Uniswap – The Unicorn’s Incredible Rise

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  • Uniswap has become the de facto DeFi gem hunting exchange
  • The project is not just a flash in the plan – it has been more than three years in the making
  • Uniswap has become known as the Etherdelta of DeFi

Uniswap has come from nowhere to be the most talked about exchange in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, finding itself as the de facto DeFi exchange. But where did this exchange come from, and why has it become a magnet for all DeFi gem hunters?

Born in a Bear Market

Despite being a very recent phenomenon, the idea for Uniswap was actually formulated in mid-2017 by Brooklyn resident Hayden Adams. Adams and his “small team” began working on the platform which they envisioned as being “a protocol for automated exchange of ERC20 tokens”.

What immediately marked Uniswap out from the crowd was the minimalist design. Instead of the usual charts, candles, and orderbooks, Uniswap presented a simple interface where users swapped their ETH for whichever token they wanted to buy at the current price…and that was it. No stop losses, no margin, no lending – just swap ETH for your desired token at the market price.

A Twitter account appeared in April 2018, a Twitter account that in November of that year announced that Uniswap was live and ready to revolutionize the crypto ecosystem:

Unfortunately, just 10 days after the launch the entire cryptocurrency market crashed some 50%, ushering in a bear market that saw multiple exchanges capitulate and close down. Uniswap survived however, thanks to its minimalistic approach, and began to attract users.

2019 Sees Huge Growth

Uniswap grew fairly quickly, breaching $1 million in locked value within three months of launch. Its unique design began to divide the crypto community, with some reporting slippage, failed trades, and other problems. These issues didn’t seem to dissuade users however, who began flocking to the exchange due to their ability to trade tokens immediately upon their addition to the Ethereum network instead of having to wait for exchanges to manually list them. 

This soon resulted in three and four-figure gains being made by early birds, leading to the locked value on the exchange rising to $12.7 million by the time its first anniversary came round. The exchange was quickly being seen as the Etherdelta of 2020, a nod to the smart contract-operated ERC20 exchange that was often the landing point for ICOs in the 2017 bull run.

The Home of DeFi

If 2019 was a good year, 2020 has been nothing short of sensational. The total locked value on the exchange began the year at $12 million and has ballooned to $156 million, with those who know how to maximize the exchange’s quirks able to make fortunes:


Source: DeFi Pulse

The number of users has also rocketed along with the amount being traded, with Uniswap adding 57,976 new users in July compared to 24,963 in June. It’s no wonder that it’s now almost impossible to navigate crypto Twitter these days without swathes of DeFi coins on Uniswap being touted as the next 1,000xer, usually by those who got in at seed level.

Uniswap has firmly rooted itself in crypto folklore as the place to pick up bleeding edge DeFi coins, with bleeding being the operative word – for every winner there are more losers, with portfolios bleeding as newcomers chase pumps and are left bagholding at the top of four-figure increases.

Uniswap Has Cemented Itself in Crypto Folklore

Issues of slippage and failed trades are still present on the platform, with the cost of the ETH needed to execute transactions also making trading on it a more risky proposition than ever. However, that hasn’t stopped those with a gambling mentality from throwing caution (and ETH) to the wind in the hope of landing huge profits.

August alone has seen over 27,000 new users using the platform, suggesting that Uniswap and the DeFi madness could be about to peak. Whether this is indeed the peak of the craze or if it is just getting started, Uniswap has already cemented its place in crypto folklore, just like any decent unicorn should.