Last updated: Aug 16, 2023
Mento is a decentralized exchange and an automated market maker (AMM) built on the Celo proof-of-stake blockchain. Its main purpose is to keep the Celo Dollar (cUSD) and other stable assets existing on the Celo PoS network maintained to their peg to the USD or other corresponding real-world currencies.
For that, as a DEX, Mento is exclusively focused on Celo network native assets serving as a sustainable tool to create stable value digital assets. Despite its apparent simplicity, Mento is essential for the Celo ecosystem as it ensures the prices of the platform’s native stable assets remain pegged by a mint-and-burn mechanism involving the use of the platform’s native CELO token.
However, the massive crypto market dip of 2022 has shaken the platform significantly, causing the CELO token to drastically fall from its all-time high while keeping cUSD and other Celo stable assets pegged to their real-world counterparts.
In a way, the dApp is the heart of the whole Celo ecosystem as Mento is used for minting new stable assets on-chain by selling them for CELO, which is the native token on the Celo chain. As an algorithmic automated market maker, Mento helps to keep the peg for stable assets on Celo secure by providing arbitrage opportunities for traders on occasions when cUSD/USD depeg.
If the demand for cUSD or cEUR decreases, Mento burns stable assets releasing CELO tokens for users. The ability to mint new stablecoins on the Mento protocol is supported by a diversified portfolio of crypto assets secured by the Celo network and stored on Mento Reserve.
Being inextricably linked with the Celo blockchain, the Mento protocol consists of a set of self-executable smart contracts that remain controlled by the community of CELO token holders via the platform’s governance system. The dApp’s code is fully open-source and transparent, letting anyone contribute to it.
Mento web application is a simple tool enabling users to swap CELO for supported types of stable assets such as Celo Dollar (cUSD) or Celo Euro (cEUR). The minimalistic interface is pretty much similar to other DEXes, allowing users to mint or burn stablecoins in exchange for the platform’s native CELO tokens by connecting their wallets and setting a preferable level of slippage.
Aside from the Swap tab, the Mento app has the Mento Granda mode tailored to suit the needs of wealthy crypto investors. The exchange of large amounts exceeding 500,000 cUSD requires the Celo community’s approval and involves some security-related precautions like a week-long locking period for users’ funds before they may be exchanged.
Mento wallet options include the network’s native Celo Wallet and Valora mobile payments app, browser extensions such as Metamask, there is Wallet Connect support, and Ledger as a hardwallet base.
Mento development was funded by the Celo Foundation. The actual dApp was created by J M Rossy who is also a developer of the Cello Wallet. The Celo Foundation is a US-based non-profit organization responsible for the development and support of the Celo PoS blockchain network.
So far there are no Mento audits published by the project.
The Mento protocol is the birthplace for all types of Celo stable assets like cUSD, cEUR, or cREAL that are minted on the exchange on-chain after locking the corresponding amount of CELO tokens in the treasury. While there are plenty of other stable assets available for Celo users, Mento plays a crucial role in Celo’s stability algorithm by keeping the prices for native Celo assets stable.
Thus, the dApp is deeply rooted in the blockchain’s ecosystem. As the provider of the network’s native stable assets, Mento’s stablecoins are widely used on leading dApps on the Celo blockchain such as Ubeswap DEX, Moola lending market, Revo Market, Mobuis, and others.
In order to maintain the peg of its stable assets, Mento also depends on oracles such as Celo Reserve, Redstone, and Band Protocol.
Active bounties from the Celo Foundation can be found on the company’s Gitcoin page.
There are no plans on updating the Mento app as it works as a set of immutable smart contracts and doesn’t require further development. Still, if there is a need for changes - improvements, new features, and bug fixes may be added using the standard on-chain governance process via Proxy Upgrade Pattern.
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