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Exchanges are where all the excitement of the crypto markets – and indeed any market – happens. The name cachet of the New York Stock Exchange needs no explanation – it’s where sweaty and shouting traders scream over their Bloomberg terminals to take advantage of the latest stock prices. The same is true for crypto – although, of course, all the screaming takes place online.

Exchanges are where people take their crypto to trade, long, and short their tokens and it is there that the prices of the entire crypto market are set and advertised to the world. In short, it’s where the action – and the magic – happens.

Uniswap was the first and is one of the largest decentralized exchanges (DEXs) to exist on the Ethereum network, with $100 billion in volume being traded on Uniswap in February 2021 alone. Many ponder the differences between DEX-based AMMs and CEX-based order books, each having their own advantages and disadvantages.

The Beauty and Peril of Centralized Exchanges

The majority of exchanges, however, are centralized. This means that if you send your crypto to somewhere like Binance or Coinbase, you are in effect giving that institution the keys to your money. In return, they give you an IOU for the token deposit.

The advantages for this are clear. By doing this, tokens can be traded instantaneously and for very low fees – as no real transfer is taking place until the user decides to withdraw their tokens. However, the disadvantages are equally obvious: you no longer own your coins until you withdraw them, and if an exchange is hacked – like the infamous Mt Gox was in 2014 – or the company running the exchange decides to suspend withdrawals or simply steal all your tokens, there is nothing to stop them doing so and you losing all your coins in a heartbeat.

What is Uniswap?

Uniswap is a decentralized exchange that exists on Ethereum, and UNI is its token. There is no central authority – although governance is dictated by holders of the UNI token – and the contracts that run the exchange are publicly viewable on the Ethereum blockchain. Moreso, a contract is created for each token listed, allowing users to deposit liquidity. Holders of UNI can also vote on the use of funds in the Uniswap treasury.

How does Uniswap work?

Uniswap offers an alternative to the classic liquidity model of exchanges. A standard centralized exchange connects buyers and sellers and uses their own asset reserves to guarantee the trade. This is an order book system, and prices are determined by the last trade enacted on the books.

Uniswap, however, uses liquidity pools made up of assets that have been locked into the protocol in return for a portion of the transaction fees. Rather than any central authority profiting from trades, it is instead these liquidity providers who take a cut. It uses an automated market maker system. There is a fixed equation for the price of each token, x*y = k, with x and y being the two assets traded in the pair. When more of asset x is added – for example, AAVE – then the price of asset y – for example Ether – increases. The more AAVE added, the higher the price of Ethereum and the lower the cost of AAVE.

What this means is that there does not need to be a corresponding seller when someone wishes to buy a token. They simply add an asset to the pool and withdraw a corresponding amount of the other asset in the pair, with the price determined by the overall ratio of the pool. There is another large advantage to this system, it means that anyone can list their token on Uniswap and almost every ERC-20 token imaginable is present on the exchange – not something that can be said for traditional centralized exchanges, who act as gatekeepers to the coins that are available.

Is UNI an ERC-20 token?

Yes. As well as being a powerful hub for the trading ERC-20 tokens, the UNI token is an ERC-20 token itself. When using ERC-20 tokens, Numio, a feature-rich wallet, is an excellent choice. Numio specializes in the storing, trading and use of ERC-20 tokens that allow you to deploy these assets with the same fluency and speed as a traditional payment currency. Numio uses zkRollups to interact with the Ethereum main chain and thus offers instant transactions at a fraction of the usual associated cost. As a non-custodial wallet that is free from arduous KYC requirements, Numio stands true to the ‘Not your coins, not your crypto’ law. Through its many services, Numio enriches the use cases of UNI, allowing for simple trading, storage, and access to yield opportunities.

Is UNI Hard to Get?

Getting cryptocurrencies, whether by purchasing or trading, can be a daunting prospect for beginners. This is particularly true for any cryptocurrency that isn’t Bitcoin or Ethereum – with Ethereum tokens, also known as ERC-20 tokens, such as UNI being a prime example.

If you are thinking about getting UNI then Numio is a great choice for handling your assets. Numio allows you to pay people using your stored UNI assets, as easily as if it were cash. If you are a bit more crypto savvy you can also trade and swap UNI at the touch of a button.

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How can I get UNI?

There are multiple ways to get UNI on Numio. You can purchase UNI with your credit or debit card, you can trade it for other ERC-20 assets (up to 100x cheaper than other wallets), or you can receive it as a payment. Whatever way you choose you can be sure that you are always in full control of your UNI.

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