MakerDAO is a decentralized finance protocol that offers a stablecoin called Dai and CDP lending platform (collateralized debt position). Users can generate Dai by collateralizing assets in a CDP and can also borrow Dai from the MakerDAO system by providing collateral. The MakerDAO system has a governance system operated by MKR token holders responsible for setting the stability fee and other important parameters. The decentralized nature of MakerDAO makes it resistant to censorship and allows users to access financial services without the need for intermediaries.
Defi, short for decentralized finance, is a rapidly growing sector of the cryptocurrency space that aims to bring financial services and products to a global audience in a decentralized, trustless manner. One of the most prominent protocols in the Defi ecosystem is MakerDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that offers a stablecoin called Dai and a lending platform called CDP (collateralized debt position). In this blog post, we will delve into the inner workings of MakerDAO and how it fits into the larger Defi ecosystem.
To understand MakerDAO, it is vital first to understand the concept of a stablecoin. A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency pegged to a stable asset, such as the US dollar, to reduce price volatility. The goal of a stablecoin is to provide a digital asset that functions as a store of value and medium of exchange, similar to fiat currencies.
Dai is the stablecoin offered by MakerDAO. It is always worth $1, regardless of the fluctuating prices of other cryptocurrencies. Users can lock up collateral (such as ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain) in a CDP to generate Dai. The amount of Dai generated depends on the value of the collateral and the current stability fee (essentially an interest rate).
For example, if a user wants to generate 100 Dai and the current stability fee is 2%, they would need to lock up collateral worth at least $102 (100 Dai / (1 – 2%)) in their CDP. If the collateral value drops below a certain threshold (called the “liquidation ratio”), the CDP automatically liquidates the collateral, and the user will lose their collateral. This mechanism ensures that Dai’s value remains stable and prevents users from generating an excessive amount of Dai without sufficient collateral.
In addition to generating Dai, users can also borrow Dai from the MakerDAO system by opening a CDP and providing collateral. This facility can be helpful for users who want to speculate on the price of other cryptocurrencies without selling their existing holdings. It is important to note that users who borrow Dai must pay back the borrowed amount plus the stability fee.
MKR token holders are responsible for setting the stability fee and other important parameters. MKR is a governance token used to vote on proposals and pay for the costs of running the MakerDAO system. It is important to note that the supply of MKR is dynamic and is used to absorb any losses or gains that the MakerDAO system incurs. This mechanism implies that the value of MKR is closely tied to the performance of the MakerDAO system and can fluctuate significantly.
One of the critical benefits of MakerDAO is that it is a decentralized platform, which means that any single entity does not control it. This decentralization makes it resistant to censorship and allows users to access financial services without intermediaries. It also means that the MakerDAO system is transparent and auditable, as the Ethereum blockchain records all transactions.
In conclusion, MakerDAO is a pioneering protocol in the Defi ecosystem that offers a stablecoin (Dai) and a lending platform (CDP) in a decentralized manner. It allows users to generate and borrow Dai by collateralizing assets and is governed by MKR token holders responsible for setting essential parameters.