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Issuing Glo Dollar: our partnership with Brale
In early summer, we announced Brale as Glo Dollar's issuer.
Launching a stablecoin in the US is complex. It’s subject to regulations on a state-by-state basis. It can take years and cost millions of dollars.
Partnering with Brale, which has the necessary licenses and exemptions, we could get Glo Dollar out in the world faster and start growing adoption.
We chose Brale based on 3 criteria we were looking for in a partner:
- A trustworthy stablecoin issuer that manages reserves transparently and conservatively.
- The ability to launch fast, with low upfront costs.
- Aligned incentives and a great team to work with.
Looking back 6 months later, all of our expectations of Brale have been confirmed. Thanks for the great collaboration so far.
Launching Glo Dollar
In addition to availability through Brale, Glo Dollar became available on Uniswap early August on Ethereum and Polygon.
We’ve since expanded to five chains:
- Ethereum. view on Etherscan · view on Uniswap
- Polygon. view on Polygonscan · view on Uniswap
- Celo. view on Celoscan · view on Uniswap
- Optimism. view on Optimistic Etherscan · view on Uniswap
- Base. view on Basescan · liquidity added on Uniswap soon™
Getting Glo Dollars should be as easy as possible, both for individuals and businesses. We're working hard to further improve availability. Review Glo Dollar availability and our smart contract addresses.
Building the Glo Consortium: a collective of 30+ members embedding philanthropy
With Glo, we can get closer to a world without extreme poverty. All we need is Glo adoption, integration, and usage. To support us in this mission, 30+ members have joined the Glo Consortium since it was intro’d in June.
Glo Consortium members embed philanthropy in different ways.
A growing list of organizations embeds philanthropy into the funds they’re holding. Eventually, every $20,000 held in their treasuries will be enough to lift one person out of extreme poverty. All the organizations holding Glo Dollars are marked with an ‘adopt’ label on the Glo Consortium page.
Our Consortium members are making it possible to run much of your financial stack on Glo. Consider these examples:
- Fiat payments to vendors in 5 different currencies and investing in tokenized securities through Skyline Digital.
- Glo-collateralized corporate Visa credit cards through Rain’s expense management platform.
- Glo payrolling and HR with Niural.
- Managing your accounting stack in Glo on Acctual.
Donation platforms like Endaoment, Giveth, and Donorship boost philanthropic impact by supporting Glo Dollar. On these platforms, you could already support causes with cash, crypto, DAFs, and stocks. Giving in Glo Dollars, your donation isn't just philanthropic—it's making the entire transaction a positive force. Give Glo Dollars to an animal rights charity, and you're not only helping animals; you're also contributing to the end of extreme poverty.
Spreading the Glo far and wide
We’ve been actively spreading the Glo narrative, cultivating a strong supporter base including Chris Burniske, Kevin Owocki, Nevin Freeman, and Santiago Siri.
The more people support and hold Glo, the larger our market cap; the larger our market cap, the more people we lift out of extreme poverty.
I’ll pick 5 of my favorite pieces of Glo content:
- Thread on X. Our announcement about Gitcoin buying $100K in Glo Dollars. Beyond the headline, it’s a good primer for those looking to understand Glo.
- Podcast ep. Jasper and Garm appearing on Crypto Altruism’s podcast, explaining the mechanics behind Glo Dollar and the journey that led them to founding Glo.
- Conf talk. Garm’s talk at DappCon about ending extreme poverty with a stablecoin and stablecoin diversity.
- External article. This article on Decential is simple and straightforward. It explains what Glo is and how we aim to end extreme poverty.
- Blog post. Seth wrote a blog about why ending extreme poverty is important, even if you care more about other Sustainable Development Goals.
All the Glo media coverage is featured in one place.
Team changes and shifting priorities
From 2022 to mid 2023, we expanded to a team of 15 as we developed Glo Dollar, drove community growth (mostly focused on individuals), and built a fully-fledged engineering team.
As we grew, our costs increased, and we became less nimble: shifting from getting things done to having more discussions about how to get things done.
While we experienced more interest from DAOs and organizations than anticipated, retail adoption remained a challenge. Particularly since Glo Dollar is not yet listed on centralized exchanges. We learned that, in this early stage where Glo Dollar’s utility and availability is a work in progress, we had to approach adoption growth more like a B2B than a B2C play. Also, teaming up with Brale allowed us to transfer a substantial part of the backend engineering and financial duties.
In response, we made the tough choice to streamline our team to improve our agility, productivity, and sustainability. Today, we are a team of seven, and we strategically engage contractor support as needed. In alignment with our focus on growth, we've also restructured our leadership team. Co-founder & CMO Jasper Driessens is stepping into the role of CEO, and Jeff is transitioning from CEO to member of our advisory board.
We’re forging partnerships and integrations in all of these areas: custody, on/off ramps, payments, credit, AR/AP, HR & payroll, earn, infrastructure, and giving. About 80% of our team’s time is spent on growth efforts, with the remaining 20% devoted to technical integrations, compliance, finance, and misc ops.
Gitcoin choosing Glo Dollars
Growing a stablecoin’s market cap is tough, particularly in the face of giant network effects. Earning trust and support from leading players is crucial.
Following a proposal written by Garm on Gitcoin’s forum, their community overwhelmingly voted in favor of swapping $100K of USDC to USDGLO. At scale, this one Glo holding alone will lift 5 individuals out of extreme poverty.
Over $2,000,000 Glo Dollars are in circulation
Since the beginning of December, there have been over $2,000,000 Glo Dollars in circulation.
It marked a big milestone for the Glo Foundation, as it means we start making money with the Glo Dollar, and all that money will be donated to GiveDirectly.
Holding Glo Dollars today translates to actively generating funds for people living in extreme poverty. Initially, our per-dollar impact remains modest, as we’ll earn and donate a few hundred dollars monthly to GiveDirectly. But this scales up fast, with thousands of dollars generated as our market cap continues to grow.
All our donations (which will be on-chain) will be showcased on our website, emphasising our commitment to transparency. As our market cap expands, so will our ability to make a greater impact. At scale, we expect to lift 1 person out of extreme poverty per $20,000 of Glo Dollar market cap.
The first attestation of Glo Dollar’s reserve was made available in late November. Anyone can now verify that Glo Dollar is fully backed by US dollars and short term gov’t debt.
Monthly attestations are provided by Abdo, an independent third-party accounting firm, in line with AICPA standards. All monthly reports will be shared on our website. For additional transparency, our partner Brale self-reports outstanding supply and reserves on a daily basis.
We firmly believe that the monthly attestations and daily self-reports meet the transparency standards our community deserves.
Kickstarting Stablecoin Diversity
Stablecoin diversity is not optional. Stablecoins—particularly centralized stables—are critical crypto infrastructure, facilitating liquidity, trading, and financial ops for the entire ecosystem.
Inspired by Client Diversity, we created Stablecoin Diversity, a website with the aim to switch dominant stable holdings (UST/C) into stables with smaller market shares. The website is a public draft that we’ll be expanding on next year.
92% of centralized stables are managed by the two companies behind USDC and USDT. That’s a dual point of failure posing a systemic risk to the ecosystem. Or, in Vitalik’s words, “Ethereum's last line of defense against censorship is hard forking, and the winning fork now depends on the two stablecoin companies' preferences rather than the Ethereum community's.”
As we ponder the optimal way to get the ball rolling on increasing stablecoin diversity, we're actively seeking feedback and partners to collaborate with on this initiative—get in touch or put in time with me if you’re interested. We believe it's essential for the crypto ecosystem at large to champion this cause, not just us.
What’s on our minds for 2024
Growth is our #1 priority for 2024. More growth = increased market cap = more individuals lifted out of extreme poverty.
Securing a Bluechip rating
Bluechip is a nonprofit stablecoin rating agency that provides safety ratings for approx 20 stablecoins. Our target is to secure our listing in the first quarter of 2024 to help people make informed comparisons between Glo Dollar and other stables.
Welcoming more Founding Donors
The Glo Foundation is still largely funded by the Sijbrandij Foundation and grants from Gitcoin and Octant. As we extend donation matching in 2024, we’re hopeful that we can welcome more Founding Donors onboard—specifics of each donation tier here. Get in touch directly for more information.
Large Glo purchases from brand names
Building on the momentum ignited by adoption from Gitcoin and our Consortium partners, we anticipate more and bigger Glo purchases, with an emphasis on DAO treasury diversification.
Increasing Glo’s utility with more integrations
To make Glo Dollar as everyday as USDC/T, and eventually, the US dollar, we need to give people more ways to save, spend, give, and earn Glo Dollars. Expanding relationships with major players in crypto and finance to help us do so ranks among our top priorities for 2024.
Governance and advisory
We're on the lookout for a mix of voices—with backgrounds in philanthropy, finance and economics, and legal and regulatory compliance—to give us solid advice and offer diverse viewpoints propelling us closer to our mission of ending extreme poverty.