Uniswap sparked a new debate about decentralization after it delisted a couple of assets or tokens from it’s front end on July 24. The move likely resulted from regulatory uncertainty and appears to be based on legal advice to safeguard the team from any future troubles. These restrictions apply on the “official” front end located at app.uniswap.org, which abstracts away the smart contract functionality and presents users with a simple user interface.
Amongst those not available anymore and greyed out when users attempt to import or trade them on the centralized front end are several synthetic tokens, stock representations, derivatives, call options and some memecoins. A full list of over 110 can be found here and Uniswap insists that the delisted tokens have always represented a very small portion of the overall trading volume. However, that’s besides the point.
Uniswap represents the world’s largest decentralized exchange and a backbone of the new DeFi system, it should allow access to any type of token or asset without arbitrarily and centrally deciding what gets to be traded on it’s front end. This move has ignited discussion about the dangers of centralized front ends. But, the protocol is more than what appears on the surface.
It consists of truly decentralized and immutable smart contracts, which will continue to function as intended and no one, not even the team has any power to restrict them. The underlying protocol still supports and manages the liquidity / trading for these tokens or assets. It’s only the front end that’s blocked.
Uniswap already has alternative front ends, they need to be made popular and proliferated. It would also help if they are hosted directly on decentralized infrastructure, ensuring no single point of censure or failure. This will ensure that such delistings aren’t problematic in the future.
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