This is a note of A short history of Uniswap, written by its founder, Hayden Adams and the blog of all versions.

1 Short History

Hayden talked to his friend Karl Floersch when he was laied off from Siemens on 07/06/2017. Karl was working in Ethereum foundation at that time and suggested him to write smart contracts. After two months learning, Hayden decided to implement an automated market maker, as described by Vitalik in a reddit post on 10/02/2016 and the On Path Independence on 06/22/2017 blogpost. He built a proof-of-concept (POC) in October 2017. Karl gave a demo using the POC in Devcon 3 in November 2017. An attendee named Pascal Van Hecke contacted Hayden to support his development. At that time, the POC has two major issues: it only worked for a single ETH/ERC20 pair; it only worked for a single liquidity provider.

Hayden liked the properties of Ethereum (censorship resistant, decentralized, permissionless, secure) and wanted to embrace them fully.

In Q1 2018, his two friends helped him build the frontend. He attended Deconomy 2018. Karl introduced him to Vitalik who encouraged him to rewrite the code in Vyper and apply an Ethereum foundation grant. Karl also invited him to a small social gathering where he met several Crypto friends who would become crucial to the success of Uniswap. They helped him to optimize the Vyper code 30% more efficient. Later, he realized that Uniswap’s biggest challenge is a social one.

In May 2018, he decided to work on five tasks for the mainet launch: production-ready smart contracts, UI, security audit, withepaper, and developer docs. He also applied for an Ethereum Foundation grant of $50,000 + the quoted cost of security audit. He spent the whole summer 2018 working in the Balance office. At the end of July he got the grant. He hired Runtime Verfication company to write the formal AMM spec.

He also wrote a long and detailed frontend spec and hired a team to develop the frontend. In Prague at Devcon 4 on 11/02/2018, the smart contracts were deployed to the mainet. The UI and land page website were completed too.

The AMM name Uniswap were made by Vitalik. Alan Gu proposed the AMM idea.

2 Three Versions

Uniswap V1 was the POC as the first AMM DEX. Version 2 was launched in May 2020. Version 2 improvments:

  • any ERC20/ERC20 paris using direct swap, swap through ETH, or custom path.
  • on-chain price oracle using Time Weighted Average Price (TWAP).
  • flash swap without upfront cost, pay or return borrowed tokens.

The UNI toaken is initally lauchinged vai aridrop and liquidity mine, started on 09/16/20120.

Version 3 was launched in May 2021 with a plethora of new features:

  • Concentrated liquidity: this is the flagship feature of the V3. LP can set the price ranges for their assets.
  • Non-Fungible liquidity: the LP positioins are represented as ERC721 NFT.
  • Flexible fees: 0.05% for tablecoins, 0.30% for non-correlated pools; 1% for exotic non-correlated pairs.
  • Advanced oracles: an array of cumulative sums instead of just one (V2).