Picture for a moment a warm summer evening, with clear skies, a nice breeze, and a small amount of ETH in a crypto wallet. This is where my UNI story begins.
My First Transaction
Sometime in July I experimented with some of my tokens I received from tipping and writing here on Publish0x. My goal was to exchange some of my BAT tokens for ETH, to have a larger, more focused position. From the beginning I saw this as a learning experience and I felt comfortable experimenting and figuring out how to effectively use ETH with my small holdings. This very small exchange taught me a couple very important things about Ethereum - the process to interact with smart contracts and the importance of paying attention to gas costs.
As someone with very modest crypto holdings and no experience interacting with Ethereum smart contracts, I was surprised but not too concerned when I had to first "Approve" my BAT before initiating the exchange. I had heard about gas costs on Ethereum, but after watching around $1 worth of ETH evaporate with this transaction, I thought I had learned the lesson properly. Next, I was on to the next step - doing the actual exchange.
Unfortunately, as a noob and a sardine (the opposite of a crypto whale), I didn't quite understand the implications of gas and gwei on Ethereum. When I went to submit the second part of the transaction, I was again asked about my gas cost that I was willing to spend. I was not too keen on spending another $1.25 to exchange $5 worth of BAT (more than 20%?!?), so I lowered this amount just a hair (yes, I know, it was a mistake). I submitted the transaction and waited. And waited. And waited.... What was happening? Why was it taking so long?
I checked Etherscan and saw the estimated time inching up and up and up. Now I was concerned and quickly learned the hard truths of nonces, gas, and network congestion. Because I was being cheap, this small test transaction was going to cost me a lot more than I had hoped. I kept waiting but nothing was going through. By this point I was getting pretty anxious, so I tried to increase my gas and walked away trying not to panic about locking up my small amount of ETH and tokens forever. Because of the order transactions are processed from wallets on Ethereum, this small transaction could have locked up my wallet for quite a while.
But don't fear my Publish0x friends. Luckily sometime in the night gas costs dipped and my transaction was able to be processed. Phew! My transaction went through on the network but due to the time it took on Uniswap, they cancelled my order completely. All of that ETH was wasted for a failed transaction.
The next day I was so scared off by the high gas fees and my own ignorance that I knew I had to accumulate more ETH and tokens to make it worthwhile to engage with with ETH network while gas costs are so high. So I walked away, kept tipping here on Publish0x, and kept learning!
My UNI Surprise
Now fast forward a bit to the announcement of the UNI airdrop. I admit I was a bit disappointed (maybe even jealous) that there were so many tokens finding their way into so many wallets, but not mine. I never accumulated enough to make a new transaction worthwhile, especially considering how high gas costs rose in the months that followed, so I thought all hope was lost.
But thanks to this incredible site I found an amazing post with amazing news - even failed transactions were eligible for the airdrop!!!
I triple checked blog post after blog post, making extra sure before I once again ventured onto the Ethereum network. This time I wanted to be certain my transaction went through, so I exchanged a bit of other currencies to beef up my ETH. My heartbeat accelerated as I clicked Claim and the "Fast" transaction speed (what if I wasted even more ETH?), but those beautiful 400 UNI tokens were mine!
Was I a fool for being cheap on my initial transaction? Yes
Did I learn some valuable lessons? Yes
Was I incredibly lucky? Absolutely yes!
But to me, this was an amazing opportunity and a life changing amount for my small crypto portfolio. Because of that airdrop I was able to finally get established in Ethereum, making it easier to explore the full world of defi and the future of cryptocurrency.
Thank you for reading and to this incredible community. If it wasn't for you and the fantastic authors on this site, I would be years behind where I am now. Thank you everyone for reading and for everything you have taught me.
What was your experience with UNI?