King of the DEXes & Now King of Ethereum DeFi

Total value locked (TVL), i.e. assets under management, is the keystone metric in Ethereum’s young and rising decentralized finance, or DeFi, arena.

Coming into 2020, lending protocol and Dai stablecoin-backer MakerDAO was DeFi’s reigning project with the largest TVL. But this year we’ve seen Maker flipped and projects like Compound and Aave acutely reaching into DeFi’s top-project status.

This brings us to Uniswap, the Ethereum community’s darling decentralized trading protocol that, for the first time ever, became the largest DeFi project this week in reaching a TVL of +$1.75 billion USD.

Accordingly, Uniswap has unquestionably become one of Ethereum’s brighest early projects in rapid fashion, and at this point it seems the permissionless trading protocol is only just beginning to ramp up.

Uniswap on Top

On Thursday, August 3rd, Uniswap surged to a TVL above $1.77 billion on the heels of being among the hottest projects in DeFi in recent months.

That push put Uniswap decidedly above the DeFi space’s other top projects for the first time ever, with the new top 10 currently looking like so according to analytics site DeFi Pulse:

  1. Uniswap ($1.77 billion TVL)
  2. Maker ($1.55 billion TVL)
  3. Aave ($1.47 billion TVL0
  4. Curve Finance ($1.17 billion TVL)
  5. yEarn ($906 million TVL)
  6. Synthetix ($862 million TVL)
  7. Compound ($705 million TVL)
  8. Balancer ($688 million TVL)
  9. WBTC ($448 million TVL)
  10. RenVM ($238 million TVL)

The move into the top of DeFi comes as 1) the DeFi arena has been hotter than ever activity- and interest-wise in recent months, and 2) DeFi “yield farming” has exploded as a popular cryptonative earning opportunity.

That said, a non-trivial part of Uniswap’s acute ascension has been the launch of SushiSwap, a Uniswap fork with added $SUSHI token economics that in part rewards Uniswap liquidity providers and ultimately attempts to poach them.

Accordingly, yield farming opportunities have been drumming up tremendous participation lately, and many users have been freshly…

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