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After months of anticipation, Uniswap has launched its NFT marketplace…. But the launch also comes after months of NFT trading volumes declining rapidly.
According to Decrypt, NFT trading volume fell 8% in November compared to last month whilst the total number of NFTs sold dropped 23%. Furthermore, NFT trading is down 88% since the start of the year.
Nonetheless, Uniswap has proceeded with its NFT platform, joining a rather crowded house with OpenSea, LookRare, SudoSwap and others. However, unlike its competitors, Uniswap’s NFT marketplace operates as an aggregator that brings together multiple marketplaces under one interface.
The launch comes just months after Uniswap acquired NFT aggregator Genie, which Genie founder-turned-Uniswap NFT chief Scott Gray has now been buried. “The genie went back in the lamp,” Gray said to The Defiant.
Gray further insists that Uniswap’s new NFT marketplace isn’t just Genie re-branded. “The Genie team completely went back to the drawing board after the acquisition,” he said. The new Uniswap marketplace boasts 15% lower transaction fees compared to competing aggregators.
Uniswap also published its user interface code. “Anyone can contribute; anyone can fork [and] compete with us on the interface and the smart contract,” Gray said. “We’re the first major NFT marketplace that has an open source front end.”
Gray also said Uniswap will not implement an automated market maker (AMM) like SudoSwap’s sudoAMM. Speaking about SudoSwap founder Owen (anonymous surname), Gray said “he really killed it with Sudoswap, and Uniswap as an aggregator is supporting innovation, and making sure that those innovations and those market efficiencies are brought to the forefront and are discoverable.”
Read more: NFT Community Divided Over Sudoswap: Providing Liquidity for NFTs or Limiting Creator Royalties?
“We believe right now that SudoSwap has a really good solution, and there’s no way we could really innovate. We don’t want to just be competing for the sake of it.”
Uniswap will pull listings from SudoSwap, OpenSea, X2Y2, LooksRare, Larva Labs, Foundation, NFT20, and NFTX, with plans to integrate Blur.
As mentioned, Uniswap’s timing of launching their NFT aggregator is curious considering declining transactions. However, as contradictory as it may sound, the damp market could be signs of a turn around for NFTs.
Speaking at Token 2049, famed crypto tweeter punk659 said “you should think of NFTs being at the level of maturity of crypto at around 2012 to 2013.”
“What we have with NFTs is a platform for the representation of arbitrary non-fungible digital auctions – art, collectables, brands, and metaverse assets,” he explained.
Also speaking on the same panel, WhaleShark said the NFT boom and subsequent decline was because capital from “larger crypto environments” like DeFi were flowing into the NFT market in search of quick profits.
“A lot of people said that because non-fungible tokens are non-fungible, they should be immune to the ups and downs to the larger markets”, he said.
It’s a sentiment shared by people on the ground too. Speaking to traders (and degens) at Token 2049 as well as Singapore Fintech Festival, Blockhead learned that the appetite for NFTs has certainly not expired. NFT market participants are consolidating their interests into forward looking projects and steering away from short-term pump and dumps.