• Uniswap released UNI, its governance token, Thursday
  • All historical Uniswap users received at least 400 tokens
  • Those who provided liquidity received more tokens

Uniswap, a decentralized Ethereum trading platform, launched its governance token UNI on Thursday and announced that all its users could now claim 400 UNI (a process known as "airdrop") while those who provided liquidy could claim more.

The surprise airdrop has put UNI in wild price volatility in the last 24 hours. This frenzy has continued as more exchanges, including Coindesk Pro, started to list the governance token.

With a total supply of 1 billion tokens, UNI has a market cap of $3.53 million based on current circulating supply, according to data aggregator CoinGecko. The price of UNI has been on a roller-coaster ride between $2.5 and $5 in the last 36 hours.

Uniswap has raised $11 million through venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Square Ventures and Paradigm. Of the $1 billion tokens, 178 million is allocated to investors but with a four-year vesting schedule, which is 17.8% of the total supply of UNI both circulating and locked, the exchange said in a blog post. Of the remaining tokens, 6.89 million or 0.69% of the total supply will go to advisors; 215 million or 21.5% to team members and future employees and 600 million tokens or 60% of the total supply will go to the community.

Immediately after the launch, a number of centralized exchanges have listed UNI, including Binance, Coinbase Pro, and OKEx. In comparison to previous listings, Coinbase Pro listed the coin quickly after the launch, opening inbound transfers immediately. UNI is not yet available on

Those who used Uniswap prior to September immediately received 400 UNI tokens, worth $2,164 at the current market price. Those who provided liquidity to Uniswap received more than 400 UNI, with some getting $500,000 worth of UNI instantly.

The number of users who unexpectedly received 400 UNI have effectively clogged the Ethereum network, with pending transactions in Ethereum jumping to 30%, Coindesk reported.

As of Friday morning, 78,880 addresses are holding UNI, including Chef Nomi, who launched SushiSwap, a Uniswap competitor. Some leading personalities in the DeFi space, including Andre Cronje, the creator of, said he felt Uniswap rushed the release of UNI tokens to respond to the growing threat of SushiSwap.

For now, the market seems to not mind the rush of sellers and continue to absorb the supply. With people suddenly having 400 UNI, the selling is expected to continue before real price discovery could begin.

Representation of the Ethereum virtual currency standing on the PC motherboard is seen in this illustration picture, Feb. 3, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic