MakerDAO made history in 2017 as the first blockchain-based protocol to launch a major automated cryptocurrency-lending platform, helping to initiate a boom in what’s known as decentralized finance (DeFi).
Now MakerDAO is paving the way for what might become another source of growth in the now-$60 billion DeFi industry: lending against trillions of dollars of real world assets including residential properties, in competition with banks and other financiers. In this case, “real world” refers to collateral other than cryptocurrencies. Even the giant U.S. bank Citigroup is writing about Maker.
Holders of the project’s maker (MKR) tokens have been rewarded with a 55% price increase in the past week, the second most among the 46 cryptocurrencies that have a market capitalization of at least $3 billion. The token has gained nearly sixfold this year to a market value of about $4 billion.
The MKR token’s price surged above $4,000 on Wednesday for the first time as members of the MakerDAO community – the decentralized organization that governs the project – passed an executive vote to allow an ERC-20 token representing an ownership stake in a pool of real estate assets as collateral.