Glo is a non-profit stablecoin that generates basic income for people in extreme poverty. It's pegged to the US dollar and fully backed by a fiat reserve. We invest the reserve in US treasuries, and donate the interest to GiveDirectly, who distribute it as basic income.
This growth happens when individuals or businesses decide to convert (some of) their money to Glo.
To be able to replace more money, we want Glo to work for an increasing number of use cases:
There is practically no limit to how many people Glo can help. It depends only on adoption. If we come together with enough people and businesses, we should be able to generate enough money to eradicate extreme poverty around the world:
But planetary scale is not required. Glo can change lives at any level of adoption:
(Note that these are all rough estimates. We're assuming a reserve yield of 2.5% per year. For more details, see Ending extreme poverty: the numbers.)
When Glo launches, the things you can do with it are limited. You can buy Glo with normal money; sell Glo to get your normal money back; send Glo to anyone with a crypto wallet; trade Glo for other cryptocurrencies.
The current demand for stablecoins is about $150 billion. If Glo replaces 100% of stablecoins, we'd generate $3.8 billion per year, which would support the basic income of 9 million people.
At 5% of the stablecoin market, Glo would generate $188 million per year, exceeding the total amount of money GiveDirectly distributed in 2021.
But we're not limited to the crypto world. Right out of the gate, individuals can use Glo for their savings. If you're sitting on cash that you're currently not using, converting that cash to Glo means you're lifting people out of extreme poverty at no cost to yourself. Knowing you can always convert Glo back to normal money when you need it, there's little reason to not do this.
The average US household has $41,600 in their savings account, enough to provide basic income to 2.5 persons if converted to Glo.
In 2020, all US savings deposits totalled $10.63 trillion. If 87% of this were put into Glo, we'd generate enough money to support all 659 million people living in extreme poverty. And that's just the US.
We're aiming for massive mainstream adoption far beyond the crypto-native crowd. For many individuals, Glo could be the first cryptocurrency they see a reason to own.
Initially you can't use Glo to pay for things. This limits the amount of money people can convert to Glo. Even if someone wanted to use 100% ethical currency, they need money in their checking account to cover near term purchases—and if Glo isn't spendable, that can't be Glo. That's why we'll work to make Glo a widely accepted means of exchange.
The average US checking account contains about $10,600. Three such checking accounts converted to Glo means two people lifted out of poverty.
We can make Glo spendable in a few ways:
Businesses might choose to support Glo for several reasons:
Crypto adoption for payments hasn't taken off. In large part that's because there isn't a good reason to ditch normal money—credit cards work. With the introduction of Glo as the ethical currency, this changes. We believe Glo can become the first cryptocurrency with widespread adoption as means of exchange.
Paying with Glo should ultimately be just as easy as using other methods. But before we get there, there will be a period where using Glo is comparatively cumbersome. We aim to spark a movement of early adopters who try to do as much of their spending in Glo as possible, putting up with some level of discomfort initially. In doing so they brute-force early demand for Glo payments, solving the chicken-and-egg problem.
Once you can use Glo to pay for goods and services, you could switch to Glo completely and have all of your money be ethical currency. But when you actually spend your Glo, the receiving merchant is likely to be conservative and convert it back to normal money. This decreases the total amount of Glo, which limits Glo's growth. It would be better if the merchant keeps your payment as GLO, so the money continues to lift people out of extreme poverty.
Companies may keep Glo on their balance sheet for several reasons:
No single organization can take on this task alone. Glo is driven by community. If you want to help end extreme poverty, join the movement! You can help in big and small ways.