Uniswap is a decentralized exchange protocol (DEX) that has taken an enormous role in the crypto world due to its particular operating system. A fact that has led him to constant growth and to become the largest DEX in the crypto world.

Unot of decentralized exchange protocols (DEX) most famous that operate in the blockchain de Ethereum it is currently Uniswap. But, Uniswap is much more than a DEX, in fact this protocol provides many other additional functions for users of DeFi on Ethereum. It even recently launched its governance token called UNI with which it seeks to boost growth and interest in the platform. That is why Uniswap has become one of the most used platforms in this ecosystem today.

In this chapter you will learn about Uniswap, its operation and characteristics in detail. So you will know everything this great protocol of the world has to offer you DeFi.

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Uniswap, the origin

Uniswap was born as a project designed to offer two functions: first, to serve as DEX within the Ethereum ecosystem. And secondly, to serve as an automated liquidity protocol (automated market maker or AMM).

The fact that Uniswap relies on Ethereum and its smarts contacts to achieve this guarantees that no type of centralization is required for its operation. It also integrates with the large number of tokens ERC-20 that exist.

In short, Uniswap is a completely autonomous system that follows only one thing: its own programming, which is transparent and immutable.

The beginnings of the project are quite unique because it all started with a series of posts created by Vitalik Buterin in 2017. The first of them it was on reddit, where Buterin envisioned the ability to create DEX on Ethereum. In fact, this first post was the trigger for several projects of this type. Later in March 2018, Buterin again flaunted his knowledge in another post aimed at decentralized market makers. In this point, Hayden Adams published your idea, showing what your first contract for Uniswap.

Since then, Uniswap has been a project in constant evolution and development, which has led it to become one of the largest DeFi systems on Ethereum today.

Uniswap user interface

How does Uniswap work?

The operation of Uniswap focuses on two points: first, provide a decentralized medium of exchange (DEX) to its users, And in second place, provide a means to create an automated liquidity protocol (AMM).

In the first case, Uniswap works just like the exchanges we are used to using. That is, we request a change from one currency to another, and this change is made by the platform, in this case in a completely decentralized way. The positive thing about Uniswap at this point is that the control of the funds is always in the hands of the user (similar to the 0x protocol), and the second thing is that due to the large user base and liquidity providers (LP) of the platform, there is always a quick response for exchanges.

However, in this second aspect there is an important change with respect to other AMM platforms, and that is that Uniswap works under a design called Constant Product Market Maker (CPMM). What this operating model does is create liquidity reserves (or liquidity pools) with which traders can quickly negotiate.

Yes, we are talking about the liquidity pools that are maintained by users who want to take this role, who are encouraged to invest in these pools in order to obtain commissions for their participation in them. This point is what has made Uniswap an interesting platform for users, since the injection of liquidity means more profits, and giving rise to a very fashionable phenomenon currently, the liquidity mining or liquidity mining.

Creating markets and profits

The objective of this operation is clear: to create large pools of cryptocurrencies ready to be exchanged, and as a result, generate profits for the liquidity providers and the platform as such. In addition, these pools are configured in such a way that liquidity providers have to deposit two tokens in them. Typically, these tokens are ETH or some ERC-20 token supported by the platform, including stablecoins. The idea behind this is to create a balanced liquidity system that allows the creation of exchange options that interest liquidity providers and users of the platform.

For example, if liquidity providers create a DAI / ETH pool, they must enter value in ETH and DAI. Once the pool is created, it will appear listed in Uniswap and users will be able to request exchanges in it.

For example: if Maria wants to exchange her 100 DAIs for ETH, all she will have to do is go to the DAI / ETH pool, make an exchange request and wait for it to be processed. The result is that the DAI / ETH pool will take Maria's 100 DAI and send her $ 100 in ETH. In the end, this change will be reflected in the liquidity of the ETH / DAI pool, since it has gained 100 DAI and lost $ 100 in ETH. However, María will receive the total minus the service commission, which remains in Uniswap and is distributed among the liquidity generators.

Price control system and pool creation

However, in Uniswap it is important to consider some situations. First of all, any token can be listed in Uniswap. To do this, all you need is to create an exchange pair together with its respective pool and add liquidity. So for example, we may be able to create our $ MONEY token (this is a fictitious token) and list it in Uniswap by creating a $ MONEY / ETH pool. At this point, what we must do is add liquidity, which in this case could be $ 20 in the $ MONEY token and $ 20 in ETH. With this we will have created a pool ready to operate in Uniswap.

Who determines the exchange price?

The purchase and sale price is determined by the software, the smart contract itself determines it. To do this, use this constant equation:

x * y = k.

Here the x and y refer to the number of ETH and ERC-20 tokens within the pool, and k is a constant value. This equation uses the balance between ETH and ERC-20 tokens, and supply and demand, to determine the price of a particular token.

Every time someone buys $ MONEY with ETH, the supply of $ MONEY decreases while the supply of ETH increases, which in the end results in an increase in the price of $ MONEY.

As a result, the price of tokens on Uniswap can only change if exchanges are made. Basically what Uniswap is doing is balancing the value of the tokens and exchanging them based on how many people want to buy and sell them.

Additionally, this also helps no pool run out of liquidity at some point. The reason is that this price balance always seeks to offer the best exchange price in the pools, allowing all of them to have participation levels within the exchange according to the interest shown by users and providers in their use.

Generating pool tokens

Another important point in the operation of Uniswap is the generation of the token pools. First of all, you should bear in mind that whenever new tokens are injected into a Uniswap liquidity pool, the liquidity provider (LP) receives a “pool token”, which is also, in turn, an ERC-20 token .

This means that the token pools are created every time funds are deposited into the liquidity pool and, as ERC-20 tokens, the token pools can be freely exchanged, moved and used in other DApps. When the funds are recovered, the pool tokens are burned or destroyed.

What profit does Uniswap distribute in exchange for the Pool tokens?

Each pool token received represents the user's share of the group's total assets and the share of the 0,3% trading commission of the group or liquidity pool in which it participates. Simply put, the pool token is the means by which LPs receive their rewards within Uniswap.

When a user wishes to withdraw their benefits, they must transfer their pool tokens to the pool's smart contract, receiving their share of the 0.3% of commissions that the pool has collected.

How much do you know, cryptonuta?

Does the UNI token aim to transform Uniswap into a larger platform?

TRUE!

The birth of the UNI token is certainly a strategy to attract more liquidity providers by allowing them a tool with which to improve their liquidity mining and yield farming operations on the platform. The result? Uniswap has appreciated strongly since the launch of the token and the exchange and liquidity activity has increased steadily.

Uniswap V2, improving the protocol and looking to the future

Although Uniswap is a great protocol, it was born with a particularity: the need to use wETH (Wrapped ETH) for its operations, as with the protocol 0x. wETH acts as a bridge to use Uniswap, however, its use makes the use of the system more complex and made it more expensive.

However, this problem was fixed with the release of Uniswap V2, the second version of the protocol. Uniswap V2 allows direct exchanges of ETH to ERC-20, removing Wrapped Ether (WETH) from the equation whenever possible. Thanks to this and the increase in interest in DeFi, the arrival of yield farming and liquidity mining, Uniswap was gaining more and more traction in the ecosystem.

In fact, Uniswap V2 recently had its most relevant update of 2020: creating your UNI token.

With this own token, Uniswap enables its users the ability to earn tokens by injecting liquidity into the protocol, enabling a liquidity mining system more in line with current trends in other protocols such as Compound o Balancer who have made movements of the same type.

In addition, this token will serve to collaborate in the governance of the protocol, being able to vote in the decision-making of the protocol. However, the token is very recent and this is yet to be demonstrated.

Uniswap showing its protocol information

The UNI token, a token for Uniswap's decentralized governance

The launch of the UNI token was carried out on September 16, 2020, and it was distributed through an airdrop following these parameters:

Creation of 1.000 million UNI in its genesis issue, which will be available in the course of 4 years. The initial allocation during these four years is as follows:

  • 60,00% for members of the Uniswap community (600.000.000 UNI)
  • 21,51% for team members and future employees with award of 4 years (215,101,000 UNI)
  • 17,80% for investors entitled to 4 years (178.000.000 UNI)
  • .069% for consultants with vested rights over 4 years (6,899,000 UNI)
  • A perpetual inflation rate of 2% per annum will commence after 4 years, ensuring continued participation and contribution to Uniswap at the expense of UNI's passive holders.

Additionally, anyone who has used Uniswap prior to the launch of their UNI token can claim 400 UNI tokens. This in fact meant that many people were able to claim up to $ 1000 USD in tokens on their first day, leading to a high degree of use of the platform.

Reaching the giants and pushing Ethereum to the limit

Another important point of Uniswap is that with the launch of its V2, it has been able to break some records within the crypto world. First of all, it has become one of the most widely used decentralized exchanges. But that does not end there, on September 1, 2020, Uniswap would exceed one trillion dollars in volume traded within the platform. At this point, Uniswap would have an even greater volume than the centralized exchange Coinbase, making the potential of this platform very clear.

The trading pace within Uniswap was maintained for 5 consecutive days, exceeding an average of $ 600 million. This, however, led to new levels of saturation in the Ethereum network, having a wide impact on the transactions of the rest of the applications that make use of this blockchain.

Pros and cons of Uniswap

Pros

  1. It is a completely decentralized system.
  2. Access to the protocol can be done using any web3 wallet (MetaMask) and create custom applications on them.
  3. Possibility of creating an exchange for any ERC-20 token.
  4. It is a non-profit project and completely open-source.
  5. Trading within the platform is inexpensive.
  6. Liquidity pools offer good profit levels for their providers.

Cons

  1. The gas usage of the platform is high. Given Ethereum's current scalability problems, fees for the system and its operations on the blockchain turn out to be quite expensive.
  2. Uniswap is highly experimental like almost all current DeFi technology. Because of this you must be aware that anything can go wrong, very wrong with the risk of losing your money if you do not know what you are doing.
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Links of interest

Official Website

Uniswap - UNI

Informative Web

Uniswap - UNI

Official Twitter

Uniswap - UNI

Official GitHub

Uniswap - UNI

Official GitHub

Go to the Uniswap github

Official Forum

Uniswap - UNI

Official Forum

Go to the official forum

Reddit thread

Uniswap - UNI