The price of UNI, the native governance token of decentralized exchange Uniswap, has increased by 9% over the past 24 hours to reach $20.6, data from crypto metrics platform CoinGecko shows.

Uniswap’s rise this week follows, among other things, CoinMarketCap’s integration of the decentralized finance protocol. CoinMarketCap launched a Uniswap-based swap feature on June 29, letting anyone swap Ethereum-based tokens directly on the site.

Uniswap has $5.47 billion locked in its protocol, making it the sixth-most valuable protocol, data from DeFi Pulse shows. Uniswap was the second-largest protocol when it introduced its governance token in September 2020, when the platform also airdropped 400 UNI (then worth $1,500 and now worth $8,320) to each wallet that had interacted with its protocol.

Despite the rise, today’s price is less than half of UNI’s value just two months ago. On May 3, and shortly after Uniswap upgraded its liquidity and fee structure through Uniswap V3, the coin hit its all-time high of $44.69.

Then, like so many other tokens, UNI got swept up in the crypto market crash that began in mid-May. On May 23, Uniswap hit its lowest ebb when it plunged to as low as $15.49.

While UNI has become a speculative asset traded on centralized exchanges like Coinbase, it also allows holders to vote on how the protocol is run. Governance tokens like UNI are like loyalty programs with company shares added to the mix.

Last month, a group of UNI holders proposed a $25 million "political defense" fund for DeFi protocols. The project was conceived by the Harvard Law Blockchain & FinTech Initiative. It sought to channel 1 million UNI tokens from the Uniswap community treasury to establish a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that would "defend the protocol and DeFi from legal and regulatory threats." The proposal is still being debated.

But no fund can defend the token against the buy and sell orders of the market.

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