Although the NFT hype has dialed down, innovation and development in this space have not slowed down and the Uniswap NFT Marketplace is no exception to this trend. In a recent blog post, Uniswap announced that it was diving into the NFT space by purchasing Genie, an NFT market aggregator. 

The current state of the NFT market

NFTs, which are unique blockchain tokens representing ownership, can be bought from various marketplaces. Some of the most popular marketplaces include OpenSea, Rarible, LooksRare, Coinbase, and SuperRare, to mention a few. 

Over the past two years, the NFT market has been on an uptrend. According to Nonfungible.com, the sales of NFTs jumped to over$17 a billion, a 21,000% rise in 2021, up from $82 million in 2020. In 2021, investors were selling some of the NFTs for millions, if not hundreds of dollars. 

For instance, a token representation of a collage by the digital artist Beeple sold for a whopping $69 million at a Christie’s auction, and popular collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks are selling for millions of dollars. 

According to Chainalysis, NFT transaction activity in Q1 of 2022 has dropped from $3.9 billion the week of February 13 to around $964 million the week of March. That’s the lowest the NFT has experienced since August 1, 2021. Moreover, according to the same report, the number of active NFT buyers and sellers is growing. 

It also appears that NFTs are entering a maturity stage since most of the trading volume in 2022 is generated by established blue chips NFTs like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club. Because of this, experts expect a lot of technological developments in this space throughout the rest of 2022. 

Uniswap NFT marketplace plans to expand Uniswap operations into the NFT space.

Uniswap NFT Marketplace was once genie

Image source genie.xyz

The acquisition of Genie followed an announcement by OpenSea to acquire the NFT aggregator Gem. Gem, similar to Genie, is also an NFT aggregator. It consolidates the inventory of multiple NFT marketplaces and platforms into a single unified interface.

Furthermore, it allows users to purchase multiple NFT assets in one transaction. As such, Uniswap and OpenSea will become close rivals. 

According to Uniswap’s founder and CEO, Hayden Adams, Uniswap is trying to bring everything they brought to the ERC-20 space to the NFT space. He went on to add that they view NFTs as another form of value in the growing digital economy and not as a separate ecosystem from their ERC-20 tokens. “As an important gateway to the Web 3.0, it was a no-brainer for us to integrate them into Uniswap,” Adams added. 

As part of its leap into the NFT space, Uniswap mentioned that it also expects to launch a new landing page on its website dedicated to NFTs. On its landing page, Uniswap plans to add new tabs specifically to enable NFT functionality on its ecosystem. Moreover, it intends to add NFTs to its developers’ API and widgets. 

To commemorate its new acquisition, Uniswap plans to award anyone who used the platform at least once or owned a Genie Genesis NFT by April 15’Th, 2022. In an earlier tweet, the team mentioned that the award also included Genie Gem holders. The platform will achieve this by airdropping an unspecified amount of the stablecoin USDC.

Uniswap’s first move into the NFT space

Image source Unisocks. exchange

Genie’s acquisition is not Uniswap’s first encounter with NFTs. Uniswap first got into the NFT space back in 2019 with Unisocks. Uniswap created 500 SOCKS tokens backed by the same amount of physical limited-edition pairs of socks.

In order to turn their SOCKS token into socks, Unisock holders have to redeem their tokens by taking them out of circulation. According to CoinGecko, there are currently 300 SOCKS in circulation. This means that 200 enthusiasts have already redeemed their pretty expensive footwear. 

Uniswap priced the first SOCKS tokens at $12, but with each subsequent sale, the price increased according to a dynamic curve. Since then, the price has increased exponentially, and one SOCK token is currently valued at around $25,600. Surprisingly, in February 2016, the value of one SOCK token skyrocketed to over $92,000. 

Uniswap UNI price and transaction fees

According to CoinGecko, Uniswap’s (UNI) price has surged 17.4% over the past seven days to $5.25 as of Thursday, June 23, 2022. This can be attributed to its recent acquisition of Genie, as mentioned above, and the appointment of the former president of the New York Stock Exchange, Stacey Cunningham, as an adviser at Uniswap Labs.

The acquisition also comes at a time when traders on Uniswap accounted for an average daily total of about $4.87 million worth of fees between June 15 and June 21. During this period, Ethereum recorded $4.58 worth of fees implying that there was relatively more trading activity on the Uniswap.  This also shows there is strong investor demand for Uniswap, and the acquisition of Genie is only set to increase this demand.