MakerDAO and the ETHDenver Wallet

February 11, 2019

In partnership with an all-star lineup, including POA NetworkSolidcoinAustin GriffithBrian EthierSendWyreQuantstamp and ETHDenver, the MakerDAO Community Grants Program is proud to announce something special for ETHDenver:

Every attendee will receive their own unique web wallet that will be pre-loaded with a localcoin called buffiDai, which is pegged to the Dai, and will be used to drive the ETHDenver economy.

How does it work?

“…as soon as the web page loads, people can walk right up to a food truck, scan a code from a menu, and walk away with a hotdog.”

At ETHDenver, every attendee will receive a swag bag at the door which includes a physical coin much like the one Maker distributed at many events last year. On this coin, however, people will find a private key embedded in a QR code, which once scanned, presents them with a web wallet running in their phone’s normal, default web browser. It will hold buffiDai, a special ETHDenver localcoin used to pay for food, swag, drinks, activities, and NFT’s at the event, as well as being accepted at some local businesses.

This means that as soon as the web page loads, people can walk right up to a food truck, scan a code from a menu, and walk away with a hotdog. If people lose their phone or accidentally ‘burn’ the wallet, they can simply rescan the physical coin to continue where they left off. Even better, thanks to our friends at POA Network, the fast blocktimes and extremely cheap fees provided by the xDai network allow all this to happen in real-time on a public chain.

Because this is a localcoin designed to support a pop-up economy, only vendors can redeem buffiDai for Fiat. When the event is over, vendors can exit the system by using the DenverWallet itself to move all the way from buffiDai to their own bank accounts if they so choose, thanks to our friends at Wyre.

At ETHDenver we’re helping people go from nocoiner to active participant in a local economy in seconds. No onboarding friction, no personal trainers needed.

The xDai Wallet

For those who may not have heard of the xdai wallet project, additional details can be found on Austin’s blogYoutube, or you can just start using a live, working wallet of your own.

In a nutshell, the xDai wallet is a fully functioning, web 2.0 compliant web app that allows anyone, anywhere to instantly access a cryptocurrency wallet that transacts a stable currency — with almost imperceptibly low fees and five second block times. The wallet leverages a series of cutting-edge technologies like meta transactions, relayers, parallel chains, integrated and encrypted on-chain chats, etc. But most importantly, it does it in a way the hides all that complexity from the end user… a critical roadblock to crypto adoption by the masses. Seriously, you should check it out: xdai.io.

MakerDAO has been an early and vocal supporter of Austin’s efforts and we’re happy to have had the opportunity to allocate grants to further the wallets development.

Onboarding and Security

The xDai Wallet project is particularly close to our hearts as it aligns with many of our core principles, and targets a few of MakerDAO’s long term goals. We want Dai to be useful to everyone, everywhere. For that to happen, we need to figure out better ways to allow people entrance into the crypto ecosystem.

The xDai Wallet lowers the barriers to entry by making a trade-off between convenience and security, something that we think makes sense in this context.

To be clear, this is a very HOT wallet. Users fill it up with the amount of money they are willing to use or lose in an evening, or an event, and no more. When they get home they can sweep their funds into a more secure solution. In the meantime, they get no mandatory password step, no forced mnemonic scratchpads (or the saved screenshots that we are all guilty of), no embedded bespoke dapp browsers, or endless custom UI paradigms. Just a webpage, a QR code scanner, and a balance. And that means easy access to hotdogs.

The Future

From a broader perspective, this wallet/localcoin framework can be replicated and used to create local or ephemeral economies all over the world. It also allows future iterations to include some novel incentive mechanisms.

What if you wanted to make a localcoin that was worth more if spent within a five-block radius of the event? What if the value changed over time? What if you wanted to have a local farmers market and you didn’t have access to a traditional payment gateway? The use cases are almost endless; helping teams find the answers to these questions is what our grants program is all about and why we were so excited to be able to help provide Austin and his team the resources they need to continue developing the wallet.

Have a look at a great post by the project’s own Brian Ethier who explores this concept further.

We’re pretty excited to be able to bring this technology to ETHDenver and we can’t wait to see how our community interacts with what we think is the first, real-world, large-scale, ephemeral crypto-economy.

You aren’t going to want to miss this ETHGlobal, so if you haven’t applied for ETHDenver yet, there is still time.

Hope to see you there.


If you’d like to help out with the xDai Wallet project, please hit up the GitHub repo and dive in, there are bounties to be filled. If you want to see more features, consider contributing to the Gitcoin Grant (we have). If you have a cool idea about how your project could integrate with the wallet, the buffiDaicoin at the ETHDenver event, or you have questions about our grants program, please contact [email protected]


February 11, 2019