Uniswap Buys NFT Aggregator Genie: Is OpenSea Under Threat?

By June 22, 2022NFT
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Uniswap Buys NFT Aggregator Genie: Is OpenSea Under Threat?

Uniswap Labs announced the acquisition of NFT marketplace aggregator Genie on Tuesday, June 21st. The deal will allow millions of Uniswap users to buy non-fungible tokens listed across various marketplaces directly from the leading decentralized exchange protocol.

Neither Uniswap nor Genie have not yet specified the acquisition amount.

Uniswap is the biggest decentralized exchange (DEX) on the Ethereum blockchain with more than $7 billion of value locked, as of today’s data. According to an official announcement, it sees NFTs as another form of value in the growing digital economy, and is expanding its universe to build out its marketplace for all digital assets.

1/ The Uniswap Universe is expanding In pursuit of our mission to unlock universal ownership and exchange, we’re excited to share that we’ve acquired @geniexyz — the first NFT marketplace aggregator — expanding our products to include both ERC-20s and NFTs pic.twitter.com/vESlbE3kvy

— Uniswap Labs (@Uniswap) June 21, 2022

Reportedly, the new deal will open up the possibility for Uniswap users to track NFT listings across multiple NFT marketplace platforms, and buy or sell them within a few clicks. As stated in the release, Uniswap Labs plans to enable the new function for its web app in autumn.

“NFTs will be integrated into our products, starting with the Uniswap web app, where soon you’ll be able to buy and sell NFTs across all major marketplaces. We’ll also integrate NFTs into our developer APIs and widgets, making Uniswap a comprehensive platform for users and builders in Web 3.0”, Uniswap Labs stated.

According to an official statement, the deal with Genie was formulated by Uniswap Labs, and will therefore have no impact on the Uniswap Protocol, Uniswap Governance, or the UNI token.

As part of the acquisition, Uniswap will airdrop USDC stablecoins for Genie users who hold Genie Genesis NFTs, or have made at least one swap with the marketplace aggregator before the date of April 15th, 2022. As disclosed by Uniswap Labs, the airdrop will be announced later this summer.

Not the First NFT Acquisition

The purchase of Genie is not the first time the leading DEX protocol has entered the NFT market. Three years ago, Uniswap launched Unisocks, a form of liquidity pool backed by real-world assets in the form of branded limited edition socks.

In 2021, Uniswap Labs also experimented with Uniswap v3 liquidity pool positions, represented as unique NFT art pieces.

A Threat to OpenSea?

Currently, the NFT market, valued at $12.2 billion, is largely ruled by a handful of major NFT marketplaces, or, in more simple terms, by the platforms that best facilitate the minting, selling and buying of non-fungible tokens.

Since there is a wide variety of different NFT marketplaces, the vast majority of NFT trading volumes go through OpenSea, the megastar of NFT marketplaces, which reported an all-time high monthly trading volume of more than $4.8 billion in the first month of 2022.

In April this year, the NFT market giant acquired NFT marketplace aggregator Gem, allowing users to purchase NFTs from across multiple marketplaces in a single ERC-20 transaction.

Despite that, Uniswap’s upcoming functionality, which will see it integrate NFTs directly into the world’s leading decentralized exchange, could potentially pose a threat to OpenSea’s market dominance. The DEX reported more than $10.3 billion of trading volumes within the past 7 days alone, according to Dune Analytics.

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