Is It Time For Crypto Exchanges to Replace the Dollar?

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Something has happened. For the first time, a decentralized stable digital currency has proven itself for now four months.

While all crashed 70%, 80%, 90%, and a select few crashed even 99.99%, one decentralized digital currency did not rise nor fall, maintaining a stable value while chaos ruled all.

Dai, the new dollar.

We have been waiting for this moment since 2013 when the problems with centralized exchanges became far too apparent. Just as did the problem with how to get the dollar into decentralized exchanges.

Tether is the most known non-solution. A non-solution because it has a trusted third party, which means a million problems. Yet no one could see how it could be done otherwise until ethereum’s smart contracts facilitated the first stablecoin, the dai.

A project that had been in development for some two years, the dai launched earlier this year. Since then it has managed to be worth precisely one dollar despite the passing months.

It does so through complex algorithms that utilize smart contracts to use eth itself as a backing or as collateral. When needed, the code asks you to give it more eth in return for dai. In other situations, it can even sell your eth if you don’t give it dai.

Moody, the code isn’t. He doesn’t care for your feelings, he only cares of the if/then rules. You don’t even have to do anything, the code will do what it must by itself to keep that straight line very straight.

The innovation here is its decentralized nature. There is, of course, a developers team that tells this code what to do, but if such team vanished, the dai will continue to faithfully defend the line.

There is, thus, no human involvement here. Nor are any dollars involved. There’s only the smart contract code, the eth collateral, and the dai transformation.

With all three being natively digital, there’s a lot more you can do. Including margins, decentralized loans, and so on.

But the main aspect of dai is how it in effect digitizes the dollar and turns it into code without any dollars involved at all.

That can be very appealing to traders, especially in crypto focused exchanges such as Binance. Traders who might want to exit a bitcoin or eth position, but at the same time would rather not play with tether fire.

Now, they can just park in dai where however many dollars they had stays that many dollars regardless of what other cryptos do.

Dai markets, April 2018.

The currency has not been sufficiently integrated at this point to play that role in a meaningful sense. Neither Binance nor any of the other big crypto-focused exchanges lists it as far as we can see, but it still handled some $15 million in trading volumes during the past 24 hours.

That will probably change soon enough, starting with the OMG decentralized exchange when it launches.

The two have announced an integration. OMG tokens will be usable for collateral in addition to eth for dai. While dai stablecoins will be available on OMG as soon as it launches.

Others will probably follow because most cryptonians would feel more comfortable parking on dai than alternatives. That’s especially the case as more time passes without a problem.

That said, the dollars is of course the dollar. One can’t yet pay their rent in dai or eth unless you happen to be sufficiently lucky to have an etherean landlord.

But for many of the biggest crypto exchanges, including Binance, the dollar actually plays no role, with the platforms facilitating only crypto-to-crypto trading.

In that niche, dai might rise as the go to place when parking money, with the problem of centralized exchanges or trusted third parties thus addresses to a significant extent.

 

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MAKER FAN

There are humans involved. Where do you think the price feeds come from?