Uniswap: Swap Tokens & Liquidity Pool
Uniswap: Decentralized crypto exchange Uniswap is a decentralized finance protocol that is used to exchange cryptocurrencies. Uniswap is also the name of the company that initially built the Uniswap protocol. The protocol facilitates automated transactions between cryptocurrency tokens on the Ethereum blockchain through the use of smart contracts. Uniswap runs on two smart contracts; an “Exchange” contract and a “Factory” contract. These are automatic computer programs that are designed to perform specific functions when certain conditions are met. In this instance, the factory smart contract is used to add new tokens to the platform and the exchange contract facilitates all token swaps, or “trades.” The way Uniswap solves the liquidity problem (described in the introduction) of centralized exchanges is through an automated liquidity protocol. This works by incentivizing people trading on the exchange to become liquidity providers (LPs): Uniswap users pool their money together to create a fund that’s used to execute all trades that take place on the platform. Each token listed has its own pool that users can contribute to, and the prices for each token are worked out using a math algorithm run by a computer (explained in “How token price is determined,” below). With this system, a buyer or seller does not have to wait for an opposite party to appear to complete a trade. Instead, they can execute any trade instantly at a known price provided there’s enough liquidity in the particular pool to facilitate it.