When Elon Musk changed his Twitter bio to “#bitcoin” last week, it moved the market, but not only for Bitcoin itself.
UniWhales users could see large owners moving in real time. Matt Aaron, the CEO of UniWhales, sent CoinDesk screenshots showing three big moves by liquidity providers exiting USDC / ETH and USDT / ETH positions on Uniswap. In eleven minutes, the Uniswap system had left $ 47 million worth of liquidity after Musk told the world:
“Our thesis is that whales control the market,” Aaron told CoinDesk on a phone call. “People with more money tend to have better information.”
UniWhales started in September as a simple telegram channel with a bot that flagged large purchases from Uniswap. That’s why it’s called UniWhales. It started by analyzing the movements of large owners (whales) at Uniswap, the leading automated market maker at Ethereum.
ParaFi Capital’s Santiago Roel emailed CoinDesk to say that he has been using the product for some time.
“Their subscription model offers a glimpse of how SaaS can be brought into the chain, which will be an emerging topic as a new monetization model,” he wrote.
Aaron, a crypto alum, was initiated by a pseudonymous developer named Timur and was an early adopter. “I was addicted to this channel, just like being a fan,” he said.
The approach quickly took off and the two decided to turn it into a joint business.
In a bind
Liquidity movements are telling, but it all started with big buys.
For example, on January 26th, the price of the Ethereum token PICKLE rose 40% (from just under $ 11 to nearly $ 14) and members of the UniWhales community were watching this in real time.
The UniWhales Telegram bot reported that PICKLE worth 1.6 million US dollars was picked up on Uniswap in a short time. That was 75% of the daily trading volume at once. Recognizing this type of movement is at the heart of PICKLE.
Traders need notifications to know if something big is happening to a token they hold a position in, or if it means they should be in a position. Some traders will just follow the dynamic, others use UniWhales as a warning to see if they need to check out Twitter or Telegram to see what just happened.
Correlation isn’t causation, but Aaaron showed CoinDesk a tweet that seemed to go well with the movements:
As always, the name Andre Cronje is powerful among the DeFi-Degens. The news that Yearns founder had completed his plan to make something whole for those who had the short end of the wand in the exploit was bullish to at least some bag holders.
Pickle started out as a publicly known Weird DeFi project designed to help stablecoins hold their hook. It didn’t take long for the Anon-run company to evolve into something of an imitation of Yearn Finance, the premier robo-advisor on returns. Like other anon-led projects before, Pickle was exploited.
Yearn, in turn, picked it up to be the powerhouse of decentralized finance.
Finally, Timur and Aaron developed the UWL token, which allows access to the app, exclusive webinars and premium telegram channels. Like any startup, UniWhales is still working on its business model but is focused on building a strong analytics community for DeFi.
How it works
UniWhales describes itself as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), but only in the broadest sense.
Pressing and holding UWL will allow users Aaron and Timur to share their thoughts on the required topics.
“We are definitely benevolent dictators,” said Aaron, despite noting that they have “an open dialogue with everyone in their community.”
For example, if they ever have doubts about which direction to go, 16 hours a day they have a gang on the telegram that always has an opinion on a particular direction.
To access the community’s private channels, a user must have 5,000 UWL. UniWhales uses Mintgate and CollabLand to verify token holdings and provide premium access.
Basic membership provides access to the app and the channels with bots that identify things like large purchases at Uniswap or SushiSwap, new or unknown tokens, and (as in the example above) large movements in or out of liquidity pools.
For 16,000 UWL, users get access to the power channel, which shows movements of wallets that are known to be associated with major crypto players like large funds or well-known investors.
The total supply is 10 million UWL. 35% of this was sold in a public and private sale and 25% was reserved for the supply of liquidity. The sale took place in November and the team raised a total of 400 ETH.
All funds were invested in liquidity pools from automated market makers, and these LP tokens were blocked for six months. The team allocation of 15% is also blocked for six months.
Aaron said this is “to signal to the church that we are trying to build it up for the long term.”
Currently, the only recurring income the team is making is the underlying LP fees for Uniswap and SushiSwap, and any liquidity perks, if any. Aaron said they are looking for other ways to make the project more sustainable. However, if fees were introduced anywhere, they would add value to all token holders, not just the company.
“We want to make sure that the token holders are rewarded for participating in our project,” said Aaron.