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How to buy, sell and trade Dai (DAI)

Your guide to MakerDAO’s Dai stablecoin and how to buy Dai on an exchange

A stablecoin pegged to the price of the US dollar, MakerDAO’s Dai can be bought and sold on a decent range of crypto exchanges.

It is possible to buy Dai directly with US dollars, or with another digital currency. Keep reading to find out how.

Learn more Buy DAI

Disclaimer: This information is not financial advice or an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and high risk. Do your own research and seek financial advice before buying. Please check with providers if their services are available in your state.

Quick guide: How to buy Dai

  1. Buy ETH.
  2. Register for an account with an exchange like Bibox.
  3. Enable two-factor authentication.
  4. Select “Funds” and click on “Master account.”
  5. Select “Ethereum” and click “Deposit.”
  6. Copy the wallet address and use it to transfer ETH into your account.
  7. Click “Token Trading” at top left of the screen.
  8. Search for “ETH/DAI.”
  9. Select a limit order.
  10. Enter the amount of Dai you want to buy and the amount of ETH you want to spend.
  11. Review transaction details.
  12. Click “Sell.”

This is our quick guide to just one way to buy Dai. Compare some other options in the table below.

Where to buy Dai in US

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies
Gate.io Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, GBP, HKD, SGD, AUD, CHF, MXN

267
cryptocurrencies

Finder exclusive: New users get $90 worth of Gate.IO points and an airdrop of $5 in random tokens if trade volume exceeds $100 in their first week. T&Cs apply.
A feature-rich exchange with over 700 tokens including derivatives, yield farming and lending products.
Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Credit card, Debit card, PayPal, Bank transfer (SEPA)
USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK, DKK, CLP, BGN & 10+ more

63
cryptocurrencies

Buy and sell major cryptocurrencies on one of the world's most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges.
Crypto.com App
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, PayPal, TransferWise, SEPA
USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, JPY, ZAR & 9+ more

125
cryptocurrencies

Get 0% fees on credit/debit card purchases for 30 days after signup.
Buy 80+ cryptocurrencies, earn up to 8% on holdings, pay with your crypto for cashback at stores, get loans and more with this complete crypto-finance platform.
Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, SGD, HKD

41
cryptocurrencies

Trade bitcoin, Ethereum and more at a US-based exchange where payments can be made in USD.
FTX.US Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Cryptocurrency, Wire transfer
USD, AUD, EUR, CAD, GBP, SGD

19
cryptocurrencies

Enjoy the local version of the FTX exchange which offers a range of leading cryptocurrencies, up to 10x leverage, access to global liquidity and benefits for FTT token holders.
Binance.US Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Wire transfer
USD

49
cryptocurrencies

Get a US$15 bonus when you trade US$100 or more of any supported crypto. T&Cs apply.
Trade with USD on Binance.US, the American dollar onramp of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Non-US residents can read our review of Binance's main exchange here.
Huobi Cryptocurrency Exchange
AdvCash, Cryptocurrency, SWIFT, Wire transfer
GBP, USD, AUD, EUR, INR, BRL, KHR, CAD,CNY, NZD & 15+ more

219
cryptocurrencies

Huobi is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.
Coinbase Pro
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, PayPal, Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP

69
cryptocurrencies

Formerly known as GDAX, Coinbase Pro is a US-based exchange which offers fiat currency payment options, including wire transfer, ACH bank transfer and SEPA.
Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA, Faster Payments (FPS)
USD, EUR, GBP

25
cryptocurrencies

A global cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates crypto to fiat transactions, where you can use EUR or USD to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Dai vs. DAI vs. MakerDAO: What’s in a name?

Having trouble wrapping your head around the terminology behind the Dai stablecoin? This should help.

Maker is a smart contracts platform governed by MakerDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) run on the Ethereum blockchain.

The Maker platform has two native currencies, one of which is a stablecoin named Dai. Dai is listed on cryptocurrency exchanges under the ticker symbol DAI, which is why you might sometimes see it written using all capital letters.

A step-by-step guide to buying Dai

You can either buy Dai directly with US dollars or you can first acquire a digital currency listed in a trading pair with Dai, such as bitcoin or Ether, and then exchange it for Dai.

Dai can be traded on a variety of crypto exchanges, so compare the features and fees of those exchanges so you can choose a platform that’s right for you. Here’s an example of how to use Ethereum to buy Dai on the Bibox crypto exchange.

How to sell Dai

If you want to sell your Dai tokens, the process you’ll need to follow is quite similar to that outlined in step 4. However, please be aware that Dai is only listed in trading pairs alongside a limited range of currencies, so you may not be able to make a direct exchange for the coin or token you want.


Which wallets can I use to hold Dai?

While you can store your Dai tokens on an exchange if you prefer, the risk of hacking and theft means it’s generally considered a safer option to transfer your tokens to a secure wallet.

Dai is an ERC20 token on the Ethereum network, so there are plenty of wallets to choose from. Some of the popular ERC20-compatible wallets you may like to consider include:

Learn more about storing your cryptocurrency in our ultimate wallets guide.


How MakerDAO and how Dai work

One of the key barriers to the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies is their volatility. Bitcoin, Ether and other major digital currencies have all been known to experience substantial price fluctuations, sometimes rising or falling as much as 25% in the space of a single day. If cryptocurrencies are to offer a viable alternative to fiat currency for everyday use, many believe we’ll need the introduction of a price-stable cryptocurrency widely known as a stablecoin.

Find out more about stablecoins and how they work.

MakerDAO is the company behind Maker, a smart contracts platform designed to back and stabilize the value of the Dai stablecoin. The Maker platform has two currencies:

  • Makercoin (MKR). This utility token has a fluctuating price and is used to govern the Maker platform.
  • Dai (DAI). Dai is a stablecoin that protects against market instability and can be used for payments, savings and more.

Dai is a collateral-backed cryptocurrency designed to have a stable value relative to the US dollar. Anyone who has Ethereum assets can leverage them to generate Dai on the Maker platform through smart contracts known as Collateralized Debt Positions, or CDPs.

As explained in the whitepaper:

CDPs hold collateral assets deposited by a user and permit this user to generate Dai, but generating also accrues debt. This debt effectively locks the deposited collateral assets inside the CDP until it is later covered by paying back an equivalent amount of Dai, at which point the owner can again withdraw their collateral. Active CDPs are always collateralized in excess, meaning that the value of the collateral is higher than the value of the debt.

Real-world use cases for Dai

Why are stablecoins so important? Apart from providing much-needed legitimacy to digital currencies as a whole, Dai has a number of use cases for both individuals and businesses.

For individuals

  • Hedging. When the crypto market is experiencing high levels of volatility, holders can shift their funds into Dai so they can store their value without having to cash out for fiat currency.
  • Payments. Dai can be used to buy goods and services from merchants that accept crypto payments.
  • Prediction markets. Long-term betting requires the use of a currency that can provide long-term price stability.

For businesses

  • Lending. The price fluctuations of most cryptocurrencies make them unsuitable for loans, as market movements can have a dramatic effect on the value of loan collateral and amounts. Dai’s low volatility could offer stable, predictable loans.
  • Instant global transfers. Dai can also offer fast and price-stable transfers to reduce the cost of international trade and payments.

Before you buy Dai: Things to consider

Cryptocurrencies are complicated and volatile assets, so you’ll need to thoroughly research any coin before deciding whether to make a purchase. There are many competing factors that can potentially drive a currency’s value up or down, so if you’re thinking of buying any Dai, consider the following factors first:

  • Collateralization. The value of Dai is dependent on the value of the underlying collateral in MakerDAO. If you’re looking for certain characteristics in a stablecoin, it’s also important to be aware of the overarching characteristics of MakerDAO’s underlying collateral pool. For example, someone who wants a completely decentralized stablecoin might be wary of the proportion of centralized stablecoins backing MakerDAO CDPs.
  • The nature of stablecoins. If you’re searching for a currency that could potentially experience a sharp rise in value, a stablecoin obviously won’t be the right choice. Dai is pegged to the value of US$1 and is designed to offer price stability and protection against crypto market fluctuations.
  • Whitepaper. To find out more about how the Maker platform and the Dai currency work, take a closer look at the project’s detailed white paper.
  • Investment. In September 2018, Andreessen Horowitz’s dedicated crypto investment fund bought a 6% stake in the MakerDAO project for $15 million. This investment is designed to help Dai through its next growth stage.
  • Competitors. The stablecoin space is becoming increasingly competitive, with a host of other projects (including Tether, DigixDAO and Basis) all offering their own price-stable cryptocurrencies. Do your research to find out how Dai stacks up against these competitors.

Consider all these factors and any other potential risks before deciding whether you should buy any DAI.

Buy DAI

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ADA, ICX, IOTA, POWR and XLM.

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