Uniswap, Ethereum’s largest decentralized exchange by volume, is looking to expand into consumer finance – at least according to a deleted YouTube video from the EthCC conference that was held in Paris last week.
In a talk at the event, Ashleigh Schap, Uniswap’s growth lead, said the team behind the trading protocol is in talks with well-known fintech companies to provide decentralized finance (DeFi) to the mainstream. (In a nod to the virtues of the decentralized web, the video is still available on IPFS.)
“We’re trying to put Uniswap and the rest of DeFi right there in those applications so that we can bring the dream of open, 100% uptime liquidity to the whole world,” Schap said. “PayPal wants to talk to us, E*Trade wants to talk to us, Stripe wants to talk to us.”
Uniswap Labs, EthCC, PayPal, E*Trade and Stripe did not reply to CoinDesk’s requests for comment.
After publication of this article, founder Hayden Adams tweeted that Uniswap Labs has not partnered with the companies mentioned in the EthCC talk. He said the video was deleted at Uniswap’s request because “we thought [it] could be interpreted to suggest we have relationships that we don’t.”
According to Schap’s presentation, Uniswap is looking to build partnerships between consumer finance and DeFi using intermediary firms like Fireblocks, Paxos and Talos. Notably, Paxos built the platform that powers PayPal’s crypto service.
The partnerships could allow DeFi protocols to mesh into existing fintech offerings in a bid to provide a larger variety of assets, instant settlement and 24/7 accessibility.
“We’re talking to everyone about potential stuff, but nothing concrete or specific yet,” said a source familiar with the talks, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Paxos and Fireblocks declined to comment.
TradFi meets DeFi?
Creating liquid markets is a difficult task for traditional exchanges that rely on costly and complex relationships with market makers. Uniswap is known in crypto parlance as an automated market maker, or code on a blockchain that makes it possible for traders to swap assets from various pools of liquidity.
The past year’s growth in the crypto market has shown fintech companies that there is consumer demand for cryptocurrencies and the products that DeFi has made widely available, Schap said at her EthCC presentation.
She added that pitching Uniswap is not as tough of a sell as it was years ago and that firms like PayPal and Stripe are becoming less resistant to what DeFi may offer.
“To stay relevant with their user base is a huge, huge reason that all of these giants are starting to really look closely at working with something like Uniswap,” Schap said, before mentioning speaking with Robinhood.
Traditional finance, however, still has its concerns with blockchain technology and the finality of on-chain transactions, Schap said in Paris. She said Uniswap’s current strategy is surveying the needs of large financial institutions when it comes to know-your-customer laws and any fears associated with transacting directly on a blockchain.
Zack Seward contributed reporting.
UPDATE (July 28, 21:07 UTC): Adds detail to headline and adds comments from Uniswap founder Hayden Adams.