Prominent Historian Niall Ferguson to Advise Ampleforth Stablecoin

Colin Muller

Niall Ferguson, a notable right-wing historian who often focuses on economic history, has joined the advisory board of upcoming algorithmic stablecoin project Ampleforth, the Financial Times (FT) have reported.

Ferguson has held academic positions at New York University, Harvard University, the London School of Economics, and most recently at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

Ferguson, who was highly critical of the economic conditions that led to the catastrophic collapse of 2008-9, explained why he was drawn to the project:

I’m attracted by Ampleforth's mission to reinvent money in a way that protects individual freedom and to create a payments system that treats everyone equally.

Niall Ferguson

The FT inquired about details of possible compensation to Ferguson, who did not respond. Despite the FT’s report, Ferguson is not currently listed on Ampleforth’s team page, nor in its whitepaper.


In contrast with other algorithmic stablecoin projects such as MakerDAO, which maintains dollar parity by selectively buying or selling its own DAI tokens as required to maintain a value - effectively deflating or inflating the supply of DAI, respectively - Ampleforth inflates or deflates its token supply directly to holders.

By expanding to, and contracting from coin holders directly, the Ampleforth protocol avoids the devaluing effects of inflation observed in fiat currencies, while re-engaging the supply mechanism that allows fiat currencies to preserve near-term stability.

Ampleforth whitepaper

The team believe that this function will have the effect of either forcing token holders to react to inflation by selling tokens - essentially airdropped to them - before other holders do in anticipation of a price fall (price is too high); or by incentivizing traders to buy tokens during or in anticipation of delationary action - tokens are sucked out of users’ accounts - thus driving prices back up (price is too low).

aforthEmission.png(source: Ampleforth whitepaper)

What’s more, Ampleforth seem to have made a selling point out of their anticipation that their stablecoin will not actually be very stable in its early life. According to the whitepaper (emphasis added), Ampleforth “is a decentralized store of value protocol that is volatile in price and supply at launch,” having the effect of “evolving from a store of value, to a unit of account, to a medium of exchange over time.” In the team’s opinion, this “[fills] the gaps left by Bitcoin.”

Ampleforth presumbaly gets its name from the character in George Orwell's novel 1984


Featured Image Credit: Photo by Fronteiras do Pensamentovia via Flickr; licensed under "CC BY 2.0"