Is Maker Dao decentralized at all?

As a maker holder I can’t help but ask the question that why did maker decide to give their tokens to a few people in the early days?
Seems like there was no ICO and tokens were given to a few people, also there wasn’t any airdrop for the users. Right now MKR distribution is very concentrated and that won’t change ever because there are no more tokens to mint either. So how is this decision fair at all?
You should have had an ICO or at least an airdrop to have better distribution of power. This will at best become a protocol controlled by 30-40 people in the future, convince me otherwise.

I bought my MKR in 2018, as any user could (i.e., using what DeFi offered then, which for me was oasis.dex) and at the time there were 4k holders.

Today, there are 80k holders:

In other words, in the last 3 years, we had a 20x growth in MKR holders.

So it’s just not true that the “concentration” of the distribution will not change over time.


Your reply didn’t address any of my points. People could buy at 2018 yes, but do their votes actually have an impact on the protocol direction? No because most of the supply is still held by initial private investors.
Maker claim is they didn’t do an ICO because they wanted long term believers not short term profit seeking people, but you can see examples like synthetics and aave which did an ICO and turned out fine. Or yearn finance with no pre-mine at all, which resembles bitcoin and I like it a lot.

So what is your actual question, if you already have, as it seems, a clear answer in your mind?

In any case, note that what you call “initial private investors” are actually largely the people who built MakerDAO. They did work, and it is just fair and normal that they have a large share of MKR.

As a normal user and small MKR holder, who has been following this project for the last 3 years, I can tell you that your voice will be heard here, even if you have 0 MKR, as long as you discuss politely in the forum and have something meaningful to say.


Fact check time. The top 100 holders of SNX and Aave hold over 88% of all tokens. For Maker, it’s 82.2% and for Yearn, it’s just under 82%. It’s not that different in the end and if anything, Maker is better than SNX and Aave and only marginally worse than Yearn by this metric.

The claim that people who don’t hold MKR don’t get a say pretty easy to disprove. The largest delegate in the protocol is @PaperImperium who holds less than 5 MKR. Let me also say something about me. I’ve started to get involved with Maker over the last six months and the only thing that stops me from contributing more to the protocol’s direction is my lack of time, not my lack of MKR.


I just wanted to open a discussion about this, and hear the reasons maker didn’t have any sort of liquidity mining/ico for example while most protocols had them. But anyway, my final conclusion is that my assumption about mkr concentration reflecting decentralization was wrong!
Still, my belief is that if maker dao decides to do liquidity mining it will attract a lot of capital.

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“Do an ICO, they said, it will bring in lots of money, they said.”

  • Kik Foundation; Telegram; EOS; and too many others to mention.


This is an interesting observation Sasa–Liquidity Mining can also get tokens in the hands of Whales–but it can also diversify the number of token owners. It can also inspire folks to participate in Governance, or to delegate to Delegates while earning rewards.

Another interesting Liquidity Mining incentive that I have yet to see in Crypto is LM for Core Contributors, like Core Unit members and Community folks like you. We do have SourceCred which can be considered a Liquidity Mining tool. I suggest you join it and mine some DAI :slight_smile: :point_up_2:


Source-cred seems like a very interesting idea! Thanks @ElProgreso!

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