59 - Uniswap | Hayden Adams
Hayden Adams is the creator of Uniswap, the decentralized trading protocol and DAO. Before inventing DeFi's largest asset exchange, he was laid off from his mechanical engineering job in the summer of 2017. Excited by Ethereum and Vitalik's blog post on automated market making, he learned to code smart contracts using Solidity.
Uniswap's V1 Mainnet launch came in the middle of the crypto bear market in November 2018. Since then, it has experienced exponential growth and traction, with liquidity providers like MakerDAO bolstering Uniswap's early ecosystem. Uniswap V2 brought pivotal upgrades to the user experience, bug fixes, and improvements to the Oracle architecture.
From its genesis, Uniswap has emphasized the decentralized, permissionless properties of Ethereum. Uniswap's tools enable anyone to create a liquidity pool to exchange on, and it has become the de facto hub of DeFi as a sandbox for the 'long tail' of endless decentralized assets. Uniswap's openness, functionality, and legitimacy have allowed it to rise to its current position as a DeFi staple.
On September 16th, 2020, Uniswap launched its UNI token with a widely distributed airdrop to each Ethereum address that had interacted on the Uniswap platform – over 500,000 accounts. This drop exemplifies DeFi's promises of wealth distribution, communal equity, and decentralized governance.
On March 23rd, 2021, Uniswap announced V3 to go live on Ethereum mainnet in May of 2021. The most significant change in this upgrade is concentrated liquidity, which allows individual liquidity providers to control where their liquidity is allocated along the price curve for a given asset pair. This allows freedom for infinite liquidity providing strategies and presents a flexibility that incentivizes an optimized trading curve.