Round 2: Sushi vs Uni

Only those of us who have been around long enough will understand just how important the emergence of Uniswap was.  Although the current Uniswap is still riddled with illiquid pools, frontrunning bots, and outright scams, Uniswap brings an unparalleled level of accessibility and freedom to cryptocurrency holders.  The near universal adoption of Uniswap as THE preeminent launchpad for 99.9% of ERC-20 assets gives the average investor the ability to get into a promising project near the ground floor if they can locate the building early enough.  Although it seems somewhat trivial now, the incessant cycle of, “WHEN BINANCE?” to inevitable formations of early whales from private presales, could be slowed or even stopped altogether as open access platforms such as Uniswap rise to prominence.

 

In its current form, there is no other platform that contains the same potential return on investment that Uniswap can offer.  The Automated Market Maker enables transparent pricing of assets and the open source nature of its code leaves no room for doubt as to exactly what the Pink Unicorn is doing with your hard earned crypto.  Uniswap experienced such an incredible rise in adoption and liquidity,  it is unsurprising that a challenger would eventually rise to attempt to knock the king off his vaunted spot at the top of DeFi Hill.

 

Sushiswap began as a forked code clone, borrowing the AMM code directly from Uniswap and the UI straight from YAM.Finance.  At a glance, Sushiswap appeared to be nothing more than a joke; a MEME on par with the disastrous Yam.v1. A closer inspection of what Sushiswap was offering was sufficient to  silence the laughter.  I distinctly remember sending my brother this screenshot on Friday, Aug 28:

Insane SUSHI APY

Sushiswap was offering what was, at the time, unheard of APY’s with an early adopter bonus of 10x the liquidity mining rewards.  Simply contribute liquidity to the Uniswap liquidity pools, then take those UNI-V2 LP tokens and deposit them into Sushiswap’s yield farms to begin earning FREE sushi.  Oh yeah, there was just the small catch that at the end of the initial farming phase, Sushiswap would be taking your LP tokens and using them to migrate all of your liquidity from Uniswap directly to their own platform.  

 

At its surface, Sushiswap was a vampire mining liquidity attack on Uniswap and Sushiswap dev, Chef Nomi, made no attempt to conceal this fact.  However, despite the unsavory nature of the practice, what Sushiswap was offering was undeniable.  Uniswap existed solely as an unbiased, open source, decentralized protocol, with meager rewards to the liquidity providers who enabled the entire ecosystem to function and shouldered the brunt of the risks involved.  Conversely, Sushiswap’s core premise was to reward those same liquidity providers in the form of $SUSHI tokens with (although unsustainable) INSANE APY’s.

 

A battle was brewing on the horizon, and with almost 90% of the Uniswap’s liquidity locked into Sushiswap’s farms, victory for Sushiswap was all but assured.

 

If you are unfamiliar with just what went down at this point, you haven’t been paying close enough attention.  Uniswap calmly reached into their bag of tricks, and pulled off the most brilliant marketing move in crypto history.

 

A 400 UNI AIRDROP.

 

Unswap triumphed decisively as they announced the release of both their native governance token AND their own liquidity mining pools to add rewards and incentivize liquidity providers on their platform.  Uniswap had firmly ousted Sushiswap from the top of the hill once with a mic drop so resounding that the echoes shook even the Centralized Exchange world. Beaten down and rattled to the core by an exit scam scandal from the original dev shortly after, Sushiswap was thought to be heading down the slow path to oblivion.

 

As recently covered in the ADAPT podcast and in the first installment of Dropping ALPHA, the story of Sushiswap is starting to transform from the Prince and the Pauper to the story of Rocky Balboa.  An ambitious young protocol rises to challenge the champion, but is defeated at their first encounter.  There’s quite a lot to unpack in terms of development updates, but Sushiswap developers have been hard at work introducing new ways to capture value for Sushi holders and with Uniswap liquidity mining rewards having recently ended, Sushiswap has been garnering a lot attention in the recent weeks as a potential home for the stagnant liquidity.

 

Of note, Sushiswap has proposed improvements which will incorporate lending, leverage, options trading, and a launchpad, while also reducing emissions to stabilize the value of their native token.  With rumours of other partnerships and integrations, Sushiswap protocol has been doing the equivalent of hitting giant slabs of frozen meat in preparation for the fated showdown with the champion.  

 

This is not to say that Uniswap hasn’t been preparing for an inevitable rematch.  A recently concluded temperature check on the governance forum suggests that a new proposal to reinstate liquidity mining rewards is underway soon, and with rumours of Uniswap V3 always bubbling in the background, Uniswap still has a secret weapon in their back pocket.

 

uni proposal

A quick tale of the take between challenger and champion based on recent liquidity and volume numbers:

sushi snapshot
uni liq&volume

The stage is set for a decisive rematch between Uni and Sushi and while it would be foolish to count out the reigning champion, I can’t help but root for the underdog to pull off the upset this time around.  The movie ends with Rocky just barely edging out Apollo Creed in the rematch, but even if this metaphor doesn’t play out the same way, I’m extremely optimistic on the future of the Sushiswap protocol.  Just as this user on the Sushiswap Discord states:.

Discord Text

I hope y’all are hungry, it looks like sushi is still on the menu.