Upland: Berlin Is Here!

Nonprofit organization Glo has announced the Aug. 2 launch of Glo Dollar, a regulated stablecoin with an ambitious goal: leveraging cryptocurrency yields to lift millions out of extreme poverty.

CryptoSlate spoke with Jasper Driessens, Co-Founder of Glo, about the project’s goals and how it leverages traditional finance to fund a non-profit stablecoin.

Leveraging Treasury yields to combat poverty

Glo Dollar is a new stablecoin created by the nonprofit organization Glo. It is backed by fiat currencies and low-risk securities, including U.S. Treasuries, to maintain a 1:1 peg against the U.S. dollar. This model closely resembles those of other major stablecoins like USDC and USDT.

Glo Dollar differentiates itself by generating yield from the interest earned on its backing assets. These yields are then applied to charitable work focused on alleviating extreme poverty. While Glo Dollar has a stabilization mechanism and structure comparable to other fiat-backed stablecoins, its philanthropic element sets it apart by distributing otherwise for-profit yields to non-profit goals. This means users can essentially leverage stablecoin yields to contribute to poverty reduction without any additional cost.

Day-to-day transactions

Driessens has outlined ambitions for the project, including Glo Dollar being used for regular savings and daily expenditures.

“I’m most excited about [is that] people that usually don’t have… anything with crypto that are first going to put some savings in GlowDollar,” he said.

Driessens continued:

“We’re also testing the various crypto debit cards out there right now. So quite soon, you could see individuals replace their checking account with Glo Dollar and then go grocery shopping with Glo Dollar.”

Even if people use Glo Dollar temporarily, the yields generated in that time could still provide significant funding for Glo’s nonprofit work. “And then you’re literally sort of like replacing your everyday fiat money with a currency that inherently lifts people out of extreme poverty,” Driessens explained.

He wants to see people using Glo Dollar not just as a crypto asset but as a replacement for traditional fiat accounts for savings and daily transactions, saying his would maximize the yields generated for Glo’s charitable goals.

Why Glo?

“Why Glo? I think there are three reasons depending on who you are. The first one is if you’re just a person that cares about the world, then Glow is a new way to lift people out of extreme poverty,” Driessens explained.

He gave an ambitious hypothetical example of the potential impact if Glo Dollar reached a high market cap.

“Let’s say theoretically we get to the market cap of Circle and Tether combined. It’s ambitious, right? Then we would be lifting 10 million people out of extreme poverty.”

Driessens confirmed Glo Dollar would launch today, Aug. 2, ” on Uniswap on Polygon and Ethereum first with a pair with USDC” and plans to expand across more chains and platforms over time. The goal is to eventually make Glo Dollar “a universal stablecoin that’s pretty much everywhere you would expect it to be.”

Crypto’s reputation and Glo’s philanthropy

Driessens acknowledged crypto’s reputation among some critics but thinks Glo Dollar offers a way to improve it. He said,

“We also see some people in our community who generally don’t like crypto or might even be generally opposed to crypto that make an exception for Glow because they like holding some Glow instead of US dollars for the philanthropic aspect”

This philanthropic element offers a unique way to drive early adoption and break into the stablecoin “duopoly” of Tether and USD Coin. Said Driessens:

“I think that because we have this non-profit philanthropic aspect. We actually have a community of people that are passionate about our stablecoin, which is not something most centralized stablecoins can say. I think that that offers a route for us to solve that early adoption problem,”

Contrasting approaches to crypto philanthropy

I asked Driessens about his views on Worldcoin, another crypto project focused on universal basic income. He explained,

“In the very beginning when we started exploring, we thought of ourselves as like a nonprofit competitor to WorldCoin, but over the last one and a half years, we completely branched out. So right now only on a very high level. We’re in the same category.”

He outlined two major differences between the projects: Worldcoin aims for a global UBI, while Glo focuses specifically on extreme poverty. The other key difference is Worldcoin’s free-floating cryptocurrency versus Glo Dollar’s stablecoin model.

“They obviously have this very interesting and also somewhat scary technology going on, which as a technologist, I’m super excited about,” Driessens said. “But it’s something that Glo Dollar has not much to do with except stablecoins,” said Driessens, referencing Worldcoin’s iris scanning “Orb” technology.

While Worldcoin has generated more headlines, the two projects take diverging approaches to leveraging crypto for social impact. It remains to be seen which model gains more traction in achieving its aims.

Regulation and compliance

To operate Glo Dollar in a regulatory-compliant manner, Glo has partnered with a stablecoin infrastructure company, Brale, which holds the necessary US money transmitter licenses to issue regulated stablecoins, Driessens explained.

“If you want to launch a US-regulated stablecoin, you have to comply, and that means you can do two things. Either you get to a place where you have all of the required licenses yourself, which is something that we considered, but that just takes a year and often a lot of money as well,” said Driessens.

He explained Glo’s rationale for partnering with Brale to navigate compliance. This allows Glo to focus on other aspects of launching its new stablecoin while simultaneously allowing users in the United States to use the Glo Dollars.

Ambitious goal backed by innovative crypto economics

Glo Dollar has set an ambitious goal — leveraging stablecoin yields to lift millions out of extreme poverty globally.

Its success will depend on gaining adoption among crypto users looking to diversify from Tether and USD Coin and non-crypto users attracted by the philanthropic premise.

If the project reaches its hypothetical goals, it could demonstrate the power of incentivizing social good through crypto-economic models. But it remains to be seen if the nascent stablecoin can capture enough market share to significantly dent global poverty.

Posted In: Featured, Interview

By Jules

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