Black Thursday: System Debt, Monetary Policy, Auction Policy

Adrian Hacker
4 min readMar 14, 2020

Maker Holder DAI-gest: Week 11, 2020

Governance Recap March 12, 2020

Maker Holder DAI-gest is a publication by the community, for the community. While trying to remain completely objective, none of the statements or opinions shared here reflect that of the MakerDAO foundation. The best way to stay informed about governance and risk current events is through engagement with the community. This summary may not present all sides of an issue. You are encouraged to seek further information on topics of interest.

Governance Summary:

  • Prices across the cryptocurrency market, including Ether, dropped sharply this week triggering a large number of liquidation auctions. The Ethereum network was so busy that gas prices became extremely high and transaction times took much longer than usual. During this time a keeper was able to bid zero or extremely low ball bids to win liquidation auctions. This resulted in a system debt of around 5 million Dai.
  • High gas prices and a low amount of keepers online to bid were contributing factors.
  • The zero / low bidder inflated the amount of gas they paid to expedite their transactions.
  • Oracle prices were very slow to update due to Ethereum traffic congestion.
  • DAI users / holders are not affected.
  • Some vault owners are affected.
  • MKR holders are affected.
  • MKR auctions will begin 2020–03–19 10:25:01 UTC selling lots of 250 MKR with a starting bid of 50,000 Dai. Auctions that are not won will be reduced in price by 20% until the lot sells. MKR auctions will continue until the system debt is paid.
  • The state of the peg has been running high with a seven-day max at $1.22. People have been turning to the DAI stable coin during this time of extreme price volatility. This is a good sign showing that the uncapitalized debt is not affecting the value of Dai.

DAI-hard Digits

DAI Peg: 7d Low / 7d High $0.999634 / $1.22

DAI Statistics

Governance Dashboard

In the Forums:

Executive Votes and Polls

Executive Vote: Adjust Multiple Risk Parameters

Passed on Mar 13, 2020, 07:14 UTC. Available for execution on Mar 14, 2020, 07:14 UTC. Vote for this Proposal 87,682.36 MKR

  • Lower the Sai Stability Fee 2% to 7.5%
  • Lower the Dai Stability Fee 4% to 4%
  • Keep the Dai Savings Rate Spread at 0%
  • Note: This will set the DSR to 4%
  • Lower the Migration Contract Debt Ceiling 20M to 10M
  • Lower the SCD debt ceiling 5M to 25M
  • Lower the MCD debt ceiling 50M to 100M
  • Set the Global MCD debt ceiling 113M
  • Raise the Flip auction TTL from 10 minutes to 6 hours
  • Raise the Flip auction lot size from 50 ETH to 500 ETH
  • Lower the Flip auction maximum duration from 3 days to 6 hours
  • Raise the Flop auction TTL from 10 minutes to 6 hours
  • Raise the Debt Auction Delay from 48 hours to 6.5 days

Here you can find a glossary of terms.

A flip auction is the auctioning of an undercollateralized vault.
A flop auction is a MKR auction to recapitalize system debt.
TTL is the maximum length of time of a bid.

This week’s executive vote was a series of auction parameter adjustments to prevent future value loss through zero bidding / low bidding. Also, an adjustment to monetary policy to bring the Dai price down to get back on soft-peg.

Governance Hot Topics

  • Sai migration jumped this week. Sai supply is at approximately 20 million, which has dropped 11.5 million in the last week. This is the effort to phase out and settle the entire Sai supply and fully convert to multi-collateral Dai. If you are a Sai holder, you should migrate ASAP.
  • There is a need to get more people involved in the system as auction keepers (bidders). The documentation is highly technical and a bridge for accessibility needs to be made through less technically dense docs or sample download apps.

Weekly Governance and Risk Meeting, Ep. 77 March 12, 2020

YouTube Video

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Understand the issues that are discussed and governance themes that get explored to build a healthy, secure, Maker Platform. Get info on how to connect by phone or webcam. Explore meeting archives.

Weekly Meeting Schedule

Weekly Community Development Meeting — Tuesdays 09:00 PST Weekly Governance and Risk Meeting — Thursdays 09:00 PST, 08:00 CST, 06:00 EST, 18:00 CET



Adrian Hacker

Cryptocurrency enthusiast and student of life, in Portland, OR