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Uniswap

Usability - end user

Automated market maker designed around ease of use, gas efficiency, and decentralization.

Grant Received:
$50,000 + 120 ETH for security audit in 2018

Status:

Deployed and in use

Latest update

Uniswap

Usability - end user

Automated market maker designed around ease of use, gas efficiency, and decentralization.

Grant Received:
$50,000 + 120 ETH for security audit in 2018

Key components:

  • Price discovery
  • Direct swaps between ERC-20s
  • Automated market making mechanism

Deliverables:

  • User interface
  • Documentation
  • Security audit

Needs addressed: Convenient, gas efficient decentralized exchange


Uniswap is the kind of scrappy success story that exemplifies the magic of Ethereum. Hayden Adams set out in 2017 to implement the x*y=k market maker mechanism, proposed by Vitalik Buterin and others, which creates an automated exchange between two tokens using on-chain liquidity reserves. The journey that followed was one of discovery, determination, questionable career choices and celebrity cameos; the resulting dapp is now a household name, at least in any household where an Ethereum fan resides.

By the time the Uniswap grant was awarded, a basic testnet was already up and running. The funds were used to bridge the last mile – auditing, documentation and building out a robust UI – while keeping the project fully open source and decentralized. Uniswap debuted on mainnet during Devcon4, in November 2018.

In addition to a slick market maker, Uniswap solved some tricky user experience dilemmas without sacrificing decentralization:

  • ERC20-to-ERC20 trades in a single atomic transaction: a factory and registry contract that deploys a separate exchange contract and ETH pair for every ERC20 token, so that ETH can be used as an intermediary token for exchange between any two ERC20s.
  • Gas efficiency: a simple price determination mechanism, carefully designed contract and no dedicated token means trades can be executed at low cost, roughly 20% more than a simple token transfer.
  • Users can connect any wallet they own via MetaMask, Coinbase, WalletConnect, Fortmatic or Portis – no need to wrap ETH or deposit tokens into a local wallet in order to trade.

With hundreds of tokens supported, over $50M in its liquidity pools, and about $2M traded every day, Uniswap has grown rapidly. It has been integrated into dozens of other projects and is considered a core piece of infrastructure for the growing DeFi movement.

In 2019, Uniswap grew to include an analytics site, a developer SDK, a graphQL API (subgraph), and made significant improvements to its open source frontend. It was also the basis of some playful-but-significant experimentation, including Unisocks, the first known example of tokenized, dynamically priced socks; and the Unipig game, developed in collaboration with Plasma Group to demonstrate the UX improvements made possible by Optimistic Rollup.

In the coming year, the Uniswap team plans on releasing Uniswap V2, a new version of the protocol which expands its utility.

Follow along: Github, Twitter, Discord, Reddit, Blog

Uniswap is a Gitcoin CLR recipient! Contribute at gitcoin.co/grants/48/uniswap