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Maker (MKR) is a cryptocurrency in addition to a governance token. Cryptocurrency Maker (MKR) is a digital token created on the Ethereum platform of the project Maker, the main purpose of which is to create a line of decentralized digital assets that would be tied to the value of real instruments such as currency, gold, etc. On the basis of the platform, it is planned to create an exchange where it would be possible to carry out margin trading of tokens on the ERC20 Protocol.
At the time of writing of this article MKR is the 20th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $520M.
A Bit of History
In August 2015, Maker was announced as the “first tradeable token on the Ethereum network.” It raised funds by issuing MKR tokens for BTC and ETH through its own exchange, before the launch of the Maker platform in April 2016. Rune Christensen, the lead for the project set out to create a “centralized decentralized” bank for Ethereum, the cornerstone of which would be an asset pegged to the US dollar.
In December 2017, this asset, known as the Dai was released. Maker has attracted institution-scale investors, leading to hefty increases in price that gave it a multi-billion-dollar market cap only a few weeks later.
What is Maker?
Maker (MKR) is a token that provides voting rights to the borrowing system that is used to generate the decentralized stable coin Dai. To provide some more detail, MakerDAO is a DAO (a decentralized autonomous organization), Maker (MKR) is a token that gives voting rights and fluctuates in value, and Dai is the stable coin created using Maker’s system.
Basically it works like this: The Maker system lets you borrow against other crypto assets (currently only ETH, but soon any Ethereum-based asset, including wrapped versions of other coins and potentially even digital securities; this is called “multi-collateral Dai”).
As an example, to borrow using ETH, the borrower locks ETH up as collateral in a “Collateralized Debt Position or CDP” and then gets Dai (a stable coin, backed by the collateral) in return based on the value of ETH. The borrower can then use this Dai for whatever they might use it for (to buy more ETH, to pay bills, etc), or they can HODL their Dai and get a kickback called the Dai Savings Rate. Then, when they are ready, they can close the position and get their ETH back by paying back the loan plus a small stability fee.
Dai goes into and out of circulation this way, new Dai is created when borrowed, and old Dai is taken out of circulation when returned. This system is very cool, but it doesn’t explain why MKR exists. MKR exists because MKR gives anyone holding MKR voting rights over the entire system described above.