Understand the future value of UNI from Uniswap’s operation method, history and market position


  • Uniswap launched the highly anticipated governance token UNI on Wednesday.
  • The Block studied the distribution of tokens to analyze Uniswap’s position in the field of decentralized exchanges.

After months of anticipation, Uniswap finally launched its token, whose purpose is to achieve shared community ownership by implementing an on-chain governance system. The governance system will promote the development and use of the agreement, as well as the development of the broader Uniswap ecosystem.

Why Uniswap is important

Uniswap is the leading decentralized exchange protocol on Ethereum, and it is also one of the few DeFi projects that find a clear product and market fit. It is committed to creating “an environment where anyone in the world can access financial services without worrying about discrimination or counterparty risk.”

In recent weeks, Uniswap’s daily trading volume has begun to rival that of centralized exchanges, which shows that there is considerable demand for license-free financial services. Last week, Uniswap generated US$3.02 billion in trading volume, of which approximately US$9 million was given to liquidity providers (LP).

In contrast, Coinbase, one of the largest centralized exchanges, had a trading volume of only US$2.51 billion in the same time period.

Since its inception, more than 250,000 different addresses have interacted with the agreement. Nearly 50,000 different addresses acted as LPs and made $56 million in the process.

How Uniswap works

In its current version, Uniswap v2 allows anyone with access to the Internet, Ethereum wallet and ETH (or ERC20 tokens) to seamlessly exchange assets without permission.

Uniswap adopts an open source structure of a set of on-chain smart contracts, which eliminates the need for intermediaries and prioritizes decentralization, censorship resistance, and security. Its automatic market maker (AMM) model is called the “constant product market maker model” (CPMM), which allows anyone to provide liquidity quickly and easily in exchange for a 0.3% fee per transaction.


Source: Uniswap

Uniswap history

Uniswap initially received a $100,000 grant from the Ethereum Foundation in November 2018. Its first version, Uniswap v1, was released on DevCon 4 in November 2018. In April 2019, Uniswap raised $1.82 million in seed financing from Paradigm at an initial valuation of $5 million. Its second version, Uniswap v2, was launched in May 2020.

Uniswap v1 only accepts ERC20 and ETH fund pools-which leads to dependence on the price of Ethereum, while Uniswap v2 enables cross-exchange, such as ERC20 stablecoins such as DAI and USDT. This improves price execution by reducing gas fees and reducing slippage. In addition, Uniswap v2 also introduced new prices Oracle and flash swaps.

In June of this year, Uniswap raised US$11 million at a preliminary valuation of US$39 million in Series A financing to fund its next iteration of the agreement. Uniswap v3 is expected to be launched by the end of 2020. This round of financing was led by Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, Version One, Parafi Capital, Variant, SV Angel and A. Capital. And Paradigm also participated in the A round of financing.

Uniswap’s market position

Newer decentralized exchanges have greatly improved their liquidity provision and user experience compared to their predecessors. Recently, DEX has grown so rapidly that trading volume has begun to rival that of centralized exchanges.

So far, Uniswap is in a leading position in terms of trading volume and liquidity, and its monthly trading volume has exceeded 10 billion US dollars. Since September, the transaction volume is US$9.9 billion, accounting for 66% of all DEX transactions (excluding SushiSwap and Swerve).


Source: Dune Analytics

The success of Uniswap is mainly based on the convenience provided by liquidity. Since the beginning of the year, its liquidity has steadily increased. Recently, due to the liquidity mining incidents such as SushiSwap and other competing forks, its liquidity has soared.


Source: The Block Research, Dune Analytics

At the same time, Uniswap’s user base has grown simultaneously with this year’s DeFi boom. This phenomenon is traceable: because Uniswap is a basic part of the entire DeFi infrastructure, it integrates hundreds of DApps.


Source: Dune Analytics

Although the community fork of Sushiswap was recently launched, Uniswap is still outperforming SushiSwap from the perspective of transaction volume and liquidity.


Source: The Block Research, Dune Analytics

In addition, even though LP collectively migrated to SushiSwap in its highly motivated liquidity mining event, Uniswap is still the most liquid DEX–not considering DEX dedicated to stablecoins such as Curve and Swerve.


Source: The Block Research, Dune Analytics

The final flow of UNI token

60% of the UNI supply is allocated to Uniswap community members. At the time of launch, 15% of the UNI tokens – 150,000,000 UNIs out of 1,000,000,000 UNI totals – can be used by historical users (400 unique addresses for each), liquidity providers (according to the per-unit basis since Uniswap v1 was deployed) Calculated in seconds) and SOCKS convertors/holders (10,000 per unique address) are claimed based on the snapshot as of 12:00 AM UTC on September 1, 2020.

At the time of writing, within 24 hours of its launch, UNI token has become the second most widely distributed DeFi token, with more than 67,000 unique token holder addresses, and it is still increasing. This is more than three times as much as its community fork SushiSwap. In addition, approximately 125,000 different addresses have claimed approximately 76.8 million tokens, accounting for 51.2% of the 150 million UNI tokens claimed so far.

Among these 125,000 different addresses, approximately 95,000 addresses have applied for 400 UNI tokens, which can be counted as historical users of Uniswap.

At the time of writing, the top 500 UNI holders collectively own 96.81% (968,052,542 / 1,000,000,000) of the total UNI supply. Taking into account the team, investors, consultants, and community UNI allocations that have not yet belonged-and as more community users apply for the allocation of initial tokens, the ratio is still declining-the base of token holders has shown fair and equal distribution Significant signs.


Source: Etherscan

With many community members claiming their own UNI tokens, the gas fee of Ethereum in Gwei has soared, making Ethereum congested and almost unusable again.



Source: Dune Analytics

Total supply and distribution

One billion UNI has been issued in Genesis and will be obtained within four years. The preliminary distribution for the first four years is as follows:

  • 60% to Uniswap community members – – 600,000,000 UNI(UNI)
  • 21.5% to team members and future employees, linear release for 4 years-215,101,000 UNI
  • 17.8% to investors, 4 years linear release-178,000,000 UNI
  • 0.07% to consultants, linear release for 4 years-6,899,000 UNI



Source: Uniswap

Since historical users and liquidity providers have claimed 15% of the tokens, the governance library will retain 43% of the UNI supply – 430,000,000 UNI. UNI token will continuously and linearly release tokens according to the following schedule. The UNI allocation of the team, investors and advisors will unlock tokens on the same schedule.


Source: Uniswap

UNI tokens will be continuously distributed through funder grants, community initiatives, liquidity mining and other projects.

Initial working capital mining

In order to motivate and guide everyone to provide liquidity, mining UNI will initially be provided through four liquidity pools-starting from October 18th, UNI holders can vote to add more liquidity pools.

The initial liquidity mining plan will start at 12:00 AM on September 18th, UTC and will continue until 12:00 AM on November 17th, UTC. Initially, four liquidity pools-ETH/USDT, ETH/USDC, ETH/DAI and ETH/WBTC on Uniswap v2-will be eligible for rewards. Each pool will allocate 5 million UNIs to the LP, about 54 UNIs in the Ethereum block every 15 seconds.


After 4 years of linear release, there will be a permanent inflation rate of 2% per year. This is to ensure the continued participation and contribution of the community to Uniswap at the expense of liquidity of UNI holders. It is unclear whether the governance can change this policy.

UNI token today

The main function of UNI token is to manage the Uniswap protocol.

Governance will go live from the first day, but there is a 30-day grace period for entering Treasury to ensure the wide distribution of tokens and provide community members with enough time to familiarize themselves with the governance system. Therefore, the governance system of the agreement will visit UNI in Treasury from 12:00 UTC on October 18, 2020.

After the 30-day grace period, UNI token holders will be able to directly access Treasury through the governance system. According to Uniswap, this opens up “a world full of infinite possibilities.” The team hopes to “see various experiments, including ecosystem subsidies and public welfare funding, both of which can promote additional growth in the Uniswap ecosystem.”

Crucially, the control of Uniswap transaction fee conversion is locked in for 180 days.

Uniswap’s preliminary governance plan is as follows, and there may be governance changes in the future:

  • Account for 1% of the total supply of UNI (commissioned), submit governance proposals.
  • A quorum requires 4% of the UNI supply to vote “yes”.
  • There is a 7-day voting period
  • There is a 2-day delay lock time during execution

Uniswap emphasizes that UNI holders are responsible for ensuring that governance decisions comply with applicable laws and regulations, and that team members will not directly participate in governance in the foreseeable future.

Looking forward to the future of UNI token

Up to now, Uniswap has not directly drawn a certain percentage of transactions as its own expenses. However, in the future, it is very likely that the community will implement a transaction fee governance plan to benefit from the extremely high transaction volume-as long as the 180-day fee conversion time lock expires.

It remains to be seen whether Uniswap can add the rent-seeking component to its model without letting LP leave and may fork a version that closes the rent-seeking component. Uniswap v2 introduces the possibility of 0.05% agreement fee instead of allocating 0.3% of the fee to LP. Once this feature is turned on, 0.05% of the fee will be allocated to UNI holders.


After Curve launched the CRV token, the UNI launched by Uniswaps caught the community by surprise. Since Uniswap is dominant in the DeFi ecosystem, multiple centralized exchanges were listed and traded within a few hours after launching UNI at 00:13 AM UTC. Such a rapid time to market is unprecedented.


Source: Twitter

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