Inside MakerDAO’s Token Buyback Strategy

MakerDAO Token

MakerDAO’s recent decision to buy back its token, MKR, has sent ripples through the cryptocurrency market. This strategic move has not only led to a surge in the token’s price but also sparked discussions about the potential impact of such a strategy on the broader DeFi ecosystem.

MakerDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and one of the pioneers in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space has implemented a token buyback program, leading to a significant increase in the price of its governance token, MKR. The token buyback strategy, also known as a token burn, is a common practice in the traditional financial world, particularly in the stock market. It involves a company buying back its shares from the marketplace, reducing the number of outstanding shares, thereby increasing the remaining shares’ value.

MakerDAO’s Smart Burn Engine

The token buyback scheme, known as the Smart Burn Engine, is a mechanism that periodically allocates excess DAI stablecoins from Maker’s surplus buffer to purchase MKR from a UniSwap pool. This innovative approach was deployed earlier this month and went live once the surplus buffer exceeded $50 million.

During the first 24 hours of operation, the protocol repurchased approximately $230,000 of MKR. If this pace continues, the protocol is projected to purchase about $7 million in tokens in the next month. Given that the total market capitalization of the token is about $1 billion, the buyback would reduce 0.7% of the supply per month at current prices.

The Smart Burn Engine is part of MakerDAO’s broader strategy to maintain the stability of its stablecoin, DAI. By adjusting the supply of MKR, the Smart Burn Engine can help stabilize DAI’s price. This is particularly important because DAI is designed to maintain a 1:1 peg with the US dollar.

The Smart Burn Engine operates based on a set of predefined rules. When these rules are triggered, the engine automatically purchases MKR tokens from the open market and burns them, effectively removing them from circulation. This process is known as a “token burn”.

A critical factor that triggers the Smart Burn Engine is the price of DAI. If the price of DAI deviates too far from its 1:1 peg with the US dollar, the Smart Burn Engine can be activated to buy and burn MKR tokens. This helps restore the balance between the supply and demand for DAI, stabilizing its price.


Another factor that can trigger the Smart Burn Engine is the total supply of MKR. If the supply of MKR becomes too high, the Smart Burn Engine can be activated to reduce the supply, thereby helping to maintain the value of MKR.

Impact on MakerDAO

The introduction of the Smart Burn Engine has had a profound impact on MakerDAO and its governance token, MKR. The token’s price has soared by 23% over the past week.

The buyback scheme has not only boosted the price of MKR but also demonstrated the potential of MakerDAO’s decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) structure. MKR holders, who vote on governance proposals, have shown their support for the initiative designed to remove MKR supply from the market, potentially increasing the value of remaining tokens.

The token buyback strategy has several potential impacts on the MakerDAO ecosystem and the broader DeFi space. Firstly, by reducing the supply of MKR tokens, the value of each remaining token increases, benefiting all MKR token holders. Secondly, the strategy demonstrates the robustness of MakerDAO’s financial model, as it indicates that the protocol is generating a surplus of DAI stablecoins. This could attract more users to the platform, increasing the demand for MKR tokens.

However, the strategy also presents some challenges. The success of the token buyback program relies heavily on the continued profitability of the MakerDAO protocol. If the protocol became less profitable, the surplus buffer would decrease, potentially halting the token buyback program and negatively impacting the price of MKR tokens.

Way Ahead

As one of the largest and oldest DeFi lending protocols, MakerDAO also issues the $4.6 billion DAI stablecoin. The protocol has increasingly invested DAI’s reserve assets in traditional investment products such as bank loans and government bonds to earn revenue from yields.

In addition to the token buyback scheme, MakerDAO is undergoing a major overhaul, including upgrading the DAI and MKR tokens and breaking up its structure into smaller, autonomous organizations called SubDAOs that could issue their tokens.

The introduction of the Smart Burn Engine and the ongoing changes within MakerDAO represents a significant evolution for the platform. As the buyback scheme continues to operate and the restructuring progresses, the impact on MKR’s price and MakerDAO’s overall market position will be closely watched by investors and market analysts alike.

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