By Fraser Brown
Uniswap emerged in November 2018 written by a young dev that got laid off. He applied for a $50,000 grant from the Ethereum Foundation, got it, and the rest, as they say, is history.
On 10th August Uniswap 2.0 passed $250 million in trading volume and notably it is now the largest consumer of Ethereum gas fees, larger than Tether in fact.
Who are these traders? Uniswap is the preferred exchange for DeFi projects but this is not the whole story. Innovative VC backed projects such as Ampleforth (https://www.ampleforth.org/), which includes investors such as Pandera and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, have immediately seen lookalikes emerge – in this case, xamp (Antiample) , which are supported by what can best be described as the “degen” community.
Ampleforth is a radical new currency where the amount you hold in your wallet can change every day and that can never be diluted by supply inflation.
Trading new assets such as AMPL on uniswap could be best described as pandemonium as traders try to work out what this new instrument’s place in the world might be.
Compare the $ampl and $xamp charts below (images attached). $ampl (the VC backed project) saw $16,778,252 (https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/ampleforth) in trade the past 24 hours, and $xamp saw $4,856,702 (https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/antiample), that’s more than a quarter of ampl’s trade volume.
The Degen (short for degenerate) community pride themselves on shunning the system and they certainly do not want to see a crypto future controlled by VCs.
They are the survivors of crypto winter, most of them weathered the 2018 crypto crash and uniswap is their new playground.
Just a few days ago on the 15th of August, a senior Consensys DeFi dev tweeted a joke. https://twitter.com/DeFiDude/status/1294542736725544960?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1294542736725544960%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdecrypt.co%2F38887%2Fan-anti-meme-coin-joke-just-led-to-a-1-2-million-meme-coin
It included a mock-up of a UI that would allow anyone to spin up a copy of their favourite DeFi project in a few clicks similar to the way that Antiample did to Ampleforth.
What happened next was remarkable. @jordanlyall launched a telegram group for the idea. Meme token was created, launched on Uniswap, and airdropped to the first 100 telegram group members to submit their Ethereum wallet addresses.
These people to a man were degens. Since then the token has received international press coverage and, at the time of writing, it has a $650,000 market cap (https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/meme).
The first hundred are now part of a DOW called the Citadel that decides what the project will do and it is advancing at an astonishing pace.
Let’s not be under any illusions though, crypto, in general, is still in the trough of disillusionment. The fall out from the 2017 ICO crash was so severe that most participants of this era are still wary.
But, everyone in tech knows what follows the trough of disillusionment. Altseason as it is termed could be upon us and Uniswap is its foundation. Crypto, many think, is now on the verge of greatness.
Degen.vc is now going to launch as $MEME did. It will give 75% of its token supply to degens who will decide whether to add liquidity to its Uniswap market.
The project has built a curation market for Uniswap listing where experts assess projects and their Uniswap market is only created if there is a consensus on the merits of each project.
Prepared by Patrick O’Brien
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