In this week’s episode, CoinDesk’s Christine Kim and Consensys’ Ben Edgington discuss Uniswap Lab’s contentious decision to censor assets on its website and the release of a new Ethereum 2.0 software client called Lodestar.
Uniswap is the largest decentralized exchange (DEX) on the Ethereum blockchain by both market capitalization and trading volume, facilitating nearly $340 billion in trades annually. The DEX has become a cornerstone of the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry by enabling any token issuer to list their assets on the exchange.
A recent decision by Uniswap Labs, the development firm behind Uniswap, resulted in the delisting of several tokens from the Uniswap.org website. CoinDesk Research intern Teddy Oosterbaan stated that it was important to note the tokens are “delisted from their front end, which is basically just the Uniswap Labs website for interacting with protocol.” There are additional access points to listing and trading tokens on Uniswap through DEX aggregators such as 1inch.
The decision by Uniswap Labs was controversial for three main reasons. First, censorship goes against the ethos of decentralization. In addition, there was no vote on the decision with UNI governance token holders, and finally, the decision may be one of several forthcoming actions taken by Uniswap Labs in its bid to partner with mainstream consumer finance applications.
While discussing Uniswap’s connection with venture capital and a potential look toward consumer finance, Edgington compared Uniswap with one of its largest competitors, SushiSwap. He said, “It’s definitely a hint of corporatization of Uniswap … and this seems to set a more respectable trajectory for them, whereas Sushi is perhaps a bit more like the Wild West.”
The future of decentralized finance could very well have tiers of decentralization, with certain applications built for the individual DeFi user and others built for institutions and mainstream inventors, sometimes called centralized DeFi (CeDeFi).
Edgington and Kim also discussed the official release of a new Ethereum 2.0 software client dubbed Lodestar. The addition brings the total Eth 2.0 client number up to five and offers users looking to run validators on the Ethereum Beacon Chain more “lightweight” options for their computers.
Speaking to the importance of lowering the barrier to becoming a validator on Eth 2.0, Kim said, “I do think it is very important to maintain a sense of ability to keep on that course of trying to make this technology do what it's supposed to do, which is cut out reliance on centralized providers and centralized businesses.”
Tune into the full episode of “Mapping Out Ethereum 2.0” to hear Kim, Oosterbaan and Edgington discuss the latest news about Ethereum and Ethereum 2.0.