As a borderless, decentralized stablecoin, Dai has found use cases in DeFi (decentralized finance) integrations, of course, as well as across many different industries and areas of life—including the digital art and gaming sectors and as a means of saving for those living in countries suffering currency devaluation. And there’s no one better to explain the attraction to Dai and DeFi than Maker’s founder, Rune Christensen.
In the videos below, presented in no particular order, Rune discusses everything from his early experiences in crypto and his motivations for launching MakerDAO to the key benefits of Dai, decentralization, and the wider DeFi ecosystem.
1. Scalable Stablecoins: The Digital Blood of the Next Economy
In this 2019 conversation with Underscore VC Co-founder and Partner Richard Dulude, Rune offers early background on the Maker project and details why he decided a collateralized stablecoin was the way forward. Longtime Maker supporters will notice how much of his vision has remained the same over the years, even as the landscape for Dai and DeFi continues to evolve. Rune hasn’t wavered from his early belief that scalable stablecoins will be “the digital blood of the next economy,” offering the ability to unlock enormous potential and drive financial inclusion.
2. A Fully Decentralized MakerDAO
In this video, David Hoffman from POV Crypto asks Rune to share a short history of Maker and explain the thinking behind preparing the community for the Maker Foundation’s dissolution after complete decentralization of the DAO. Rune provides background on Dai’s early iterations and evolution, exploring what he believes makes a good stablecoin, before summarizing multiple long-term benefits of a fully decentralized MakerDAO.
3. Balance: The Key to the Maker Ecosystem
In this recent video AMA (Ask Me Anything) hosted by Crypto.com’s Maggie Ng, Rune discusses various aspects of the Maker ecosystem in response to community questions. He covers Maker’s decentralized governance process, which starts with open discussion on the Maker forum and ends with MKR holders voting on the blockchain. In between are the Maker Improvement Proposals (MIPs) through which the community suggests changes to the Maker Protocol and the DAO itself, including the addition of new collateral types. Ultimately, says Rune, the most important element of the system is balance. “In particular, the greatest challenge for Maker governance is to make sure the amount of Dai in circulation corresponds to demand for Dai in the marketplace, so that the price of Dai ends up at one dollar.”
4. What's Next for DeFi?
In October 2019, Rune presented an overview of DeFi’s significance and potential at Devcon5 in Japan. In this video of that presentation, he explains the different layers in the DeFi stack, and how each is built with “money Legos” on top of the functionality of the last. The Maker Protocol is the infrastructure layer, while different products and services, including e-commerce integrations and Dai-enabled debit cards that actually link to the traditional financial system, sit on top. Rune ends by announcing the then-upcoming launch of Multi-Collateral Dai and the Dai Savings Rate.
5. DeFi v. CeFi
In this clip from a longer debate about DeFi vs. CeFi, CoinDesk’s William Foxley moderates a discussion between Rune and Alex Mashinsky, founder and CEO of Celsius, a centralized crypto lending and borrowing platform.
6. What Will Make Crypto and the Blockchain More Relevant?
In this interview segment hosted by Bloomberg’s Paul Allen, Rune compares the benefits of a decentralized stablecoin like Dai to more volatile cryptocurrencies. Dai helps make the blockchain relevant to users of traditional financial services because it’s trustless—powered by smart contracts and governed by a community, not a single entity. “Most stablecoins are issued by a brand. You have to trust that the company will hold your money safely for you,” Rune explains. “What Maker is trying to do is get beyond this problem of trusting a custodian.”
7. Web 3.0 and User Sovereignty
At Binance’s “Off the Charts” Virtual Conference in July 2020, The Defiant’s Camila Russo hosted a discussion between Rune, Joseph Lubin from ConsenSys, and Jaime Burke from Outlier Ventures. The three offer their definitions of Web 3.0, exploring its core advantages of user sovereignty and control. Rune explains how the Maker Protocol enables anyone to have financial sovereignty with little more than a mobile phone, and how Dai and DeFi as a whole help to democratize financial services for those cut off from the global financial system.
8. Davos Meets Dai
Swissborg’s Alexander Fazel caught up with Rune at Davos in March 2020. In this video, the two discuss the social impacts of blockchain tech and Dai adoption. While previous technological shifts have often left large tranches of the population behind, the blockchain is a “technology revolution that primarily benefits the underserved,” says Rune. Where the utility of Dai is as a stable, decentralized currency that enables any person or business to realize its advantages, the composability of Dai is the essence of DeFi. Developers can build on top of it to create interoperability of blockchain projects, including integrating different stablecoins as collateral into the Maker Protocol.
9. Dai for UBI
Richard Muirhead, Managing Partner at Fabric Ventures, moderates this discussion with Rune and Luis Cuende, founder of Aragon, a protocol for facilitating the creation of decentralized organizations. The two explore various applications for stablecoins, including Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a use case. The blockchain is the perfect foundation for UBI because it offers security and transparency benefits, as well as direct access to other digital financial services thanks to the programmability of digital currency. For example, eToro’s GoodDollar, which is a Dai-backed form of UBI, can be staked in an open smart contract ecosystem of DeFi protocols to generate Good Dollars (G$) as rewards and to be distributed to users as basic income.
10. DeFi Leaders on DeFi’s Future
In this CoinDesk Live panel, William Foxley talks to the founders of three major organizations in the DeFi space—Rune, Compound’s Robert Leshner, and Uniswap’s Hayden Adams. They discuss building on Ethereum, the ease of writing software for the platform, and the benefits of composable infrastructure. What makes Ethereum special is not the tools or the tech, says Rune; rather, “it’s the community, the network, the liquidity, and the existing ecosystem.”
The Importance of the Maker Community
Every day, people worldwide derive value from the Dai stablecoin, the Maker Protocol, and the broader Maker ecosystem. Learn more about MakerDAO and Dai today, and join the Maker community to get involved in discussions that help shape the future of the DAO on Rocketchat and the MakerDAO forum. Remember to also follow Rune on Twitter.