If you can spend cryptocurrency in mainstream society, then crypto is money — at least so says the tech’s biggest proponents.
Following that line of thought, the Dai — the Ethereum community’s darling stablecoin — definitely just took another decisive step toward “currency” status, insofar as U.S. crypto exchange giant Coinbase revealed on December 6th it had added Dai support to its “Coinbase Card” debit card offering.
Accordingly Dai joins the card, which was launched back in the spring and is currently only available in the United Kingdom and the European Union, as its 10th addition, with the assets it already supports including (BTC), ether (ETH), litecoin (LTC), XRP, Basic Attention Token (BAT), Augur (REP), 0x (ZRX), and Stellar lumens (XLM).
As such, Coinbase’s European users can now spend their Dai holdings for everyday purchases, which for many Dai proponents is the point of using the stablecoin in the first place — to spend your stable Dai while holding your volatile ETH, as it were, since each Dai is worth approximately $1 USD. On the flip side, ether — which is more akin to a commodity — has considerably more investment upside and considerably more risk.
The development is another step toward mainstream adoption for the stablecoin, whose builders undertook a rebranding last month in order to make the “dollar coin’s” aesthetics more in line with other major world currencies.
Debit to DeFi Arriving
Wyre, known by some as the “Stripe” of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, explained more this week on their platform’s coming “meta transactions” capability, which the company said will arrive in 2020 and will allow users to interact wither Ethereum decentralized finance applications directly from their debit cards.
Specifically, Wyre said meta transactions would “effectively turn … Apple Pay or Google Pay wallets into secure Ethereum wallets to fund [DeFi] transactions.”
That’s a big deal, because one pain point for new users to cryptocurrency has been the knowledge gap, e.g. not knowing where to begin. With fiat DeFi on-ramps, Wyre will make Ethereum’s dApps more readily accessible to everyday users, which should drive adoption in turn.
The Sai to Dai Migration Continues
Last month, the Maker community — stewards of the Dai stablecoin — undertook their biggest evolutionary action to date in voting, and thereafter activating, Multi-Collateral Dai (MCD).
Prior to MCD, Maker dApp users could only draw out automated Dai loans using ether as collateral. In the wake of MCD, more cryptocurrencies beyond ETH can now be used as collateral for Maker loans. The first additional crypto to be voted in by MKR token holders was Basic Attention Token.
With that said, MCD is set to supersede the previously reigning “Single-Collateral Dai,” which is now known as Sai. Assuming liquidity is available, Sai holders can migrate their tokens to Dai at any time using a special migration smart contract deployed by Maker’s builders.
At press time, there 45.5 million Dai and 58.5 million Sai in circulation, meaning the new MCD version of the stablecoin has come close to “flippening” its predecessor in number.
Dai the First Killer App for Crypto?
Maybe, maybe not. But it’s clear the decentralized stablecoin has structural and timing advantages over America’s actual dollar minters at the U.S. Treasury.
Why? Firstly, because the Dai is already here and useful for people around the world while top U.S. officials have no plans for releasing a digital dollar any time soon. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just told American legislators that the government isn’t putting USD on the blockchain for the foreseeable future.
Secondly, the Dai is permissionless to a degree that the U.S. government likely doesn’t agree with. Yet it is growing increasingly popular for that very reason.
It will be pretty amusing if the killer app for crypto turns out to be the dollar.
— Ric Burton (@ricburton) December 6, 2019