bear market. Rene explains what makes this market different from previous bear markets and possible second-order consequences from the turmoil. Rene advises founders and teams building through the bear market. We discuss how the next evolution for crypto will focus on utility and abstracting away the complexities away from the user. Another fascinating conversation topic centered around the future of tokens. We discuss why tokens may become less common as crypto becomes more mainstream. Our final discussion topic centered on the fracturing of the global economy and the explosion of crypto adoption across the globe. Rene stresses that crypto needs to be global to reach its true potential. Please enjoy my conversation with Rene Reinsberg.
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