MKR is a cryptocurrency depicted as a smart contract platform and works alongside the Dai coin and aims to act as a hedge currency that provides traders with a stable alternative to the majority of coins currently available on the market. Maker offers a transparent stablecoin system that is fully inspectable on the Ethereum blockchain. Founded almost three years ago, MakerDao is lead by Rune Christensen, its CEO and founder. Maker’s MKR coin is a recent entrant to the market and is not a well known project. However, after today it will be known by many more people after blowing up 40% and it is one of the coins to rise to prominence during the recent peaks and troughs. After being developed by the MakerDAO team, Maker Dai officially went live on December 18th, 2017. Dai is a price stable coin that is suitable for payments, savings, or collateral and provides cryptocurrency traders with increased options concerning opening and closing positions. Dai lives completely on the blockchain chain with its stability unmediated by the legal system or trusted counterparties and helps facilitate trading while staying entirely in the world of cryptocurrencies. The concept of a stablecoin is fairly straight forward – it’s a token that has its price or value pegged to a particular fiat currency. A stablecoin is a token (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) that exists on a blockchain, but unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, Dai has no volatility. MKR is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and can not be mined. It’s instead created/destroyed in response to DAI price fluctuations in order to keep it hovering around $1 USD. MKR is used to pay transaction fees on the Maker system, and it collateralizes the system. Holding MKR comes with voting rights within Maker’s continuous approval voting system. Bad governance devalues MKR tokens, so MKR holders are incentivized to vote for the good of the entire system. It’s a fully decentralized and democratic structure, then, which is an underutilized USP of blockchain tech. Value volatility is a relative concept among both cryptos and fiat currencies. The US dollar, for example, was worth 110.748 yen on July 9, 2018. On July 4, 2011, $1 was worth 80.64 yen, and on March 18, 1985, $1 was worth 255.65 yen. These are major differences in exchange rates, and inflation within each country makes each currency worth different values even when compared to themselves. One USD in 1913 is worth the equivalent of $25.41 today, and even $1 in 1993 is worth the equivalent of $1.74 today. Stablecoins don’t negate these basic economic principles of value. Instead, both Tether and Dai have values pegged to the U.S. dollar. This is done to stabilize the price.
iExec is an open-source, decentralized cloud computing platform, running on Ethereum blockchain. iExec allows decentralized applications (dApps) an on-demand access to computing resources and technologies on iExec cloud. iExec has built a blockchain network where dApps can take advantage of cost effective and high-performance resources such as servers, databases, SaaS applications, web hosting and computer farms. iExec’s native cryptocurrency — The RLC token is the primary asset used to access services in iExec infrastructure. RLC is short for “Run on Lots of Computers.” iExec is headquartered at Lyon, France. It was founded by Gilles Fedak and Haiwu He, both are serving as Chief Executive Officer and Head of Asian-Pacific Region of iExec, respectively. Oleg Lodygensky is the Chief Technical Officer. Gilles Fedak received his PhD from the University of Paris Sud in 2003, and has been working as INRIA (Inventeurs du Monde Numerique) research scientist at ENS in Lyon, France. Similarly, Haiwu completed his M.Sc. and PhD from the University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille, France. On April 19, 2017, iExec launched its token sale and raised more than $12 million in exchange for 86,999,784 RLC. In order to support dApps, smart contracts, and their platforms, iExec takes processing-intensive computations off-chain so as to keep a blockchain’s on-chain functions running smoothly. To do this, iExec makes use of XtremWeb-HEP, an open-sourced Desktop Grid Software. Desktop Grid computing (also known as Volunteer Computing) pools unused computing resources to be used by applications and platforms, and according to iExec’s whitepaper, XtremWeb-HEP “implements all the needed features” to make this possible on a global scale, including “fault-tolerance, multi-applications, multi-users, hybrid public/private infrastructure, deployment of virtual images, data management, security and accountability, and many more.” Essentially, with this software, dApps can utilize any computing resource in the iExec framework to run their programs. In their whitepaper, the iExec team lays out the project’s competitive landscape and explains these competitors in relation to iExec. They’re quick to note that decentralized cloud storage providers like Filecoin, Storj, and Siacoin are not direct competitors, and it’s easy to see why. While iExec could theoretically take a step in this direction as it matures, it’s not a storage platform; it’s a computing platform. This does put it in competition with other decentralized computing protocols like Golem and SONM. Both of these, however, are taking aim at a different animal. Essentially, they’re both building a decentralized supercomputer on blockchain technology, while iExec is targeting dApp development and sustainability. Both look towards a future of a blockchain-powered, decentralized internet, but their functions, while sometimes similar, are more complementary than conflicting.