Hayden Adams is the founder and CEO of Uniswap, a leading decentralized protocol for automated token exchange. Adams is a self-taught software engineer who has been involved in the cryptocurrency space since 2017. 
Born on October 21, 1992, in the United States, Hayden Adams started his career in engineering at Siemens in 2016 before getting laid off after a year.
From a perspective of ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life,’ it was scary at the time. I was living at home [in the New York suburbs] for a while. 
Adams also worked as a software engineer at various tech companies, including Blockstack and Consensys.
In 2017, Adams discovered crypto via a Reddit post made by Vitalik Buterin titled: “Let’s run on-chain decentralized exchanges the way we run prediction markets.” A friend, Karl Floersch who then worked at Ethereum reassured Adams that smart contract development was a viable career path. 
"A friend of mine from college ended up getting a job at the Ethereum Foundation. After I got laid off working as a mechanical engineer (July 2017), he convinced me to learn smart contract development.
Shortly after, Floersch introduced him to Vitalik Buterin who suggested that Adams applied for an Ethereum Foundation grant. Adam did so, and the Uniswap project received a $65,000 dollar grant from the foundation which went toward a full audit of its code. 
Adams mentioned how he got into crypto in one of his interviews:
“Friend of mine from college ended up getting a job at the Ethereum Foundation. After I got laid off working as a mechanical engineer (July 2017), he convinced me to learn smart contract development. I was pretty bored at my Engineering job so decided to give it a shot. Spent about two months messing around with ERC20 and ICO contracts in Solidity before deciding to learn on a more ambitious project. That project ended up being Uniswap.”
Through a series of other events, such as Edcon 2018 and NYC blockchain week, Hayden presented and developed his AMM demo, which was always positively received for its respect for Ethereum values. Shortly after, the offices of Balance, an Ethereum wallet startup, hosted Hayden, inviting him to share his progress weekly, and founder Richard Burton personally funded his efforts. However, he was not the only one: MakerDAO also frequently welcomed him to its NY office.
Adams stated in a blog post:
For many people, this was the first they heard of the project. For me, it was the culmination of over a years worth of work — and a huge amount of help along the way. Uniswap changed my life and today is its birthday. 
Uniswap V2 was the second iteration of Uniswap and it was launched on the Ethereum mainnet on May 18, 2020. Using an initial seed investment as backing, V2 included many new features and improvements of V1:
- ERC20 / ERC20 Pairs
- Price Oracles
- Flash Swaps
- Core/Helper Architecture
- Technical Improvements
- Path to Sustainability 
Uniswap V3 was launched on May 5, 2021, and it introduced updates on the V2:
- Concentrated liquidity, giving individual LPs granular control over what price ranges their capital is allocated to. Individual positions are aggregated together into a single pool, forming one combined curve for users to trade against.
- Multiple fee tiers, allowing LPs to be appropriately compensated for taking on varying degrees of risk. 
- Upgraded oracles and cheapened transaction gas fees were introduced thanks to the launch of Ethereum’s Optimism layer-2 solution in July.
- Uniswap v3 contracts were deployed to Polygon. As Polygon runs on a proof-of-stake consensus method, the deployment ensured benefits such as lower fees.
- The project removed gas fees for voting on proposals by moving votes off-chain via its Uni.Vote innovation.
Historically, the way that new protocol versions have come out has been almost more like products, in the sense that they've been basically announced when they're almost done. And that was something that made sense at the time. But with where the Uniswap protocol is today, building in public and inviting the community to build alongside us and contribute to this decentralized protocol is a really important thing. - Hayden Adams said in an interview with Coindesk. 
According to the announcement post, V4’s “hooks” feature will allow future developers to create on-chain limit orders, automatic deposits to lending protocols, auto-compounded liquidity provider (LP) fees, and many other innovations to the exchange once it is implemented. Adams says the network gas fees required to list new pools will be sliced by 99%.
The Uniswap protocol governance token, UNI was launched on the Ethereum mainnet on September 16, 2020. The launch included a large airdrop of 150 million UNI to be claimed by historical liquidity providers, users and SOCKS redeemers/holders based on a snapshot ending September 1, 2020, at 12:00 am UTC. 400 UNI each, valued at $1,344 at the time was claimed by over 13,000 users within the first 3 hours of launch. 
Uniswap Foundation Approval
A proposal to create Uniswap Foundation was made by Uniswap community members and put to vote in August 2022. The proposal needed about 40 million votes for approval and it received more than 88 million votes, over 99% of the total votes of the UNI token holders.
Adams reacted positively to the plan saying:
“The strength of an ecosystem grows with each additional team building and working towards its success. Imo, after this passes, the Foundation will be yet another team working towards a future where the Protocol does not just survive — it thrives!” 
In an interview with Coindesk, Adams spoke about his vision for the future of Uniswap.
"I see Uniswap becoming the go-to platform for anyone looking to buy or sell digital assets in a decentralized way. We’re constantly working on new features and improvements to make the platform more user-friendly and efficient." 
Hayden Adams expects a ‘non-volatile’ future for crypto: mass adoption will narrow the price range, so that even passive LPs can receive rewards, without necessarily customizing strategies.
Hayden’s vision will lead, so he hopes, to a fairer financial system that emancipates more people by redistributing wealth. However, it is not a certainty: but rather a reality to be built on Uniswap, which could provide nearly $3 billion in funding through the Uniswap Grants Program. 
Hayden Adams studied for a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E), in Mechanical Engineering at Stony Brook University and graduated in 2016. 
Awards & Recognition
- 2023 'Forbes 30 under 30' 
- CoinDesk's Most Influential 2020 
- Cointelegraph Top 100 
- Defiant Founder of the Year 
Did you find this article interesting?