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GoodGhosting: Building an incentivized saving platform on Celo

GoodGhosting started as a hackathon project in early 2020 during ETHLondon, and it slowly but steadily took shape during the following summer. Everyone on the team contributed to the project whatever they could in their spare time. Even though we never met in person, we started working towards one common goal - to help people build better financial habits, by making saving sexy again!

We initially developed and tested multiple saving game prototypes on Ethereum, but quickly realized we needed to make our application as frictionless and accessible as possible. We were attracted to Celo by the mobile-first approach and the open and global vision behind it. We do believe people should be given the opportunity to take control of their personal finances, with as much inclusiveness as possible.

Celo Camp was an excellent opportunity for us to explore what it takes to build a mobile app in order to further empower our community to hit their financial goals.

Baby Jessi Parker, Rachel Black, Francis B. Odisi and Giel Detienne

Our experiences at Celo Camp

We especially liked the open and collaborative atmosphere at Celo Camp. It was great to connect with many like-minded builders, top-notch mentors and founders in the Celo ecosystem. We learned a ton and made connections for life.

Personally we really liked the various workshops that took place weekly. In particular, the UX audit and the token economics sessions were very valuable for us. Also, the more informal sessions, team mingles and off-topic chats about each other's projects or personal situations led to many memorable moments. (Including the obligatory photobombing by Giel’s cat who quite often popped up during these video calls.) What we learned One of the main takeaways is that a lot more is happening in the Celo ecosystem than we initially thought. It is great to see the plethora of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications that are being developed right now, many still flying under the radar. Coupled with the release of new stablecoins (e.g. cEUR) and cross-chain bridges it gives us a lot of optimism on the future of the Celo network as a whole.

Also - no matter the underlying tech - you are only as good as your community. It’s important to ensure that the app you build will have a positive impact on your target audience. As a founder you can have a strong positive impact on your community!

So… what did we build?

We created a DeFi savings application (GoodGhosting) on top of Celo. You can think of GoodGhosting as an incentivized saving platform, at the intersection of DeFi and goal-based saving.

Why? Because saving money is often boring, hard and poorly rewarded. We aim to offer a more rewarding and fun way to save - with meaningful returns.

Our long-term vision is to provide the full infrastructure to customize your own goal-based saving games to play with your friends and family, as well as join games created by others. All with user safety, accessibility and decentralization in mind.

How? We incentivize players to save via shared saving pools. Pools run for a fixed time duration (e.g. one month) and provide a social environment to save. Players have to regularly deposit stablecoins into the pool (e.g. a weekly) to win the game. Meanwhile, the pool funds are deposited into DeFi platforms and interest accrues. We are currently using Celo Euro (cEUR) and Moola for this (but can also plug into other platforms such as Ubeswap). At the end of the game, everyone gets their initial deposit back and the generated interest is split amongst all winners. Hence, the more users drop out of the game, the better the returns for the winners (who earn more than when they would save by interacting with these DeFi platforms by themselves). You can think of it as a “no-loss” savings game, where regular savers get additional rewards.

If you want to dive into the specifics - check out our documentation and website which are linked below. Impact Besides promoting good financial habits, we aim to provide an accessible route into decentralized finance (DeFi). For non-crypto natives, getting into the space can be confusing. Our approach of building saving games that incentivize regular contributions (in stablecoins) resonates well with users outside of the still rather niche cryptocurrency space. We are building a product that will get them better returns on their fiat than they would get with their bank (if they even have one), and provide a greater incentive to save via gamification and goal-based saving. Our beta game, which is currently in process, is expected to give returns of 40% APY. Additionally, we aim to help underserved groups who have very limited access to the traditional financial system.

Simplified illustration of our saving pool created during Celo Camp

Next steps

During Celo Camp we were able to finish all basic smart contracts and a simple user interface. Yet, it does not end here. There is still quite some work to be done to create a full-fledged mobile application and fine tune the user interface.

We will continue building engaging, habit forming applications which use gamification and DeFi to reward saving. Our Celo Camp experience happened to bring us into contact with minority groups in Colombia (i.e. Venezuelan migrants). We are considering setting up a pilot program with these local communities. It would be a great way to have a real impact on the lives of people that really need it. We hope to secure a Celo Foundation Grant to continue this work.

Expect us to also partner with a number of existing groups in the DeFi ecosystem, to launch exclusive games for their communities. Thereby giving the members of these communities new tools to hit their financial goals. Say hello to sexy saving, using the magic of DeFi and gamification!

Let’s connect! Website: Discord: Blog: Twitter: Documentation: Youtube:

Author: Giel Detienne, COO, GoodGhosting

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