Key takeaways

GLO will launch on the Polygon network as a wrapped ERC-20 token  

This reflects our priorities of scalability and sustainability

Our long-term vision is to bridge GLO to all major blockchains to create a truly universal basic income

Why this matters:

One of the most frequent objections to crypto projects is that they’re bad for the environment. We take this seriously. Global poverty and climate change are inextricably linked, and we don’t want to solve one problem while making the other worse. At the same time, our mission is to distribute income to literally everyone, so we need to prioritize growth. 

We think our wrapped-token-on-Polygon approach strikes the right balance between scalability and sustainability.

How will you reduce GLO’s carbon footprint?

While GLO tokens are born on the Ethereum network, the vast majority of GLO activity will take place on Polygon instead. This allows us to leverage Polygon’s pledge to go carbon-negative in 2022. Further, Ethereum’s upcoming transition to proof-of-stake is expected to cut down on the network’s energy usage by 99.95%, which will help minimize our remaining carbon footprint. 

To make this concrete: today, each Ethereum transaction produces as much carbon as a thirty-minute plane ride, versus a single Google search for Polygon transactions. Even better, we’re looking forward to sustainability improvements on both networks.

How does GLO’s approach work in practice? 

1. The GIC Foundation mints a batch of GLO tokens—let’s say 1 million—on the Ethereum network. Minting all these coins comprises a single Ethereum transaction, and produces about as much CO2 as a 30 minute flight.

2. We then bridge those tokens over to the Polygon network, which creates 1 billion wrapped tokens. This is a second transaction on the Ethereum network.

3. The Foundation distributes these tokens as UBI, sells them, or holds them in reserves – all on the Polygon network.

4. People use their GLO tokens to buy stuff, pay rent, what have you—again, all on the Polygon network.

So why start with Ethereum at all? Why not just go all-in on Polygon?

Our goal of reaching planetary scale means that we prioritize interoperability and backwards compatibility; on those fronts, Ethereum is the clear best choice. 

In the medium-term, as GLO grows in scope, starting from an ERC-20 token gives us a good foundation to bridge to other blockchains. In the long-run, even if some other blockchain becomes dominant, it will likely be backwards compatible with ERC-20 tokens.

What if Ethereum or Polygon doesn’t meet its goals?

If Ethereum hasn’t completed the transition to proof-of-stake by the time GLO has wide adoption, or if Polygon transactions prove to be more harmful than we currently think, we’ll assess the magnitude of the harms we’re generating and come up with a plan. This might include purchasing carbon offsets, donating to a conservation organization, or changing some aspect of our implementation. 

Questions, thoughts, concerns?

We’d love to hear from you! You can reach out to us via email, follow us on Twitter, or join us on Discord.