Last updated February 14th, 2018
To be direct with some ideas we’re particularly interested in funding, we’ve created a Request for Startups (RFS). These are ideas that will lay the foundation of a Dai based economy or utilize Maker’s infrastructure. We update this list as we see new things that have to be worked on.
If your idea isn’t on this list, it doesn’t mean we won’t fund you. We understand the best ideas can be completely unexpected.
Wallet for Regular People to Hold and Spend Dai
Dai is fixing the stability problem with bitcoin, now we need someone to fix the usability problem with Dai. There is a massive opportunity to build a wallet regular people can use to hold and spend Dai. Ideally, the wallet would be trustless (though that is not a hard requirement) and could have features such as account recovery using multisigs, use non-crypto language, work on mobile, integrate borrowing (see borrowing RFS), friend lists, built-in token swap, ENS support and seamlessly connect to fiat on-ramps.
Creating a Dai wallet will have amazing effects. It will put the full potential of cryptocurrencies into the hands of regular people, without volatility. It's a necessary step to bring decentralized applications to the masses and laying the foundation for access to cheaper, more inclusive, and censor-proof financial services.
Fiat on and off Ramps
To realize Dai’s full potential, people need an easy way to acquire Dai, without having to buy another cryptocurrency first. People should be able to easily convert their fiat money into Dai to take advantage of the benefits of cryptocurrency.
Creating a simple fiat to Dai onramp will allow millions of regular people to hold and use Dai. These on-ramps will eventually be layered into applications, financial services, and other platforms as existing companies begin to integrate Dai into their products. Every country where people use Dai will need a fiat-to-Dai bridge.
Stripe-like Api to Make it Easy for E-Commerce Websites to Accept Dai
Merchant support for cryptocurrency has stagnated. While it has benefits - eliminating chargebacks and instant settlement - the volatility risk inherent to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin has prevented widespread adoption. With Dai, it’s now possible to benefit from cryptocurrencies without exposing themselves to volatility risk.
The entrepreneur that makes it easy for ecommerce websites to accept Dai has the potential to create the payments engine that powers Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, facilitating trillions of dollars of payments from users all over the world.
Easy Borrowing for Consumers
The CDP engine enables users to borrow money using cryptocurrency as collateral. A week after Dai launched, people borrowed money using CDPs to refinance mortgages and buy cars. It made sense for them because it was effectively a loan with about 0.5% APR — 40x cheaper than US credit cards. If someone provided a clean user experience for regular people to leverage this and came up with a way to handle CDPs potentially going underwater they could be onto something really special.
Solving this directly disrupts the trillion dollar lending market and provides credit to everyone around the world.
Remittance System with Dai as a Payment Rail
The promise of cryptocurrencies was that they could be sent around the world instantly. A person could buy bitcoin in the US, transfer it to someone in another country, where it was sold for local currency. But bitcoin's volatility has made this expensive and impractical for users.
Using Dai instead massively reduces the cost of sending cryptocurrency around the world, because the user is no longer exposed to volatility risks. This will make the remittance use-case less expensive, enabling a use-case that moves $500 billion every year.
Cryptocurrencies will become truly mainstream once people get paid in them for regular jobs at a large scale. There are benefits to this including getting deposits quicker, no geographical limitations, and lower fees. Few have used bitcoin for payroll, in part due to the risks of losing funds in large prince swings. With Dai, that isn’t a concern anymore.
Creating an easy way for organizations to make payroll through Dai will enable new kinds of decentralized companies to pay their staff. Employees all over the world can be paid with cryptocurrency, without having to then convert it back into fiat in order to preserve its value.
Dai Denominated Decentralized Exchange
Billions worth of volume is traded in cryptocurrency each day. While many trade to acquire more bitcoin or ether, others are doing it to acquire more fiat. It’s very hard for the latter group to accomplish their goals without using centralized Tether which has been under heavy scrutiny lately.
Extra Leverage for CDPs
The Maker CDP engine enables decentralized margin trading by allowing traders to open a CDP, acquire Dai, and sell that Dai to get more exposure to the assets put into the CDP. However, using a CDP this way provides limited leverage. What is required is a set of smart contracts and a user interface that allows the following:
Alice owns 100 SDR worth of BTC and wants to hold Dai. Bob owns 50 SDR worth of BTC and wants to be 3:1 leveraged BTC. The collateral requirement for a bitcoin CDP is 150%. Alice and Bob both send their BTC to a margin trading smart contract. The smart contract uses the 150 SDR worth of BTC it has received to create a CDP and issue 100 SDR worth of Dai (150% collateralization). It sends the 100 SDR worth of Dai to Alice, who have now effectively exchanged her 100 SDR worth of BTC into 100 SDR worth of Dai. It sends the CDP to Bob, including its issuance debt and locked issuance collateral, so he now has exposure to 150 SDR worth of BTC and 100 SDR worth of issuance debt, making him 3:1 long the BTCSDR trading pair.
The entrepreneur that enables extra leverage for CDPs has the opportunity to have trillions of dollars worth of leverage flow through code they wrote. As more of the worlds’ stocks and commodities become tokenized, the possibilities for decentralized financial systems like these only grow.