The largest decentralized exchange [DEX] Uniswap’s software development studio had earlier revealed restricting access to some tokens, including synthetic stocks and derivatives from the platform interface.
Over the past couple of weeks, several cryptocurrency firms such as Binance have removed their tokenized stock products. But Uniswap’s move is different than most centralized exchanges since it is only restricting access through its own interface.
Dodging Uniswap’s censorship
Uniswap Labs did not clearly mention the actual reason behind the restriction but in the official blog post, the studio had said that the tokens in question represented a very small portion of the overall volume on the Uniswap Protocol. However, it is important to note that there are several ways in which censorship can be bypassed. In fact, the users can still access these tokens through other portals on the DeFi platform that supports them. Parafi Capital’s Nick Chong also revealed that there are “a ton of alternative interfaces.”
Chong observed that the restricted assets accounted for a total of $5.9 million worth of volume over the past seven days which is around 0.076% of the decentralized exchange’s 7-day volume. He called it a “rounding error.” Chong also emphasized the need for bookmarking decentralized interfaces and mirror applications and asserted,
“The world needs decentralized interfaces. Wouldn’t it have been bad if all non-power user DeFi traders woke up one day and the Uniswap Labs interface was gone w/ no alternatives? This is a wake-up call! Bookmark the decentralized interfaces.”
A bad precedent
The latest move has opened a can of worms about the never-ending decentralization and the impact of regulatory oversight on decentralized finance [DeFi]. Interestingly, the development comes days after the United States regulatory watchdog announced that that they would increasingly monitor these types of products. Needless to say, the platform has been at the receiving end of severe backlash from the community.
Joey Krug, the co-CIO of Pantera Capital and co-founder of Augur said that even though he loves Uniswap, he said that the decision sets a bad example. Krug reiterated General Douglas MacArthur’s famous quote and claimed that this would not be the first case of defi censorship.
“History teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement begets new and bloodier wars. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace.”