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From an idea of getting interest on my cUSD to a Celo Camp silver prize winner

I decided to build Moola on Celo because at a macro-level, roughly 1 in 3 adults do not have access to money markets and at a micro-level, I wanted an easy way to earn compound interest on my Celo Dollars (cUSD).

Before Moola, there were no options for earning interest on cUSD. This meant that cUSD owners who wanted to earn compound interest had to deposit their cUSD into the custody of a centralized exchange, sell their cUSD for another stablecoin, and then deposit another stablecoin into an Ethereum powered money market. By the time the former cUSD owners’ value was in a position to start earning compound interest, they would have incurred substantial exchange and transaction fees making small or even medium size transfers of value unprofitable for an extended period of time.

Moola solved my micro-problem but it also addresses the macro-problem by opening the door for anyone with a mobile phone to start earning interest on their cUSD, CELO, or any other stable-value asset the Celo network ends up supporting. But this sort of macro-problem will only ultimately be solved by working in coordination with like-minded entrepreneurs, which is why I decided to apply to Celo Camp.

Patrick Baron, Moola, Founder

When I applied to Celo Camp, I had a whitepaper that described how we could migrate an open-source money market code base from Ethereum to Celo and a team of talented Ethereum builders. Celo Camp’s 8-week program, which concludes with the public Idea Fair demo day, gave us a very specific timeline and deliverable to focus on.

During Camp, we had two weekly meetings with the rest of the participating teams. The first meeting of each week, the Growth Series, was hosted by a domain expert who would typically give a presentation and then open up for questions. These sessions were helpful because they covered a broad range of startup topics with people who have a deep level of industry specific knowledge.

The second meeting of each week, the Prosper Series, was about self-care and included experts in yoga, breath work, sound healing, and personal development. Doing a startup can be stressful and these sessions covered techniques to deal with stress, tap into your creativity, and become more self-aware. Special thanks to Adrianna, Julian, and Deepak for leading these sessions.

Beyond the structured events, Celo Camp connected us with mentors who gave 1:1 time to apply their knowledge to what we were specifically building. At one point, our engineers were struggling with a technical issue related to Valora deeplinks and our mentor, Anna, took the time to understand our problem, guide us to updated documentation, and suggested a path forward. This meeting saved us valuable time in the lead up to demo day.

The most valuable takeaway from Celo Camp was the relationships formed with the other teams, which I anticipate will persist long after Celo Camp. Teams could post a link to their calendar and topics they were interested in discussing. Some of these conversations led to serendipitous connections while others led to plans for collaboration.

When demo day arrived, Moola was ready! Thanks to the hard work of our engineers, I was able to do a live demo of a Valora user depositing cUSD into a Moola market, earning compound interest on it, and then taking a CELO loan against their collateral. Readers can watch a similar demo here. We were humbled and honored for Moola to be named Celo Camp’s Silver Prize Winner.

Moving forward, readers can keep up with our progress at or @Moola_Market. Over the next few weeks, we will be testing front-end stability on various browsers, releasing tools to make it easier for liquidators to find and liquidate under collateralized loans, as well as publishing documentation for wallets and Dapps to integrate Moola markets into their applications. We also plan to build a mechanism for establishing on-chain credit trust scores and we will roll out a liquidity mining token incentive for (currently unreleased) MOO governance tokens.

I would like to give a special thanks to Rachel and Alon for making this whole experience possible. You did an amazing job and I can’t wait to meet the future Celo Camp teams!

Author: Patrick Baron - Moola, Founder

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