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Rise of the DEX: Uniswap Passes 1 Million Ether (ETH) in Trading Volume

This week, the Uniswap team announced that its automated Ethereum-based exchange protocol had freshly surpassed 1 million ether (ETH) in total trading volume to date. The DeFi exchange’s builders took the milestone as an opportunity to roll out new Uniswap features.


Launched in late 2018 and backed by a $100,000 Ethereum Foundation grant, Uniswap has quickly become popular in the Ethereum ecosystem for being like a simplified version of the Bancor protocol without needing Bancor’s BNT token — or a massive initial coin offering.

As Uniswap creator Hayden explained last November in unveiling the project:

“There is no central token or platform fee. No special treatment is given to early investors, adopters, or developers. Token listing is open and free. All smart contract functions are public and all upgrades are opt-in.”

That modest structuring and the protocol’s smooth user experience are in no small part why Uniswap has now seen throughput of more than 1 million ETH. And with that milestone down, Uniswap’s newly unveiled features are aimed toward helping the beta protocol facilitate its next million ether in trades and beyond.

Those features include a dark mode for nighttime traders, an adjustable slippage mechanism to lessen “the allowed slippage for trades,” and an improved token selection user interface that makes trading one’s digital assets easier.

Upstart Making a Name for Itself

Uniswap’s rapid ascension has proven to the Ethereum ecosystem that a lot can be done with relatively little.

In the very least, Uniswap’s rise serves as a stark contrast to other decentralized exchanges that launched ICOs for Ethereum-based tokens.

Consider the case of the aforementioned Bancor, which held a $150 million ICO in 2017. Bancor’s automated exchange was innovative and has proven to be useful for some ERC-20 token traders, but it’s seemingly losing ground.

For example, in looking at DEX stats for August 13th, it appears Uniswap almost did three times the amount of volume as Bancor on the day. Of course, that’s an extremely small sample size, and platforms can rise and fall over time. Still, the zoom-in shows how much progress Uniswap has made against its de facto competitors in such a short amount of time.

As for what’s next for Uniswap, the protocol’s creator Hayden Adams said during an interview back in the spring that there were no intentions for the project to slow down any time soon:

“Medium term plan is still being fleshed out but may involve growing the liquidity pools, scaling, privacy, complex mechanisms/derivatives/financial applications built on top of Uniswap. Lots of memes, and maybe mainstream adoption […] Long term plan is still global domination. And growing the liquidity pools.”

Kyber Network Also Ascending

Last month, the builders of on-chain liquidity protocol Kyber Network announced that Kyber was closing in on 1 million ETH in total transaction volume, too.

At the time, the Kyber team also revealed their network had already burned a million Kyber Network Crystals (KNC), the Kyber protocol’s deflationary fee token.

The protocol’s rising usage comes as its KyberSwap DEX just launched non-custodial limit orders and after Binance turned to Kyber to provide liquidity for the Malta-based exchange’s Trust Wallet.

“We’re finding strong burgeoning growth for decentralized financial products and the implications of this on finance, banking, and trade are tremendously understated,” Kyber CEO and co-founder Loi Luu noted in July.

Of course, with lots of possibility comes competition. Even with their acutely uptrending popularity, Kyber and Uniswap still have the likes of Airswap, Bancor, 0x, and more to contend with over the long run. For example, the Ethfinex DEX just rebranded to DeversiFi and is hoping to use the pivot to become the best DEX in the land.

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