MKR Price Update
The price of Maker (MKR) today is $685.55 USD, which has increased by 16.95 (2.54%) over the last 24 hours. The total number of MKR coins in circulation stands at 977,631 and $3,357,773 USD has been traded for the MKR/USD pair across exchanges over the last 24 hours.
Maker (MKR) is the governance token that underlies the MakerDAO system – a permissionless lending protocol. The ERC20 token launched on December 18th 2017.
Maker is a Distributed Autonomous Organization responsible for the creation of Dai (DAI) – a decentralized stablecoin pegged to the US dollar.
MKR is primarily used as a governance proxy for voting on changes to the Maker protocol at large. Token holders can stake MKR via a voting contract to vote on proposals through the Maker Voting Dashboard.
MKR holders serve as a lender of last resort for the maintenance of the DAI peg. In the event that DAI were to significantly lose its peg – likely prompting what is referred to as an “Emergency Shutdown” – token holders signal that MKR will be sold to collateralize DAI.
“When Vaults become undercollateralized due to market crashes, the MKR supply is automatically diluted and sold off in order to raise enough funds to recapitalize the system.”
Before going into demand and supply of MKR tokens, there are some important concepts on the Maker to understand:
- Vaults – Where collateral is stored to open a loan and create Dai via Oasis Borrow.
- Collateralization Ratio – The ratio of collateral to the amount of a Dai being borrowed. Maker requires a minimum 150% collateralization ratio on all Vaults.
- Dai Savings Rate – A passive savings opportunity which is earned when Dai is stored through Oasis Save.
- Stability Fee – A debt which accrues on all outstanding loans.
- Liquidation Fees – A fee which is charged if a Vault is liquidated due to the Collateralization Ratio falling below 150%
MKR demand is largely driven by the desire to govern the Maker protocol. As Maker continues to support new forms of collateral, token holders play an increasingly larger role in ensuring that the protocol meets users’ needs whilst remaining highly secure.
Price speculation also provides significant buy pressure from exchanges, with investors hoping to capitalize on the ever-growing decentralized finance market. This speculation largely comes from expectations over future supply, which is expected to decrease in line with Maker’s success.
The MKR price is also driven by scarcity. When Vaults are closed, borrowers must pay a Stability Fee – or a debt that is accrued over the course of a loan.
Stability Fees are paid in DAI, which is converted to MKR and distributed through a number of avenues. First, MKR is used to compensate Maker oracle providers. Secondly, a portion of MKR is permanently burned, effectively removing it from the circulating supply. Lastly, the remaining portion of MKR is held in escrow to fund the Dai Savings Rate.
In theory, the more capital that passes through Vaults, the more Stability Fees accrued and the more MKR that is removed from the supply.
MKR supply is largely dictated by token holders. New MKR can only be created through the passing of an executive vote that outlines exactly how much MKR will be minted and how it will be used.
In a scenario where new MKR were to be minted, it would be due to a need to liquidate the newly created tokens on the open market to collect funds to buy back Dai in order to retain its 1 dollar peg.
Pending a major emergency, it is highly unlikely that new MKR will ever be created, effectively capping the supply at 1 million MKR. However, given the pooling of MKR tokens among a few large holders, it is a possible that new tokens can be created despite consensus of the MKR community. This risk is fairly minimal however, as such an action would severely undermine the DAO and voter confidence.
Long-term MKR Value
The price of Maker (MKR) stands to increase as more Stability Fees are accrued, which in turn will burn more MKR. MKR that is burned is removed from the circulating supply, increasing the scarcity of what may be an increasingly powerful token.
The expected price mechanism for MKR works as follows.
As demand for Dai increases, so too does its price. This price increase must then be balanced by an increase in supply to retain Dai’s 1 dollar peg. To do this, MKR holders vote to decrease the Stability Fee rate, increasing the incentive for users to open Vaults and issue new Dai. Over time, this see-sawing around the peg will increase the total Dai in circulation and the absolute volume of Stability Fees earned will increase. The more Dai in circulation, the more powerful each MKR vote. At the same time, an increase in Stability Fees brings an increase in the burn rate of MKR tokens.
This mechanism is what drives the long-term price of MKR, aligning its value with the usage of the system as a whole.