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Last Mile DeFi 06: Innovating for inclusion with Valora Wallet CEO Jackie Bona

Hola Last Mile DeFi familia, this podcast is with the CEO of Valora, Jackie Bona. This podcast covers Jackie’s journey towards developing the mobile-only Valora wallet, how they focus on building with localization in mind, her thesis on the role wallets will play in our digital lives, and so much more.

https://player.simplecast.com/18d3e979-f8a8-4456-929e-7963e9bbf66a?display=iframe&height=200px

You will also find the podcast on your preferred content platforms:

Lens | Spotify | Apple | YouTube | Google | Simple Cast

In this conversation, Jackie shares her professional journey coming from Google, Twitter, and Spotify, where she learned the importance of building products that provide a seamless and elegant user experience. As she pivoted towards working in crypto, Jackie discusses what drew her towards the Celo ecosystem and how through field-testing in refugee camps and in rural Latin America, the Valora wallet came to be.

Derived from the Esperanto word for “value,” Valora’s thesis on providing financial services with an approach that is highly localized to each of the regions where they operate. To date, Valora is present in over 100 countries, and available in thirteen different languages. The localization that Valora emphasizes is paying off - Jackie shared a couple of examples where Valora has empowered disenfranchised people in Latin America to access better financing.

Throughout the conversation, Jackie and I discussed some of the challenges when it comes to leveraging wallets as drivers of mass adoption in Latin America. Primarily, the solution lies around providing tangible and practical utility for end-users which is more than just storing value, but also exchanging goods and services in the real world, delivering unconditional basic income, earning an interest on your assets, and beyond. The key barrier we discussed in the podcast is the friction with regards to on/off-ramping challenge that broadly exists in the wider crypto ecosystem, as well as some solutions that are looking to provide more access to easy conversion of crypto to fiat. I’m a firm believer that wallets are they entry point to onboard the masses, and believe that Valora is one of the wallets that will continue to drive more adoption throughout the region.

To stay up to date with the latest findings, you can follow along on Twitter and Lens as well. I’ll be publishing updates on the research and behind the scenes content, so make sure you’re joining us. You can also join us in our Telegram channel too!

Lastly, thank you so much for your feedback on v1 of the report I recently published, if you haven’t read it and reviewed it yet, would highly recommend doing so:

https://marcus.mirror.xyz/j9gVZh4HQS1_2jog_uiZ4m69rbzrdSNdAW1sPrQgOow

This research and podcast is produced with the support of:

Ethereum Foundation Fellowship: The Fellowship program is a forum for leaders who are driven by leveraging Ethereum as a public good to help billions of people coordinate and thrive. The Fellowship program aims to support individuals who are passionate about identifying barriers to mass-adoption and breaking down the barriers for underrepresented communities to access crypto.

Celo Foundation: Celo is the blockchain built for the real world. Carbon-negative, mobile-first and EVM-compatible, Celo is leading a thriving new digital economy for all. Build together and prosper.

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