In brief

  • Uniswap has higher 24-hour volume than centralized competitor Coinbase.
  • It has also surpassed Maker in terms of total value locked in smart contracts.
  • However, forked project SushiSwap could suck the life out of this sudden pump.

Decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap has had a wild week. Fueled by the frenzy over decentralized finance (DeFi)—and some help from a forked project that ultimately aims to supplant Uniswap—the DEX has climbed more than 600% in terms of both liquidity and total volume.

In the process, Uniswap has also surpassed a couple of key competitors. According to data from CoinGecko, Uniswap has topped centralized competitor Coinbase Pro in terms of daily volume.

As of this writing, Coinbase Pro’s 24-hour volume sits at $797.5 million, while Uniswap has $1.028 billion in volume over the same period. Granted, it’s still a far cry from the 24-hour volume of the top centralized exchange, Binance, which sits at $6.8 billion. Still, taking out the #2 centralized exchange is no small feat.

Meanwhile, Uniswap has also taken away the top spot on DeFi Pulse’s list of total value locked in DeFi smart contracts. Right now, Uniswap sits in first place with $1.61 billion, while Maker is second with $1.52 billion and Aave is next up at $1.50 billion.

Uniswap accounts for 17.57% of all cryptocurrency locked in DeFi smart contracts as of this writing, according to DeFi Pulse, with that total surging to $9.17 billion across all protocols. That total just broke $8 billion one week ago.

Although Uniswap’s recent rise has been spectacular, it could prove to be short-lived. Part of what is driving Uniswap’s surge is the rise of a competitor, SushiSwap, an as-yet unaudited fork that is intentionally designed to suck the life out of Uniswap.

Using so-called “vampire mining,” SushiSwap encourages users to stake tokens in Uniswap’s liquidity pools in exchange for $SUSHI tokens, but then those tokens are meant to be migrated over to SushiSwap’s own DEX. SushiSwap is encouraging this approach by providing dramatically higher rewards for early adopters. According to SushiBoard, there’s already $1.33 billion locked in SushiSwap smart contracts.

Will it work? Will Uniswap’s sudden rise ultimately turn out to be a massive pump-and-dump? Stay tuned.