In collaboration with MakerDAO, POA Network has launched an Ethereum proof-of-authority sidechain based on the Dai stablecoin. xDai Chain is, according to the POA team, "the first ever blockchain where the native currency of the chain is USD-stable."
The crew said that the sidechain supports Ethereum tools like mobile and hardware wallets, block explorers, and EDCC (aka smart contract) libraries. The team went on to note that having Dai as the network's coin "open[s] unlimited new possibilities for many use cases" like micropayments and insurance.
Even though the sidechain relies on Dai, the coin is represented by XDAI on the network, as Dai itself is part of the Ethereum mainnet. However, POA offers a service called TokenBridge, which converts Ethereum-based Dai to XDAI on the xDai Chain.
POA sees its sidechain as a network with all the benefits of Ethereum-based blockchains but without "the concerning USD-volatility component." Apparently, some developers have been concerned with "the inability to have a USD fixed value for" Dapp payments. Because Dapp users must make fluctuating Ether or ERC20 payments, POA maintains that what often results is a subpar user experience.
Igor Barinov, POA's tech lead, expressed his enthusiasm for the new chain's potential:
"xDai Chain provides an exciting and new platform for the community and DApp developers. The premise of a stable coin based blockchain opens up endless possibilities for developers and applications."
CEO and co-founder of MakerDAO, Rune Christensen, agrees that the sidechain has potential. "xDai Chain creates an awesome opportunity for developers to launch DApps with Dai as the medium of exchange," he said.
Correction (10/19/2018): We added clarifying details that the native currency of xDai Chain is XDAI, not Dai.