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"

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency by Year End; Grayscale Ethereum Trust Goes Retail; Coinbase Adds DAI

There’s been a flurry of major crypto news to end the week. Among the developments: Facebook expects to start testing its GlobalCoin cryptocurrency by year-end, before launching in 1Q20; Grayscale announced it's received approval for the public quotation of eligible shares of its Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE); and Coinbase unveiled full support for the heartbeat of the open finance movement: Dai (DAI).

The crypto markets are enjoying a considerable bounce over the past 24 hours. At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $7,904.7 and $250.3; a rise of 4.4% and 6.9%, respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 3,843.3 (+2.2%).Bitcoin Ethereum CryptoCompare

GlobalCoin: Facebook to Begin Cryptocurrency Roll-Out by Year End

More details of Facebook’s cryptocurrency-based payments network have emerged, courtesy of the BBC, which reported the social media giant is striving to commence testing of its cryptocurrency – internally dubbed GlobalCoin – by the year’s end, before launching in “a dozen countries” by March 31, 2020.

Facebook expects to outline further details “this summer,” the BBC wrote, before highlighting that Bank of England governor Mark Carney was, in April, briefed by Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Officials from the U.S. Treasury have been approached by Facebook, also, with respect to potential “operational and regulatory issues.” Moreover, Facebook is reportedly “in talks with money transfer firms including Western Union as it looks for cheaper and faster ways for people without a bank account to send and receive money.”

Grayscale Ethereum Trust Gets Retail Greenlight

Grayscale Investments – a New York-based firm with almost $2 billion in assets under management – announced they secured approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to list eligible shares of its Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE).

In the press statement, Grayscale pointed out that “there will be no trading volume in the Share’s public quotation” until the Depository Trust Company (DTC) permits it. Grayscale – which is a Digital Currency Group (DCG) subsidiary – added “ETHE is expected to receive [the DTC’s approval] soon.”

ETHE marks Grayscale’s third publicly quoted investment product. It follows Grayscale Bitcoin Trust™ (OTCQX:GBTC) and Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust™ (OTCQX:ETCG).

DeFi Delight: Coinbase Adds Full DAI Support

Coinbase announced Dai (DAI) is now available to buy and trade for users. DAI is a stablecoin native to MakerDAO (MKR) that is designed to offer a value-stable asset that does not suffer from the generally high level of volatility seen across the cryptocurrency market.

The move surprised many pundits within the Ethereum and decentralized finance (DeFi) space, as Coinbase already co-manages USD Coin (USDC), a rival stablecoin developed by the CENTRE Consortium last year.

Coinbase, a leading U.S.-headquartered crypto exchange, already listed DAI last December. However, it was only made accessible on Coinbase Pro, a Coinbase-owned exchange targetted at institutional and professional traders.