On August 28th, 2022, the vote to create the Uniswap Foundation closed. The proposal passed with landslide support from the community.
crypto">Foundations in Crypto
Most large crypto projects possess foundations. These organizations support the project they are attached to typically through financial and nonfinancial resources to accelerate the project’s growth. Often these foundations lead initiatives with the aim of bettering the protocol as a whole. A classic example would be the Ethereum Foundation which organizes Devcon every year, or in terms of strategic planning, the Fantom Foundation’s introduction of a gas monetization program to financially reward developers building on the network and stimulate organic growth of the network.
The Uniswap Foundation
Uniswap became community-owned and operated in 2020 following its airdrop to active users, and Uniswap already had a grants program in place that has successfully funded more than 120 grantees deploying more than seven million dollars in UNI to grantees.
The Uniswap Foundation (UF) proposal came from Ken Ng, who was appointed Head of Operations. The key motivations behind creating the UF were acting as a general advocate for Uniswap, reinvigorating governance engagement, and supporting protocol growth. It is important to note that the UF is an independent entity from Uniswap Labs and another addition to the ecosystem.
Initially, it began with Devish Walsh serving as Executive Director and Ken Ng serving as Head of Operations with a plan to build out a full-time team of twelve. The initial advisory board featured:
Current employees of the foundation include:
B0R444 (Grant Analyst)
fedeebasta (Program Team)
RaffiSapire (Head of Growth)
0xTyllen (Developer Relations Lead)
The UF requested $74 million in UNI, approximately 1.05% of UNI’s total supply, along with an additional 2.5 million UNI tokens to participate in governance which can be revoked at any time by the DAO.
$14 million to cover operating expenses for three years
$60 million to expand the Uniswap Grants Program
Upgrading the Grants Program
Grants have been proven to be one of the most effective ways to drive ecosystems forwards, from offering educational resources to incubating projects. Increased flexibility to support grants was a deciding factor in the UF’s creation.
Due to UF’s unique status as a legal entity, it has options that the Uniswap Grants Program does not. For example, the UF can provide grants to universities and research institutions. The UF can diversify its assets, meaning it can fund different types of projects without worrying about the price volatility of UNI.
Additionally, because the UF hired a full-time team and had a larger budget, it has the ability to be more proactive and totally upscale the grants program.
The Uniswap DAO voted to create the UF to support the long-term growth and sustainability of Uniswap, one of DeFi’s key primitives.
The DAO voted to fund this organization initially for three years. Its three central aims are to promote the development of the Uniswap ecosystem, encourage more active governance from the community, and act as a general proponent for the protocol.