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A Conversation with MakerDAO’s “Head of Oracles” - Mariano Conti

A Conversation with MakerDAO’s “Head of Oracles” - Mariano Conti

Launched a little over 12 months ago, MakerDAO has come to be recognized as one of, if not the most successful dapps on Ethereum. Built around a sophisticated programmatic governance system which produces a stablecoin called DAI, MakerDAO’s DAI has maintained a value pegged to $1 USD within some margin for over a year despite massive price drops in ETH.

To date, MakerDAO’s more than 5,000 Collateralized Debt Positions (CDP’s) have collectively held up to 1.6 million ETH. Users have been able to create numerous creative models of business using the platform, from leveraged borrowing, to creating businesses which are able to accept cryptocurrency in a viable manner for the first time thanks to the stability of DAI’s peg.

An essential part of MakerDAO’s CDP system working properly is to make sure it uses oracles in a resilient way so that price feeds are accurate to a certain degree all the time. This is no easy feat. We’re fortunate enough to have one of the people behind the technical success of MakerDAO, Mariano Conti, answer some questions we have about how he approached “the oracle problem.”

Mariano, first off, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. In terms of obvious examples of working data oracles and how they affect real life use-cases related to cryptocurrency and blockchain, it’s hard to think of any better examples than MakerDAO. To get started, can you tell me a bit about yourself, your background and what brought you to cryptocurrency and blockchain development specifically?

I was born in Buenos Aires, raised in Mexico City. Studied Engineering there, then had a mini midlife crisis at 30 and returned to Buenos Aires. There I discovered Bitcoin as a way to protect against a weak Peso and the inability to buy US dollars. The company I worked for paid a part of my salary in BTC. Then we discovered Ethereum and immediately wanted to get involved in whatever ...

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