Today, popular decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap launched its governance token UNI and airdropped it to all those who provided liquidity to the platform before September 1st.
UNI is currently the 36th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $492 million, as per Messari, and is currently trading just under $3, down from its peak of over $4.
Minting 1 billion tokens at genesis, Uniswap will be distributing these UNIs over four years.
According to trader and economist Alex Kruger, the fact that liquidity mining of UNI will start with four pools targeting ETH — ETH/USDT, ETH/USDC, ETH/DAI, and ETH/WBTC — it “should give ETH bullish boost.”
And it did! Today, Ether is trading in the green at $380.
In response, Ether’s token age consumed hit a 9-month high, indicating a large number of tokens are being moved after sitting idle for an extended period.
UNI is also seen as a big development for the DeFi sector, which could bring “the euphoria back to the space.”
This has not only the price of Ether but ETH fees are exploding higher as well.
As the community rushed to claim, trade, and withdraw UNI, it caused the Ethereum gas to, yet again, skyrocket. Data provider Glassnode noted,
“Following Uniswap Protocol's announcement of the UNI token today, Ethereum saw a massive surge in miner fees. Almost $1M USD in fees were spent in a single hour! This is a new record high (anomalous tx fees earlier this year excluded).”
The median Ethereum gas price has also spiked massively to a record high of 700 Gwei.
It makes sense, given that Uniwswap V2 has been the biggest gas guzzler for the past few months. In the last 30 days, it spent $12.7 million in gas on the Ethereum network.
So, the hot UNI token has exploded the network activity by giving away 400 UNI to all of its platform users before Sept. 1st. And now, the Ethereum network is clogged, and a new hourly transaction fee record for the summer has been hit. Kruger said,
“Every address that interacted with Uniswap before September 1st is getting 400 UNI for free. That is better than a stimulus check.”
look, if there's a litmus test on whether the market has flipped back to risk-on, it's $uni
a coin that we all got for free is mooning
that lets u know retail is bullish and gambling
this is long-ur-longs season, not sell-the-bottom season
stop being retards, start degening
— CryptoGainz (@CryptoGainz1) September 17, 2020
Trader CoinGainz noted the last time an airdrop catalyzed a marked wide move this strong was when Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was forked from Bitcoin in 2017. “Roger ver waited for everyone to dump it, and then he fking mooned it hard,” he said.