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Dec 20, 2022

Glo; the stablecoin that lets any project reduce extreme poverty

In this Infura Community Call, Jasper explains how developers can make anything they're building on Web3 more impactful by using Glo.

Social impact
Glo; the stablecoin that lets any project reduce extreme poverty
10 minutes


Jasper: [00:26:16] Will do. Thanks so much. I'm super excited to be here. Let me just pull up my slides. Is this visible for everyone?

 unknown:  yep. yeah, we can see you. go ahead 

Jasper: Cool. Thanks so much I'm Jasper. I'm one of the co-founders of Glo and today I'll explain to you that whatever you are building on Web3, you can make your project contribute to a solution to extreme poverty by using a stablecoin called Glo. 

So if you take away one thing from this short talk it’s that glo is a new stablecoin that will launch early in 2023. We are the, what I call boring kind of stablecoins. So we're centralized, we're back to the dollar and we're 100% Fiat-backed. For instance, Circle and Tether. 

With the difference that if you hold Glo, you generate basic income for people living in extreme poverty and this happens at no cost to you and this happens completely automatically. And I know that sounds too good to be true, but I’ll explain how that works in a little bit. 

First, let me share with you one image that explains the Glo dollar. The Glo dollar is a cryptocurrency that's stablecoin and if our market cap goes up the number of people in extreme poverty goes down. So, as you might be aware, there are a couple kinds of stablecoins. 

You have the Fiat-backed stablecoins who are managed by an old-school off-chain company. And then you have the decentralized stablecoins, which can be crypto-backed like DAI or they could be algorithmic like Terra was. I'm going to not talk about these last two. 

I'm just going to talk about Fiat-backed stablecoins,  because Glo is also one of these stablecoins, and I often call these the boring kinds of stablecoins, because they work in very boring ways, and that's this way. Let's say you are a person and you have a bank account, and you have a crypto wallet. 

The crypto wallet is empty, but you have $5 in your bank account, and now you want some stablecoins. What you do is you send your real dollars to a stablecoin issuer. This is a non-crypto bank-to-bank per section. The stablecoin issuer then creates five stablecoins specifically for you. 

It's created out of the blue, and they send that to your wallet. That is, for instance, an Ethereal per section, and that's that. Now you have five stablecoins and the stablecoin issuer keeps your real dollars in their Fiat reserves, and that is how the stablecoins maintain the value of the dollar because you can always reverse this transaction whenever you want. 

You just send the stablecoins back. They will burn your stablecoins, they will send your real money back, and now we're back to square one. And a lot of people think about crypto as a way to make profit, but of course, the thing about stablecoins is that you did not make a profit in this process. 

That's the whole point of stablecoins is that it doesn't go up in value, it doesn't go down in value either. However, you didn't make a profit, but what's interesting is that the stablecoin issuer actually did make a profit. So, how does that work? let's go back to this moment where you bought the five stablecoins, and they have your $5. 

Now they didn't actually just keep your dollars collecting dust in their bank account. What they did was they used some of these dollars, for instance, four out of five, and they went to the US government, and then they sent the government the money, and they got back something called T-bills. 

So, what are T-bills? T-bills are government bonds. So, they're essentially loans to the US government. So, you loan the US government some money, and then in the future, you get that money back, but you also get some extra money back which is called yields. 

This is often considered a very low-risk investment because it is backed by the full faith and credit of the US government, as they say, and you can kind of think about this as staking your money because what you're basically doing is you're locking up your Fiats for 3 or 6 or 12 months. 

So, you can make some money this way and you might wonder how much money? That depends. It varies through time.  right now, three-month T-bills, which are the lowest-risk T-bills. They give you a yield of 4.2% per year, but that's a little higher. So, on average if you go back through history it has been 3.4% per year. 

That's how stablecoins make their money. Using their dollars, they keep it in the reserve, they invest a part of the reserve, and the yields of that, that's the profits for the shareholders.

Jasper: [00:31:17] Now how much money do they make? We can actually estimate that. So, if you are a for-profit stablecoin issuer then you have your markets Gap, and some percentage of that you are going buy T-bills, let's say that's 80%, and then on average, you'll get a yield of 3.4% on that money.  

If you fill in this formula for some of the most popular stablecoins, you'll see that for instance, Tether makes an estimated 1.78 billion per year this way. Circle makes 1.2 billion per year, and Binance also makes a whole lot of money. 

These are estimates, right? it goes up and down a little bit, but in general, this is a pretty wild business model because it basically means that as a part of your [unintelligible 00:32:08] model, you just have a money printer. 

Now what we're doing, Glo works the exact same way with one difference, which is that we donate 100% of the yields to give people in extreme poverty a basic income. 

So, whereas this was how it worked with forprofits, we do the same thing except for this last step where the profit doesn't go to shareholders, but the profit goes to people in extreme poverty, and we can do that because the Glo dollar is issued by a non-profit organization. 

We are backed by Sid Sijbrandij, Who some of you might know as the co-founder and the CEO of GitLab. He gives us philanthropic donations. That's how we pay our own expenses, our salaries, and stuff like that. Because of that, we can donate 100% of the yields to people in extreme poverty. Extreme poverty is this technical term. It's defined as having to live on less than $2.15 per day. 

It’s the worst kind of poverty in the world, and right now about 650 million people still live in extreme poverty. So, what we're going to do is we're going to give people in extreme poverty a basic income of about $40 a month. 

Of course, that's not a lot of money but for them, it is a lot of money, and it helps them improve their lives a little bit and allows them to spend that on, for instance, schools fees, or cattle, or to start a business, or to improve the Water Irrigation in their town, and things like that. 

And these basic incomes will be distributed to people in countries such as Kenya and Liberia. Every…  about $18,000 of Glo that we grow in the market cap allows us to generate enough yields to give one person a basic income. 

Now what this means is, and that's the exciting part, is that whatever you are building, you can make that project lift people out of property just by using a stablecoin. So, whether you're working on a DAO or DeFi platform, or some payment processor. 

If you contribute to the Glo dollar market cap, then your project is lifting people out of poverty. For instance, there is a DAO that governs the .eth domains, the ENS DAO. They hold 2.5 million of USDC. Now if they would convert that to Glo then they would be lifting 140 people out of poverty at no cost to them, so I think that's pretty interesting. 

We're launching early next year. If you are interested in what we're doing then you can sign up for a waitlist at glodollar.org/infura. That was what I wanted to tell you, but we have one more thing to share with you.

Harem [00:34:57]: Hi everyone I'm Harem. I'm the CTO of Glo and we have one more big thing which is that aside from Glo being a good thing to do for altruistic reasons and making the world a better place, there's also a very pragmatic, and Technical, and financial reasons why you may want to use Glo. 

That's because transferring Glo is actually 10% cheaper than the big other well-known stablecoins out there. This is because we have implemented a gas optimization, which essentially allows us to check for denialist addresses, so these are typically addresses that are sanctioned by the US government or are known to hold stolen or scammed funds in a different way than all of these other stablecoins do. 

We essentially stuff them, as it's called, in the user balance that's kept within the smart contracts and that's more efficient because then you don't need to read the denialist or Blacklist data in another part of the smart contract, reducing one read. This is essentially based on a proposal by Alex Kroeger, who did this in a pole request for USDC. 

He did that over 8 months ago as far as he knows and as far as we know they aren't planning to pick it up, and they haven't picked it up, and we've got his permission and go ahead essentially to implemented it ourselves, and so we did; making the Glo 10% more efficient to actually transfer your Glo dollars. 

There's a nice little estimate here of how much could have been saved, approximately 700k less gas if USDC would have implemented this in June 2022. So, it is not only good for the world, it is also good for the usage of the network and the amount of money spent on gas. I think that was it. Back to you Jasper. 

[00:37:12]  [END OF AUDIO]

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