It’s well known that Uniswap exploded from nothing the first few months of this year and we see that clearly in the numbers. Beyond the rosy start (another pun indeed) it’s also great to see that the volume keeps growing fairly consistently through the summer months. Uniswap’s weekly volumes have been over $6 million for 3 consecutive months now. This could be indicating that there are not occasional whale acts that drive the metrics, but rather persistent user problems being solved and a snowball effect at play with better liquidity, lower slippage, more demand and so on.
As we see Kyber has also experienced significant growth this year, and especially over the summer. Kyber has been doing over $10 million in weekly volume about half of the weeks in the last few months, which is above Uniswap. In other words, Kyber is on track to bypass Uniswap soon!
After seeing Uniswap quickly outgrow their volumes the first four months of the year, 0x has had some fantastic summer months. It looks like 0x’s focus on improving liquidity is paying off as they’re closing in on Uniswaps weekly volumes and the most prominent DEX project of 2018 should probably get more attention again. What is also quite remarkable here is that a vulnerability was found in the 0x contracts on July 12th (week starting 8th of July). They shut down their v2.0 contracts, patched them and redeployed all their contracts as v2.1 on that same day. Some immutability maximalists might be disappointed by the fact that the core 0x team can simply shut down their smart contracts. Interestingly the metrics do show an impressive consistency in volume that week. Albeit a slight dip in volume the week does not even look like an outlier here!
The DutchX launched in February and is currently seeing weekly volumes around $400k. There’s a big peak in late June caused by the fact that trading on the DutchX gave you governing rights in the dxDAO until the 28th of June. When volumes are modest and single events have large effects like this it’s obvious that their product has a less established regular user base. A key promise of the DutchX is low slippage and the data does support this claim, which is encouraging. You can inspect the DutchX’s relatively low slippage across different token pairs here
It seems fair to attribute some of these differences in volume to the complexity of using each product. Uniswap and Kyber have a “press play” experience or under the hood integration with a nice dApp or wallet UI. On the other hand, most 0x interfaces require a user to have some understanding of trading and order matching while the DutchX requires users to both understand the dutch auction model and be present to bid at the right time. Now that does not necessarily mean that one approach is unequivocally better than the others: while all products allow for on-chain exchange of tokens they might be tackling different market segments.
Different user segments?
So if Uniswap on one end offers ease of use, but slippage and on the other end DutchX is more complex, but offers low slippage; then one might expect more professional traders to use the DutchX conducting larger trades and more casual traders to use Uniswap conducting smaller trades.