The MakerDAO Auction Is Happening, Here’s What to Expect

The MakerDAO (MKR) community has locked in an auction to cover a multi-million dollar hole in DAI collateral after the sudden Ethereum (ETH) price crash on March 12. Scheduled for 10:28 AM EST on March 19, the system will auction newly minted MKR in exchange for DAI.

The proceeds from the sale will be used to recapitalize the system and compensate the losses suffered by the borrowers who saw their Ethereum collateral auctioned off for zero DAI. As the stablecoin powers many decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, the stability of Maker is paramount for the entire ecosystem.

What happened to Maker?

The emergency procedure became necessary following a combination of events that left some of the DAI undercollateralized. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the high Ethereum gas fees, combined with the rapid price decline, wreaked havoc on MakerDAO’s systems.

Maker’s Ether price feed oracle failed to update appropriately, and showed a higher price than the true market rate. A blog post by Maker Foundation further revealed that this delay helped some users escape liquidation by pouring in more ETH to the debt position.

Analysis by the research organization, White Rabbit, found that the combination of wrong oracle feeds and high network congestion allowed four separate wallet addresses to place zero DAI bids for over 62,890 ETH (~$7.1 million).

The bids were apparently made possible by what the analysts, and some community members, believe to be improperly configured “Keeper” software that is responsible for the auctions. The “lucky” bidders had seemingly modified their implementation to not “choke when gas prices skyrocket,” while their competitors with default implementations were left stranded by the Ethereum network. Other members went as far as speculating that the attack was premeditated.

The loss led to active discussion in the MakerDAO governance forums on whether the borrowers needed to be compensated for the unfair liquidation.


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