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Alliance for Prosperity seeks to beat Libra in stablecoin race

By Lawrence Gash

Celo Foundation’s crypto developer platform launches

In the "Alliance for Prosperity" project, the Libra Association now has a notable competitor in the race to develop a popular stablecoin.

Launched by the Celo Foundation the project has more than 50 partners. It endeavours to help developers build mobile apps based on the non-profit’s blockchain platform and using its USD-tethered stablecoin.

Whereas Facebook’s Libra project launched with multiple well-known brands from a wide variety of industries, such as Union Square Ventures, Uber, Shopify and Vodafone, the members of the Alliance for Prosperity come from within the more specific crypto and blockchain space. These include Carbon, Polychain and Maple, among others.

Nonetheless, there is some overlap between the two projects. Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, an original Libra member, actually provided the funds for Celo’s founding in 2017. While Bison Trails, Anchorage and Coinbase (Ventures) are all founding members of both organisations.

When asked about his rival stablecoin project, the Alliance for Prosperity’s head, Chuck Kimble, told tech outlet VentureBeat: “I think the similarity with Libra is that we share a similar mission. We both want to help create prosperity, but I think there are many differences. Ours is decentralised. It’s a completely decentralised collective of mission-aligned organisations. There’s no central governing body to determine how Celo will evolve, and people will be able to vote on how Celo evolves.”

The platform’s first decentralised app, the Celo Wallet, is already available for iOS and Android. It could be argued that the somewhat amusingly named Alliance for Prosperity stands a greater chance of living up to its lofty ambitions than its competitor.

Rather than creating an alternative method of exchange instantly available to a ready-made customer base of Facebook’s 2 billion users, the Celo dollar is not trying to be a direct competitor to existing currencies.

Furthermore, as its reserve is backed with other cryptocurrencies rather than a basket of fiat currencies such as Libra, the project will likely come under less regulatory scrutiny.

Facebook’s already mixed reputation set governments against Libra from its inception, with central banks rushing to research digital currencies in order to see off the threat. Such scrutiny has already caused a number of notable Libra members to pull out of the project.

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