A Complete Guide To Understanding The Functionality And Operations Of Uniswap

Apr. 25, 2023
A Complete Guide To Understanding The Functionality And Operations Of Uniswap


Centralized exchanges (CEXs) have played an important role in the cryptocurrency market for many years, delivering features like deep liquidity, rapid transactions, simple fiat on-ramps, and dependable customer service. Nonetheless, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are becoming increasingly popular among users due to their advantages of lower trading fees, enhanced security and privacy, and greater accessibility.

Hayden Adams conceptualized Uniswap in 2018, and it was influenced by the fundamental technology initially presented by Vitalik Buterin, one of the co-founders of Ethereum. Uniswap is an instance of a DEX that can provide distinctive advantages, making it an attractive substitute for CEXs.

Uniswap introduced the Automated Market Maker (AMM) model and was pivotal in creating and advancing DEXs. Presently, Uniswap remains one of the most user-friendly DEXs in the market, with ample liquidity and an extensive range of token offerings.

An Introduction To Uniswap: What You Need To Know

Uniswap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that enables cryptocurrency trading without relying on a central authority or intermediary. It also ensures censorship resistance.

Uniswap operates on the Ethereum blockchain and uses smart contracts, which are self-executing programs on the blockchain that contain predetermined conditions directly coded into them. This unique approach sets Uniswap apart from other exchanges.

Uniswap’s AMM System And Liquidity Pools: A New Era Of Trading

Uniswap has introduced a novel automated market maker (AMM) system that eliminates the need for conventional order books and facilitates uninterrupted trading using liquidity pools. To participate in these pools, users can deposit equal tokens in the pair and earn Liquidity Provider (LP) tokens.

The liquidity pools enable other users to trade tokens by interacting with them. The Constant Product Market Maker (CPMM) model determines asset pricing in a liquidity pool.
Uniswap relies on open-source software accessible for review on its GitHub page.

Understanding The Mechanics Of Uniswap: How Does It Work?

Explaining Uniswap’s Automated Market Maker (AMM) Model

Uniswap operates on an AMM model, which allows users to trade cryptocurrencies without relying on traditional order books. Instead, the platform uses a liquidity pool that its users power.

How Liquidity Pools Work On Uniswap

Users who deposit a trading pair into Uniswap’s liquidity pool as a liquidity provider (LP) receive liquidity tokens representing their pool share. Uniswap then uses a formula that ensures the production of the quantities of each token in the pool remains constant, determining each token’s price.

The Mechanics Of Trading On Uniswap

When a user trades on Uniswap, their trade size determines the impact on the liquidity pool. Larger trades result in greater shifts in the token prices, leading to more slippage. However, larger liquidity pools help to mitigate the impact of larger trades, making them more easily filled.

The Evolution Of Uniswap

Uniswap has evolved and changed, with each protocol version providing new capabilities and refinements. Let me briefly overview Uniswap v1, v2, and v3.

Uniswap v1

In 2018, the Uniswap protocol released its first version, Uniswap v1. They aspire to make it user-friendly, allowing trading any ERC-20 token on the Ethereum network. The protocol became popular within the Ethereum community and demonstrated the AMM decentralized exchange concept.

Uniswap v2


Uniswap v2, which debuted in 2020, transformed the decentralized exchange environment by bringing significant enhancements over its predecessor. With the introduction of ERC-20 to ERC-20 pairings, liquidity providers could establish pair contracts for any two ERC-20 tokens, allowing users to trade between tokens without requiring an intermediary conversion to ETH.

Uniswap v2 Improvements And Advancements

One of the most notable improvements in Uniswap v2 was increased protocol efficiency and reduced petrol expenses. The latest version now includes flash swaps, which allow for speedier token transfers.
Uniswap v2’s improvements also set the stage for exponential growth in Automated Market Maker (AMM) adoption, making it one of the largest cryptocurrency spot exchanges.


Uniswap v2’s flexibility, efficiency, and new features have transformed the decentralized exchange landscape. Its advancements have made it easier for users to trade between tokens and paved the way for AMM adoption, leading to its widespread popularity in the cryptocurrency market.

Uniswap v3

The Capital Inefficiency Issue In Traditional AMMs

Uniswap v3 has significantly improved capital efficiency by addressing the inherent capital inefficiency issue in many AMMs. The x * y = k model typically results in most of the funds in AMMs remaining unused, as more liquidity enables the system to support larger orders and price ranges.
In AMMs, LPs provide liquidity across all price ranges between 0 and infinity, resulting in an even distribution of capital across all ranges, including those with minimal trading activity. However, providing liquidity in price ranges far from the current price or never reached is impractical.

The Rise Of Market Makers: Uniswap v3’s Complexity Advantage

Uniswap v3 tackles this problem by allowing LPs to set custom price ranges in which they want to provide liquidity, resulting in more concentrated liquidity in the price range with the most trading activity. For instance, setting a price range of $1,000 to $2,000 means that the liquidity provided can only facilitate trading between these two prices rather than infinite ranges.

In essence, Uniswap v3 creates an on-chain order book on Ethereum, where market makers can choose to provide liquidity in the price ranges of their preference. This modification favors experienced market makers as it adds complexity and less active LPs may earn less in trading fees than those who continually optimize their strategies.

Uniswap Introduces NFTs To represent LP positions

With Uniswap v3, every LP has the flexibility to determine its price range, making each LP position unique and, therefore, not interchangeable. Uniswap v3 has introduced an NFT that represents LP positions, but you can still make shared positions fungible using the ERC-20.

The NFTs now display all the fees generated by LP positions and can be transferred between holders, who can always collect the position fees. These NFTs are essentially digital images showcasing crucial information, such as the token pair and a curve representing the position’s “steepness.” Each LP position has its unique color scheme, and varying color shades represent different pools.

Various levels Of Fees

Uniswap v3 allows liquidity providers (LPs) to adjust their profit margins by choosing from three different fee levels: 0.05%, 0.30%, and 1.00%. This feature enables LPs to tailor their risk exposure according to the expected volatility of the token pair. For instance, LPs face greater risks in non-correlated pairs such as ETH/USDT, while they are subject to lower risks in correlated pairs such as stablecoin pairs.

Uniswap On Layer 2

In the past, the fees for transactions on the Ethereum network have increased due to increased usage. Consequently, using Uniswap may not be practical for smaller users at times. Uniswap v3 has incorporated Layer 2 scaling solutions to scale smart contracts while maintaining the Ethereum network’s security to address this issue. This integration facilitates increased transaction throughput and ensures that users incur lower fees.

Uniswap live On BNB Chain

Uniswap launched on the BNB chain after governance voters approved it with a 66% majority vote. This could offer traders more effective and economic trading choices and enable Uniswap users to benefit from the BNB Chain’s fast speed and minimal transaction costs. In addition, the integration opens up a fresh source of liquidity for Uniswap and increases its visibility and acceptance among retail and institutional investors.

Exploring Impermanent Loss

Uniswap is a decentralized exchange funded by liquidity providers (LPs), allowing traders to swap tokens. LPs earn liquidity fees, but they should also be aware of the effect of impermanent loss.
Impermanent loss is the loss incurred by LPs when the price of the tokens they have provided liquidity for changes. This can happen if traders swap one token for another at a different rate, causing the ratio of tokens in the pool to shift.

Example Of Impermanent Loss

Suppose Alice has deposited 1 ETH and 100 USDT into a Uniswap pool with a total liquidity of 10,000 (10 ETH x 1,000 USDT), and the price of 1 ETH was 100 USDT at the time of her deposit. If the price of ETH increases to 400 USDT, Alice’s share in the pool decreases to 5 ETH and 2,000 USDT due to arbitrage trading.

If Alice withdraws her funds at this point, she will receive 0.5 ETH and 200 USDT, totaling $400. However, if she had held onto her initial deposit of 1 ETH and 100 USDT, she would have ended up with a total value of $500. Therefore, Alice has lost out on the ETH price appreciation by depositing her funds into the Uniswap pool.

Mitigating Impermanent Loss

If the prices of the tokens in the pool revert to their original prices, LPs can mitigate impermanent loss. Over time, LPs can balance out the loss by earning fees. However, LPs should know about impermanent loss before adding funds to a Uniswap pool. If the price of the tokens decreases from the time of the deposit, it may amplify the losses incurred by the LP, and it’s worth noting.

What Is Uniswap’s Revenue Model?

Uniswap earns profits by levying a small “liquidity provider fee” fee on every transaction executed on its platform. Liquid providers (LPs) automatically divide a fixed percentage of the trade’s worth as fees.

In contrast to traditional exchanges, Uniswap as a protocol does not generate any revenue for itself but benefits the LPs. By consolidating their liquidity, LPs can amplify their exposure within the specific price range and receive higher trading fees on Uniswap v3.

Furthermore, since Uniswap is an open-source and decentralized platform, no central entity governs or profits from the protocol. Instead, it is maintained and upgraded by a community of developers and governance, contributing to its growth.

Uniswap’s UNI Token: A Brief Overview

UNI is the native token of Uniswap, launched in September 2020, and has been gaining popularity among users and liquidity providers. Any wallet that supports ERC-20 tokens can store UNI since it is an ERC-20 token built on Ethereum.

The UNI token confers governance rights to its holders, enabling them to vote on proposals related to protocol changes and improvements. The voting power is proportional to the number of governance tokens a user holds. The decentralized governance process allows anyone to submit a proposal and vote.

Various crypto exchanges allow trading of UNI tokens. Traders can exchange UNI tokens for other cryptocurrencies or participate in DeFi applications. It is essential to note that new use cases may arise from community requests and governance votes.

“What Is The Process For Utilizing Uniswap?”

To utilize Uniswap, possessing a cryptocurrency wallet with some amount of Ether or ERC-20 tokens is necessary. To initiate the process of utilizing the specific exchange feature on Uniswap, follow these steps:

  • Connect to your Ethereum wallet on the Uniswap website.
  • Select the token you wish to trade. Uniswap supports several ERC-20 tokens; make sure you select the correct one.
  • Enter the amount you wish to trade. Interface displays expected amount of other token based on current rate, once you enter token for exchange.
  • If the amount is satisfactory, you can click “Swap.” Your wallet will then prompt you to confirm the transaction.
  • Once you confirm the transaction, Ethereum will execute the trade, and your wallet will display the tokens.

Rida Fatima

News writer
An ardent wordsmith with a rich five-year background in delving into the realms of finance and cryptocurrencies. Alongside curating captivating blogs, Unique's talents extend to crafting imaginative and engaging content.