MahaDAO’s Algorithmic ‘Valuecoin’ Goes Live on Ethereum

An India-based startup is coming for decentralized finance (DeFi) stalwart MakerDAO’s crown with the launch of its new “valuecoin.”

MahaDAO’s ARTH algorithmic stablecoin is now live on the Ethereum mainnet, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk. ARTH will also go live on the Matic network at an undisclosed point in the future, the team said.

The MahaDAO team defines the new token as a “valuecoin” for its ability to “maintain its purchasing power over time.” That’s compared to other stablecoins – like MakerDAO’s collateral-backed dai token – which are meant to mirror the dollar in terms of price value even if the greenback goes off a cliff.

“Elastic supply stablecoins are one of the most exciting and innovative verticals within DeFi right now,” MahaDAO co-founder Steven Enamakel said in a statement. “Having closely examined existing algorithmic stablecoins, and learned from their successes and shortcomings, we’ve engineered ARTH to ensure that it will be much more stable, making it suitable for a range of DeFi applications from lending to staking as well as real-world, non-crypto use cases.”

The majority of the $30 billion stablecoin market consists of collateral-backed tokens, such as tether or USDC.

Regardless, a host of algorithmic tokens have recently come back into vogue such as basis cash (BAC) or empty set dollar (ESD). These tokens, like ARTH, try to retain a peg to the dollar through a complex system of bonds that can be redeemed or bought when the peg is thrown off.

Read more: ‘Basis Cash’ Launch Brings Defunct Stablecoin Into the DeFi Era

“Users who elect to purchase ARTH bonds will exert a direct effect on the Uniswap price of the ARTH-DAI pool instead of just reducing the supply of ARTH. This will exert a stronger effect on the ARTH-DAI price, resulting in greater price stability for ARTH,” the MahaDAO release states.

This system hasn’t really panned out for BAC or ESD, as data provider CoinGecko notes both tokens are far below their intended pegs, currently at $0.86 and $0.58, respectively. 

Enamakel told CoinDesk through a spokesperson that ARTH’s algorithm has greater resistance than other algorithmic tokens because of the token’s underlying components – including price dynamics tied to a basket of goods, bond purchases on Uniswap and stability fees to “dampen bond redemptions.”

Distribution of ARTH will begin Jan. 16 by placing assets into MahaDAO pools. MahaDAO also completed an Initial DEX Offering (IDO) on the Polkastarter platform in December.