Metaverse in Agriculture- A Case Study on Durian Orchard

Metaverse is the newest buzzword not only in the gaming space but has proliferated into other industries. Large organizations are investing crazy amount of money into metaverse to create new applications on top of their current products and services.

One of the potential applications of metaverse is in the agriculture sector. Various technologies have long been employed in the agriculture sector to improve efficiency, reduce cost , increase yield via automation, AI, big data analytics and more.

One area which could see the implementation of Metaverse in agriculture is the use of AR/VR technologies in creating farming simulation for training of the workers. In fact, there is a big farm simulator called Pure Farming developed for PlayStation VR and Sony is investing in it. In addition, farm simulators for mobile phones are being developed.

On the other hand, the use of VR/AR technologies can help farms to save cost and increase yield via virtual crop management tools such as disease and pest control, soil quality survey, fertilizers administration , plants growth monitoring, harvesting and more. To implement the solution. sensors can be installed in the farm which are used to scan the crops. An agronomist needs only to use a VR headset, a tablet or a smartphone to retrieve information about the weather, temperature, plant health, fertilizer needs, and the time for harvesting.

In our case study, we will focus on durian, a tropical fruit that can be found in the Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. According to Wikipedia, durian is named as the “king of fruits”. The durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and thorn-covered rind. Musang King  is the most popular durian breed in Malaysia, named by the Chinese as “Mao Shan Wang” (猫山王), is the priciest of all durians. Musang King is known for its bright yellow flesh and is like a more an enhanced version of the D24.

Grafted durian trees usually start to bear fruits around 4 to 6 years after planting ; while seedlings usually take from 7 to 10 years but could be as long as 13 to 21 years, therefore it is a common practice to use vegetative propagation. The cost of planting durian saplings can be calculated from the size of the orchard and cost per sapling. Assuming we have a 200-acre land , cost per sapling is RM30 and the number of trees can be planted per acre is RM60, the initial cost (excluding the overhead cost) is 200x60x30=RM360,000. However, if we include the cost of buying the land, overhead cost like fertilizers, labour cost and more, the total cost would be millions.

Therefore, the orchard owner must look for various sources of funding. Conventional sources include from own pocket, relatives and friends, loan from financial institutions like banks and so forth. However, with the invention of decentralized finance(DeFi), orchard owners could raise fund via DeFi as a new source of funding without the need of intermediaries, it seems like a perfect solution. In addition, blockchain solutions like NFT and Metaverse as well as other advanced technologies could be adopted to better manage the durian orchard and produce better yield. Let us delve deeper into how these advanced technologies can really help the durian industry.

The proposed model is to create a durian metaverse that not only helps to raise funds but to better manage the durian orchard and produce much higher yield than conventional durian orchards. To begin with, we will create an NFT for each sapling which represent the real durian sapling as a digital twin. The NFTs can be created using the popular Ethereum blockchain or other popular layer 1 or layer 2 blockchains such as Polygon, Solana, Cardano and more. Each durian NFT will feature a smart contract that contains data like the ID of the sapling, price, terms and conditions for profit distribution, transferring of ownership, buying and selling, etc. The next step is to create a Metaverse that hosts an NFT marketplace for buying and selling of the durian NFTs. Prices of the NFTs should be much more than the actual saplings because NFT owners will enjoy the future benefits like profit from the sale of durians after harvesting, get to eat the durians for free and more. Besides that, an NFT can also be created for each fruit which can be sold to buyers via prebooking.

Building a Metaverse platform that houses an NFT marketplace, and a virtual orchard will provide an immersive experience for tree owners and visitors to engage in durian NFTs trading. In addition, the virtual orchard will be a digital twin of the real orchard where visitors and owners get to visit the orchard from the comfort of their homes. Besides that, tree owners will be able to monitor the growth of durian trees and check other data such as fertilizers administration, expected flowering and fruition time, expected number of fruits can be harvested during a season and more. Visitors who wish to buy the durians in advance could prebook the durians by purchasing the fruit NFT and use it to redeem the durian fruits after harvesting. Wholesale buyers can prebook the fruits of a whole tree and get special discounts via a special kind of NFT. Moreover, orchard owner can also create virtual tour of the orchard. Users who purchase the NFT ticket for the virtual tour will be entitled to visit the real orchard and savour the durians at no extra cost, maybe even entitled to stay at the homestay at the orchard for a special rate.

The Metaverse durian orchard will have a global reach where investors and buyers are not only from Malaysia but from all over globe, thereby enlarging the durian market immensely. Foreigners will be able to prebook the durians by purchasing the NFTs and get to enjoy the durians when they visit Malaysia in a future date, this is good for promoting tourism in Malaysia. On top of them, investors who wish to purchase the trees and hope to obtain a good return in the future can do so at the comfort of their homes from any part of the world and at any time, just one click away!

Metaverse

When you woke up in the morning on 29th Oct 2021, you must be surprised to notice that Facebook has changed its logo into an infinite loop ∞, and its name to meta, thus announcing its official entry into the Metaverse. Instantly the stock markets reacted with a bang as metaverse related stocks Roblox, Nvidia and Unity spiked significantly. Compared to the stock market, the crypto market reacted even more dramatically. The blockchain metaverse pioneer Decentraland governance coin MANA rose from $1 to about $4, i.e., 400% gain within four days. Another metaverse coin SAND (The governance coin of the SandBox) from $0.9 to 2.6, about 290% gain in the same period. In addition, GALA and MBOX also spiked significantly.

In recent months, the term metaverse has sort of become the newest buzzword in the crypto and gaming space, and startups venturing into Metaverse are mushrooming around the Globe. These startups were able to attract investments from angel investors and VCs. The biggest news this year was the direct listing of Roblox on the New York Stock Exchange which the company’s stock closed at $69.50 per share, giving the company a market cap of $38.26 billion. Another sensational story was Epic Games, the company that built Unreal Engine and the popular metaverse game Fortnite has just completed a 1 billion round of funding to support the long-term vision for the metaverse. 

However, the most mind blogging news was the announcement by Mark Zuckerber that he wants to transform Facebook into a metaverse social media platform , even changing its name. In fact, when you woke up on 29th Oct 2021 , you will notice that Facebook has changed its logo into an infinite loop, signaling its entry into the Metavese. With Facebook going insanely big on Metaverse, and everyone so closely tied to Facebook, what will be the impacts on our personal life socially , economically and perhaps psychologically? We will no longer interacting in a 2D world but a VR, AR and XR mixed reality parallel world where you can meet your friends face to face, representing by your Avatars. However, things can turn ugly if you are not careful, friends you hate may suddenly appear and say hello to you, and he may just stab you from the back, though only your Avatar…

Metaverse is a term that first appeared in science fiction. The prefix “meta” means beyond, and “verse” means universe. The term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a 3D virtual space that uses the metaphor of the real world(Wikipedia). Fast forward to 2011, Novelist Ernest Cline authored a famous science fiction, Ready Player One, which hits theaters in March courtesy of Steven Spielberg. While the story is set in the strife-torn meatspace of 2045, most of its action unfolds in a vast network of artificial worlds called the OASIS, an earlier version of metaverse.

The recent popular Netflix short series “The Billion Dollar Code” that was based on the true story also tell us that the early concept of Metaverse has indeed started to materialized in the 1990’s. Although the Virtual Reality technology was called Terravision invented by a group of artists and computer nerds in Germany, it is indeed the 3D virtual map that allows you fly and zoom in to any part of the world in real time. It was alleged that Google stole the technology to create Google Earth though the case Art+Com vs Google of patent infringement was rejected by a US court.

Metaverse would not have been possible without the invention of the Internet, in particular the World Wide Web that allows global citizens to access and share multimedia contents around the globe. On the 6th of August 1991, Tim Berners-Lee posted the very first public invitation for collaboration on the World Wide Web, the beginning of the connected world where people are connected and access information and enjoy multimedia entertainment, even monetize from it. It was also the era of the browser war involving Netscape, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari and more. Without a browser you could not access the web. Eventually IE won the war but lost to Chrome in the 21st century.

The early world wide web was just providing multimedia content, non-interactive and did not allow any tom dick and harry to create a website, you must be a little bit tech savvy to use the HTML code to create a webpage. This era is generally known as Web 1.0. Besides, the computer processors were much less powerful than even today’s mobile phone , coupled with slow Internet speed using the dial-up modem, accessing the web was a painful experience. It is no wonder Terravision encountered a lot of issues due to the limitation of the hardware and Internet bandwidth. Despite the limitations, many dotcom companies were formed trying to monetize from the web, even some early online business platforms were developed to facilitate online commerce, which later known as e-commerce. Some famous examples were eBay and Amazon.com. Internet Giants Google , Facebook and Alibaba were not even born yet.

Entered the 21st century, many dotcom companies and startups went bust as a result of the dotcom bubble happened at the end of the 20th century, leaving a few giants like Amazon.com and the struggling Yahoo! to carry the torch. However, the Internet infrastructure has become more robust with the invention of faster modem, router and other hardware and much more powerful computers and laptops. In addition, connecting to the Internet has become seamless as WiFi replaced the old dial up modem. Besides that, touch screen mobile phones were becoming ubiquitous , making mobile web possible. Now people can stay online 24/7. It is also the emergence of search engine giant Google followed by the social media giant Facebook. Users are not only able to access the information, they can create and publish contents easily via social media and interact with other users. The interactive web is hence known as web 2.0.

Early 21st century also saw the emergence of  massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) . It is a video game that combines aspects of a role-playing video game and a massively multiplayer online game. This type of game allows players to immerse themselves in a virtual world so it can be considered a precursor of Metaverse game. MMORPGs are stark different from single-player or small multi-player online RPGs by the number of players able to interact together, and by the game’s persistent virtual world which continues to exist and evolve even while the player is offline and exit the game.

Since many massively multiplayer online games share features with the Metaverse but provide access only to non-persistent instances that are shared by up to several dozen players, the concept of multiverse virtual games has been used to distinguish them from the Metaverse.

In the NFT space, it refers to shared virtual worlds where land, buildings, avatars and even names can be bought and sold using cryptocurrency. In these environments, people can wander around, play games, visit buildings, buy goods and services, and attend events, exactly like the real world. Let us examine some popular Metaverse NFT platforms. Metaverse has gained increasing popularity due to combination of NFT, DeFi and GameFi that form the in backbone of the Metaverse ecosystem.

To learn more about metaverse, please come back in my blog to check on updates on my current book publication date, the title is “Metaverse Made Easy: A Beginner’s Guide to the Metaverse: Everything you need to know about Metaverse, NFT and GameFi 

References

Automatic Market Maker

Automatic market maker(AMM) is one of the key components of the decentralized exchange(DEX) platform. Traditional exchanges and centralized digital exchanges rely on the order book to facilitate trading between buyers and sellers. In contrast, DEX employs an AMM algorithm that allows automated trading using a mathematical formula that determines the price of the tokens in a liquidity pool. In fact, AMM is a smart contract that is embedded in the liquidity pool of a decentralized exchange ecosystem.

Different DeFi protocols use different formulas in their AMM algorithms. Uniswap uses the formula x*y=k, where x is the amount of token X and y is the amount of token Y in the liquidity pool, and k is a constant. The equation implies that x and y will move inversely proportional to each other on a hyperbolic curve.

Let us examine the following example:

Assuming Uniswap has a pool comprising the ETH/USDT pair. Let say at a particular time the pool has 10000 ETH and the price of ETH was 1500 USDT, hence the total value of ETH was 15,000,000 USDT. As the ratio is 50:50, the total amount of USDT should be 15,000,000.

Based on the formula x*y=k, k=10000*15,000,000=150,000,000,000

Next, assuming now the amount of ETH has reduced to 8000, using the above equation;

the amount of USDT should increase to 150,000,000,000/000=18,750,000

Uniswap is the first truly decentralized AMM as it allows anyone to create a liquidity pool. Besides that, it allows anyone to provide liquidity to an existing pool

Another popular DEX that employs AMM is Kyber Swap. However, it is not truly decentralized as it does not allow anyone to create a liquidity pool or provide liquidity to a pool. Kyber swap liquidity pools are deployed by professional market makers.

Other popular DEX that employed AMM are Balancer, Curve, Sushiswap and more.

Blockchain-powered Smart Supply Chain Management -Auto Parts Business case study

The automotive supply chain is a highly complex and broad ecosystem with participants ranging from parts suppliers, manufacturers, sellers to aftermarket suppliers. All parts come with certain life expectancy, specific requirements and maintenance attributes. With thousands of spare parts, hundreds of parameters, and the number of manufactures distributed regionally or globally, the SCM team need to deal with a very large amount of data.

The two most common challenges are the need to keep inventories well-stocked but not overstocked, and the need to deal with the sheer amount of recalls. In addition, the industry is also facing a mirage of issues including tracking of parts, theft, counterfeit products, and data fraud.

Currently, centralized and siloed IT systems have been used to handle the issues but failed in many aspects. On the contrary, decentralized blockchain inherent features could offer perfect solutions to overcome the automotive parts supply chain issues.

  • All participants share a common data
  • Everyone has access to a single source of truth
  • Reducing intermediaries
  • Improved transparency
  • Trust is embedded in the system
  • Tamperproof due to its immutability

Blockchain technology can improve transparency across the supply chain and significantly reduces the cost and complexity of doing business with multiple parties. For automakers and suppliers, blockchain technology offers unique benefits starting with protecting their brands from counterfeit products to enhancing their brand experience by creating customer-centric business models.

Possible benefits of Blockchain usage in SCM

Identification and Tracking of Automotive Spare Parts

Counterfeit Protection -Verifying Authenticity and Origin

Counterfeit products are a significant issue for automotive manufacturers / suppliers and the counterfeit spare parts market is currently estimated at several billion dollars. Counterfeit spare parts are often of low quality and thus more likely to fail. This leads to dissatisfied customers and trust in the brand .

The Blockchain technology offers  significant advantages over existing solutions where spare parts can be uniquely identified and digitally represented. The digital identification of these parts can be shared transparently to multiple parties in the blockchain business network.

Mutual collaboration is facilitated within the parties knowing that sensitive business information remains confidential. Confidentiality is enforced through blockchain cryptographic methods, hence protect integrity of the data  not only from manipulators within the business network but also externally from attackers.

Spare parts service centers  can accurately verify the authenticity of  parts during replacement. The immutability of blockchain provides for a tamper-proof solution and offers a single source of truth.  This will enhance the  trust relationship between customers and  the manufacturer.

Protection of Aftermarket Business

The global aftermarket business was valued at over 800 billion USD in 2018  and expected to grow to over a trillion USD over the next 10 years. Over 50% of this market consists of the sale of vehicle spare parts and business is split across OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and IAM (Independent Aftermarket) Suppliers.

As each product or part is uniquely represented on the blockchain, the technology can be applied to enforce business terms related to the exact production volume and timing. This level of enforcement can also be applied for manufacturers working with more than one supplier as part of their dual sourcing strategy.

Spare Parts Liability Resolution

In case a spare part needs to be replaced due to failure, liability needs to be established and this requires tracing the part back to the manufacturer. If parts are identified and digitally represented on the blockchain, it offers an accurate way to trace the origin. Liability is thus clearly established and is transparent to all parties in the blockchain. Any liability disputes can be resolved  much faster and resources can be focused on customer engagement.

Vehicle Recall Optimization

Many of the recalls involve product defects that are life-threatening and automakers are exposed to a huge liability. With blockchain technology , the car and the individually assembled parts can be uniquely represented on the blockchain. If automakers  can accurately identify  which defective parts were installed in which cars, then the scope of the recall can be precisely executed thus result in massive cost savings.

Optimizing the Supply Chain Process

Inbound Logistics and Smart Manufacturing

Efficient planning of production capacity requires the manufacturing plant to coordinate between multitier suppliers, 3rd party logistics and transportation companies. Tracking and tracing individual parts across the inbound supply chain is complex and error-prone. Accurate, real-time information is not available and information is spread across individual databases.

By using a distributed immutable blockchain ledger across all parties, an accurate view of the status, quantity and location of the individual parts can be established. This  can improve real-time logistics and plant production capacity.

Outbound Logistics Planning

The outbound supply chain in the automotive sector consists of a complex network of manufacturers, distributors, importers, and dealers. Like the inbound supply chain, participants in the outbound supply chain do not have a common data-sharing model.

Having a shared blockchain based system across the different participants will offer transparency and visibility. This will ensure faster transactions by lowering settlement periods.

Business Model Innovation

Car Personalization and Customer Engagement

The driver profile along with car customization preferences can be saved in a personal blockchain wallet. Shared or lease cars will authenticate the driver using the wallet and the car settings are personalized based on the driver profile. Automakers and mobility operators can thus create new business models focusing on individual preferences

Dynamic Pricing Models in Automotive Insurance and Leasing

A driver profile including miles covered, economical usage of vehicle and accident history is securely stored on the blockchain. Users share this data with providers offering insurance and leasing products based on their personal driving profile. The advantage that  blockchain technology brings here is that the driver profile and historic events are immutably stored on the blockchain providing a single source of truth.

Digital Car Wallet

Ownership history, maintenance, and repairs can be transparently, and verifiably stored in a blockchain-based car wallet. Ownership record and fair price assessment of second-hand cars can be quickly established and transferring ownership can be done faster.

As vehicles are uniquely identified on the blockchain, stolen cars can be easily tracked and traced. Lack of trust and business friction arising in the transfer of ownership is hugely reduced. If repairs and parts replacements are verifiably tracked on the blockchain, warranty claims will be transparent for all parties.

M2M  Transactions

Blockchain technology offers a unique way to automate transactions between machines and enable the future of M2M commerce. Cars in the future will be equipped with blockchain-based wallets and transactions with toll booths, park stations, and electric charging outlets will be automated without manual intervention.

The Solution-Hyperledger

Hyperledger is an open source effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies hosted by The Linux Foundation. Hyperledger is a group of open source projects focused around cross-industry distributed ledger technologies. Hosted by The Linux Foundation, collaborators include industry leaders in technology, finance, banking, supply chain management, manufacturing, and IoT.

The Hyperledger project has been a collaboration of players from various industries and organizations in technology, finance, banking, supply chain management, manufacturing, IoT and more. Since its inception in December 2015, it has managed to enlist many prominent members that include IBM, Intel, NEC, Cisco, J.P Morgan, AMN AMRO, ANZ Bank, Wells Fargo, Accenture, SAP and more.

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The Hyperledger Framework

Hyperledger Fabric

Hyperledger Fabric is the first blockchain project developed and hosted by the Linux Foundation. According to the Linux Foundation , it was Intended as a foundation for developing DLT applications or solutions with a modular architecture.

Hyperledger Fabric is an open-source enterprise-grade permissioned distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, designed for use in developing enterprise applications. It features some key differentiating capabilities over other popular distributed ledger or blockchain platforms.

Hyperledger Fabric is a blockchain framework that runs smart contracts called chaincode, which are written in Go. You can create a private network with Hyperledger Fabric, limiting the peers that can connect to and participate in the network. This private network can be hosted on AWS or other web service provider such as Microsoft Azure , Oracle or IBM.

One special feature of  Hyperledger Fabric is that it allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play. Besides that, Hyperledger Fabric uses container technology to host smart contracts called chaincode that comprises the application logic of the system.

The AWS Blockchain Template for Hyperledger Fabric creates an EC2 instance with Docker and launches a Hyperledger Fabric network using containers on that instance.

The network includes one order service and three organizations, each with one peer service. The template also launches a Hyperledger Explorer container, which allows you to browse blockchain data. A PostgreSQL server container is launched to support Hyperledger Explorer.

Channels are another unique feature of Hyperledger Fabric. They allow transactions to be private between two actors, while still being verified and committed to the blockchain.

Hyperledger Fabric Architecture

Hyperledger Fabric has a highly modular and configurable architecture. Therefore, enterprises can make use of its versatility to develop innovative business applications.  Besides that, it can be used to optimize the applications. Indeed, Hyperledger Fabric is well suited to develop a broad range of industry use cases including banking, finance, insurance, healthcare, human resources, supply chain and even digital music delivery.

Hyperledger Fabric is a permissioned blockchain network that provides ledger services to application clients and administrators. It allows multiple organizations to collaborate as a consortium to form the network.  The permissions to join the network are determined by a set of policies that are agreed to by the consortium when the network is configured.

Hyperledger Fabric Network

The Hyperledger Fabric network comprises the following components:

  • Ledger
  • Peers
  • Ordering service Chaincode (aka smart contract)
  • Channels
  • Membership service provider

The Hyperledger ecosystem also consists of the client applications that allow users to interact with the network.  Moreover, The Hyperledger Fabric application SDK provides a powerful API for developers to program applications to interact with the blockchain network on behalf of the users. 

Channels are data partitioning mechanisms that allow transaction visibility for stakeholders only. Each channel is an independent chain of transaction blocks containing only transactions for that channel.

The chaincode (Smart Contracts) encapsulates both the asset definitions and the business logic (or transactions) for modifying those assets. Transaction invocations result in changes to the ledger.

The ledger contains the current world state of the network and a chain of transaction invocations. A shared, permissioned ledger is an append-only system of records and serves as a single source of truth.

The network is the collection of data processing peers that form a blockchain network. The network is responsible for maintaining a consistently replicated ledger.

The ordering service is a collection of nodes that orders transactions into a block. The world state reflects the current data about all the assets in the network. This data is stored in a database for efficient access. Currently, supported databases are LevelDB and CouchDB.

The membership service provider (MSP) manages identity and permissioned access for clients and peers.

Channels partition the Fabric network in such a way that only the stakeholders can view the transactions. In this way, organizations can utilize the same network while maintaining separation between multiple blockchains.  The mechanism works by delegating transactions to different ledgers. Members of a channel can communicate and transact privately. Other members of the network cannot see the transactions on that channel.

Components of Hyperledger Network
Channels
SCM Hyperledger Platform on AWS

References

What is DeFi?

DeFi stands for decentralized finance, which means operating financial applications on a decentralized platform such as blockchain. It is the new financial architecture that leverages decentralized networks and decentralized technologies such as smart contracts to transform old financial products into trustless and transparent protocols that run without intermediaries.

In contrast, centralized finance means a single organization such as a bank controls and manages the funds of the clients. This kind of centralized control has many weaknesses, including the abuse of funds and manipulation of personal data, frauds, single point of failure due to hacking, and more. 

Decentralized finance has many advantages as it’s aligned with the characteristics that blockchain technology possesses.

The Advantages of DeFi

Maintain Full Control of your own digital Assets

The digital assets that you own on a DeFi platform solely belong to you alone and you have the freedom to use it in whatever ways you like, without the interference of an intermediary. There is no centralized authority, such as a bank, with the ability to freeze your account, seize your assets, or block your transactions.

Increased Accessibility

According to the World Bank, globally there are still approximately 1.7 billion unbanked adults. These people are at a disadvantage when it comes to pursuing many financial opportunities that could improve their socioeconomic status and lift them out of poverty.

Unfortunately, centralized financial institutions don’t have an incentive to target this population. The revenue they would receive from providing services to the currently unbanked simply doesn’t justify the costs of reaching them. In contrast, DeFi providers operate without expensive intermediaries hence they are more willing to serve the underprivileged people. Furthermore, DeFi is borderless and ‘permissionless’ hence everyone on earth particularly the unbanked population can access this form of affordable financial services. Therefore, DeFi has the potential to reduce the world’s poverty.

Opportunity to own a portion of an expensive asset

Another DeFi application is tokenized assets. Tokenizing assets is creating digital tokens to represent the ownership of real assets that can be traded like securities such as shares. By creating tokenized assets that represent, say, a portion of a real estate investment, you open up the investment for people who previously couldn’t afford it, to having access from anywhere in the world.  Almost anyone can trade tokenized assets as he or she is not required to commit to an entire high-value investment at once. Instead, he or she has the option to buy or sell just a portion of the asset.

Transparency

 DeFi data is publicly available, enabling you to keep service providers honest. For instance, you can easily check the reserves of a DeFi bank, shop around for accurate loan rates, or even track the transactions of public figures.

Let’s examine a well known use case of DeFi, the Maker DAO

Maker DAO

MakerDAO is an open-source project on the Ethereum blockchain and a Decentralized Autonomous Organization created in 2014. The project is managed by people around the world who hold its governance token, MKR.

MakerDAO is a decentralized credit platform on Ethereum that supports Dai, a decentralized, unbiased, collateral backed stablecoin whose value is pegged to USD. The Maker Protocol which is known as Multi collateral Dai (MSD) allows users to mint Dai by leveraging collateral assets approved by the Maker Governance. Maker Governance is a community organized and operated process of managing various digital assets of the Maker Protocol.

The Maker Protocol is one of the largest dApps on the Ethereum blockchain. It was the first DeFi application to gain significant adoption among the crypto communities. Since the release of Single Collateral Dai in 2017, user adoption of this stablecoin has increased dramatically. Indeed, It has become a driving force in the DeFi movement. The Maker Protocol is designed by a diverse group of individuals that include developers, external partners, other persons, and entities. It is managed and governed by people who hold the governance token MKR through a system of scientific governance involving executing voting and governance polling.

Anyone can use the Maker Protocol to open a Collateralized Debt Position (CDP), lock ETH as collateral, and generate Dai as a debt against that collateral. Dai debt incurs a stability fee (i.e., continuously accruing interest), which is paid (in MKR) upon repayment of borrowed Dai.

The MKR is burned, along with the repaid Dai. Users can borrow Dai up to 66% of their collateral value (150% collateralization ratio). CDPs that fall below that rate are subject to a 13% penalty and liquidation (by anyone) to bring the CDP out of default. Liquidated collateral is sold on an open market at a 3% discount.

Holders of Maker’s other token (MKR) govern the system by voting on, e.g., risk parameters such as the stability fee level. MKR holders also act as the last line of defense in case of a black swan event. If the systemwide collateral value falls too low too fast, MKR is minted and sold on the open market to raise more collateral, diluting MKR holders.

I shall discuss more DeFi use cases in coming articles.

References