UNI is the governance token behind Uniswap - a decentralized exchange that launched in November 2018. It created by Hayden Adams after being inspired by a post from Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum co-founder) suggesting for developers to create this kind of platform.
The Uniswap Protocol, built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, allows users to easily swap between any ERC-20 token in a completely decentralized manner. This means that users have the option to easily trade Ethereum-based tokens directly from their own personal wallets without the need to give up custody of their funds throughout the entire process.
It can be described as an Automated Market Maker as it allows users to provide liquidity to the pools on Uniswap in order to allow the trades to be facilitated. As a result, the Liquidity Providers can gain commissions from the exchange fees when trades are conducted on their pools. Currently, the exchange fee is set to 0.4% per trade which is distributed amongst the liquidity providers.
The protocol consists of two smart contracts on top of the Ethereum blockchain, the Factory contract, and the Exchange contract, that are both totally open-source - meaning anybody can take a look at the code and conduct their own review of it to make sure there are no bugs or ‘backdoors’.
The UNI token, the governance token for the Uniswap Exchange, was air-dropped to users on September 17th, 2020. It was distributed to traders that had used the Uniswap exchange before September 2020 in batches of 400 UNI tokens without any announcement.
One billion UNI were minted, 60% of which were distributed to Uniswap users. 21.51% was allocated for team members and future employees, 17.8% to investors, and the remaining 0.069% was allocated to advisors.
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