The new portal https://cdp.makerdao.com/ is used to create and manage Collateral Debt Positions (CDPs).
Basically you lock in some ETH to receive a loan in the crypto-backed stablecoin DAI, which maintains a peg to be "always" worth 1 US dollar.
The CDP must at minimum be over-collateralized with 150% of the loan taken out. The cost is 2,5 % APR for a stability fee and a liquidation penalty of 13% if it comes to that.
This is turning the classical loan process upside down, at least if you are part of the cryptosphere. Because basically instead of converting fiat money (hopefully not a loan...) into crypto, you actually can get fiat out of crypto.
It works without selling your crypto asset (currenently only ETH supported) - rather you use it as collateral for a loan in DAI. This stablecoin is always pegged (if you believe in the viability) to be worth 1 US dollar and can be exchanged into such easily.
What is fascinating though is the fact, that creating these CDP loans actually IS the creation of the stablecoin. And that you are giving the loan to yourself...
Why I like it
For everybody new to the concept of CDPs, the slider on the portal home will explain the basic workings (with risks and costs) in 5 simple steps.
The portal itself is a HUGE step forward as it makes handling the process super easy (I do not know any better crypto interface for a process of this complexity). You can see for yourself in the image gallery below (and compare to the old portal https://dai.makerdao.com/).
But not only do I like the UI/UX perspective, I believe this is a major milestone in adoption, as it builds a bridge between the traditional fiat world (we all still need to pay our bills in that world...) and the cryptosphere. When we earn crypto we can now actually use it to make a living, and keep the volatility in check as well.
While some use this method to create leverage for crypto trading, you really need to know what you are doing! It is just as dangerous as taking a fiat loan to buy crypto. Beware of the margin calls...
And this is probably the most needed feature to be added soon: get an alert if and when the collateral price approches the liquidation price.