Coinbase has listed Maker (MKR) on Coinbase.com. The token is also supported on the Coinbase Android and iOS apps. Coinbase customers can now buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store MKR. The token will be available in all Coinbase-supported regions, with the exception of New York State.
Maker was founded in 2014 by Rune Christensen in Denmark. Christensen’s vision is to eliminate volatility through a system of smart contracts designed to respond to market dynamics. He has been focused on establishing his vision and the organizational structure of the Maker Decentralised Autonomous Organization (DAO) and the economic foundations of the Dai stable digital currency.
Maker is a DAO built on the Ethereum blockchain. The Maker Protocol allows users to generate a decentralized stablecoin called generate Dai (DAI), which is designed to maintain a market value of US$1. The Maker Protocol also has a native token called Maker (MKR).
Through a system of governance involving Executive Voting and Governance Polling, MKR holders manage the Maker Protocol. MKR voting weight is proportional to the amount of MKR a voter stakes in the voting contract. The more MKR tokens locked in the contract, the greater the voter’s decision-making power.
The Maker DAO has raised upwards of US$27M over a range of private token sales. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Walden Bridge Capital, 1confirmation, Polychain, and Fenbushi Capita.
The purchase of MKR tokens was one of the first investments made by the Andreessen Horowitz a16z crypto fund. Katie Huan, one of the General Partners of a16z crypto said, “as a first mover and innovator in stablecoins, MakerDAO represents a very compelling opportunity in the crypto space. MakerDAO’s technology, ecosystem and talent have put theory into action to deliver a decentralized stablecoin that we believe will help drive the future of the crypto economy.”
Katie Haun is an accomplished former federal prosecutor who led the first government task force on cryptocurrencies and also led the investigation into the Mt Gox hacks and into the federal task force investigating Silk Road.
Coinbase recently listed the Maker Token on its exchange platform. Coinbase Pro previously added support for MKR in a limited number of jurisdictions in April 2019, but due to limited liquidity, the token was unable to be traded on the platform.
However, Coinbase has been facing a range of issues. It was recently reported that Coinbase was to begin selling blockchain analysis software to the IRS and the DEA. The software is reportedly called Coinbase Analytics, this comes after Coinbase’s acquisition of Neutrino in February 2019. This acquisition put Coinbase in competition with a group of cryptocurrency analytics companies including Chainalysis, Elliptic, and CipherTrace.
A Twitter poll conducted by bitcoin and crypto trader Josh Rager of 5,000 people showed that over 65% of people who use Coinbase are willing to leave the exchange due to the news that Coinbase would be selling this new product to governmental agencies.
The San Francisco-based exchange defended its position and explained that the blockchain analytics tool, "does not include any personally identifiable information for anyone, regardless of whether or not they use Coinbase." Adding to this, a spokesperson stated that, "this tool only offers them streamlined access to publicly-available data and at no point do they have access to any Coinbase internal or customer data."
Alongside these privacy concerns, another major issue that has caused users to have an issue with Coinbase is recent outages on the platform, that are preventing them from trading. According to a blog post, Coinbase explained that an outage that occurred on the 1st of June was a result of a five-fold spike in traffic to the exchange which caused the firm’s servers to struggle as they were “unable to keep pace with this dramatic increase in traffic."
The exchange has stated that they are working on a number of improvements, stating “we have since fixed the health endpoint to ensure that saturated instances don’t get taken out of rotation. We’re working on reducing the impact of price-related traffic spikes though pre-scaling and caching.”
Data from blockchain analytics firm Glassnode shows that Coinbase users withdrew 22,000 more bitcoin (worth US$214M) than they deposited on June 7, roughly two days after the report of Coinbase Analytics and a week after the exchange’s last outage.