What is Uniswap?

Den W. Den W. 04 December 2020
What is Uniswap?

Today, we’re going to look at Uniswap, the darling unicorn at the very center of the DeFi movement. And pay close attention because we’re also going to uncover the connection between Uniswap, socks, yes you heard right, the socks that go on your feet, and the unicorn emoji.

If you’ve been following DeFi, you have probably heard of, or been part of, Uniswap’s epic airdrop on September 17, 2020. What is Uniswap?Sending a wave of euphoria throughout the crypto world, Uniswap gave away 400 UNI tokens, amounting to a cool $1,200 at that time, to anyone who had interacted with the platform before September 2020. Uniswap managed to lock in more than $2 billion dollars, making it the largest player in DeFi when it comes to total value locked in, and this number is only growing.

So, what is Uniswap? Uniswap was created as a trustless, decentralized financial exchange or DEX, which allows anyone to take part in the financial transactions of Ethereum-based tokens, without a central body or middle man. It’s committed to giving users permissionless access to financial services with security and immutability, and without the fear of discrimination or counterparty risk. Staying true to the ideals of decentralization set out by Ethereum

Since it’s built on the Ethereum blockchain, using smart contracts, Uniswap replaces traditional centralized market tools like exchange listings and limit-order books with automated and permissionless liquidity pools executed purely by algorithms.

Liquidity pools? What’s that? On Uniswap, liquidity pools are pairs of ETH and ERC-20 tokens, which are swapped and exchanged by traders. Popular liquidity pools include ETH and WBTC, ETH and DAI, ETH and USDT, and ETH and USDC. Participants who add assets to these pools are known as liquidity providers or LPs, and earn a proportion of the transaction fees for their contribution.

Anyone can deposit their Ethereum tokens into a shared liquidity pool on Uniswap and start earning trading fees. There is also no minimum deposit to join the pool, so you can start with any amount, as long as it’s an exact 50% ratio between the two tokens. All you have to do is connect an Ethereum-based wallet such as MetaMask. Tokens can be swapped right from the wallet itself, and you get to maintain ownership over your private keys and tokens. 

Uniswap is now the largest decentralized exchange in the crypto space, and for many, the magic has just started. What about the UNI token? What does it do and how is it performing? Here are some UNI facts.

The UNI token was launched on September 17th 2020 as a governance token at $4. The very next day it hit $8.39. One billion UNI coins were minted at genesis, which will become even more accessible to community members, team members, investors and advisors over the next 4 years.

What does being a UNI holder entail? Since UNI is a governance token, UNI holders have the right to vote on how the protocol is run. For example, the latest governance vote conducted over Halloween of 2020, was to decide on an Airdrop of free UNI tokens to users who interacted with Uniswap over a third-party interface such as Argent, Dharma and MEW—but who were left out in the initial airdrop.

If it passed, it would have meant a UNI airdrop to an additional 12,619 addresses. Despite the majority having voted in favor of the proposal, it fell short since it only received 37 million votes, and 40 million are needed to form a quorum.

Are you a UNI holder? Will you buy, sell or HODL? Let us know what you think of UNI’s future in the comments below. Uniswap blazed into the DeFi scene by allowing any ERC-20 token to be listed on its exchange without going through the usual exchange listing process or paying listing fees. This has made Uniswap a popular way for new and experimental crypto projects to launch their tokens and attract funding, just like an ICO, fueling the growth of a new generation of tokens and liquidity pool providers. $SOCKS

Before we go, a final note about…socks. Did you know that before UNI there was the token $SOCKS? Before Uniswap’s epic airdrop, the team was already racking up points for its $SOCKS token. Socks holders are entitled to 1 real pair of limited-edition designed socks, shipped to anywhere in the world. While starting out at just $12, the price of $SOCKS (and the pair of socks) has rocketed to around $3,000, with only 35 pairs left out of the 500 minted.

Another fun fact. Did you know that the UNI token contract address starts with 1f984, which is the Unicode for the Unicorn emoji? Well, now you know. :) 

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