Ether Deflation as Caused by MakerDAO (Part 3: A spur-of-the-moment analysis)

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It’s worth taking a third look at what’s happening to the DAI environment, wherein DAI is the stablecoin created by Maker Dao and pegged to the US dollar.

We are in the middle of yet another “collapse” in the Ether price in dollars:

It can be noted that in less than 48 hours the price of Ether has gone from $226 to $198, with a drop of 12.4%.

Such a strong decline is neither new nor particularly “remarkable” in this period, as DAI has been able to withstand and overcome in a brilliant way much wider collapses in the underlying value (Ether) in the last 6 months; the collateral CDPs have learned from the bear market and have spontaneously raised the level of coverage as to avoid forced liquidations and therefore to avoid suffering a penalty amounting to 13% of the total Ether.

In the last 48 hours there have been no significant liquidations. On the contrary, an opposite and interesting phenomenon is taking place:

  • CDPs are increasing in number
  • DAI’s production and distribution is increasing
  • the price of DAI in dollars is below the par value of 1$= 1Dai

At the time of writing, there are over 60.4 million DAIs, an all time high, and their price is around $0.995.

Such a small difference in relation to the dollar par value may seem statistical noise but in fact I think there is a reason if there is a slight downward pressure on the price of DAI:

The speculation by investors who seek a reasonable amount of leverage using the CDP system to create new “value” (in DAIs) to get yet more Ether.

In other words, given the prices of Ether that “appear” to be low, those who hold Ether are encouraged to increase their position by placing them as collateral in a CDP, and obtaining in return other DAIs. The resulting DAIs (the created DAIs, that is) are sold on the market against Ether (or other cryptocurrencies) to increase the positions of leveraged investment.

Here is then explained the slight pressure on the price of DAI. We must take into account that there is also a market force that supports the price of DAI and that at the same time is expressed during the “Dump” (bear) phases of the cryptocurrency market: DAI is more and more becoming a safe haven for investors, pegged as it is to the US dollar; it is because it does not discount any counterparty except for the ethereum blockchain itself and because of the solidity of the smart contract system created by Maker Dao, a solution that for now has proved to be exceptionally robust.

I have estimated that in about 54 hours about 28,362 Ether (12,636 Ether per day) have been placed in the CDPs (both old and new), that is to say about 73.1% of the Ether created by the blockchain as a reward for miners in the same period.

Maker Dao has created what is undoubtedly the most important and successful decentralised environment of the whole industry that is associated with the concept of blockchain and decentralisation. It’s really impressive to consider that the current version of DAI represents only a small fraction of the plan. I dare not think about what will happen when the CDPs that accept other types of collateral will be up and running and when DAIs linked to other currencies (especially the Yuan) and other asset classes will be made available on the market.

We are lucky to be able to witness this wonderful creation process.

Originally published at on October 12, 2018.

Author: Paolo Rebufo, CTO @Deepit AG