For the past few months, as decentralised finance has been becoming increasingly popular, Uniswap has claimed a majority market share as a decentralised exchange. In the last few days of August, it even challenged Coinbase Pro’s trading volume and came out a winner multiple days in a row.
Almost all projects that enter the cryptocurrency space have their own token, many times it is a method for them to raise money. Uniswap, having raised money from VCs did not have a token for the longest time. Last night, in a surprising announcement, Uniswap released their very own UNI token.
Every user that has ever interacted with Uniswap, even if it was for a failed transaction, before September 2020, have received a free 400UNI allocation. At the time of writing, UNI is priced at just over $3 which sets the 400UNI at $1,200. The amount started the common joke “Crypto users just got their stimulus checks”.
As users, whales and small fish alike, received a free 400UNI allocation, many rushed to claim them. The claiming process requires one to interact with the Ethereum blockchain which costs fees, then for those looking to sell said tokens that also costs much more if swapped via a DEX. This excess use of the network has created a real congestion and is sending fees to abnormal levels. Normal transactions are costing over $10 to go through.