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Is It Wrong for DeFi Projects to Track Data?

Is It Wrong for DeFi Projects to Track Data?

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As if there wasn’t enough misery in the crypto market right now, DeFi enthusiasts are now in an uproar over revelations that Remove the switchpopular decentralized exchange (DEX), tracks public user data.

True, the exchange doesn’t track personal, private information like names or IP addresses, but according to newly uploaded terms of service documents, nearly all information publicly viewable online is aggregated and collected. And it’s not alone; earlier this week, metamaskpopular Ethereum wallet, tracked users’ IP addresses.

Among the many trivia collected by Uniswap, according to it Privacy policyare public blockchain data, user preferences, mobile and browser metadata, personal data contained in customer surveys (which confusingly includes names) and customer service communications, and information from third-party service providers regarding “illegal or other fraudulent activity .”

According to it, this user data is collected to “enhance the user experience” of DEX.

And who does it provide this information to?

Only service providers, law enforcement, courts (as mandated), brokerages, and M&A attorneys, to name a few. Basically anyone and everyone who might be tangentially involved in any way with Uniswap Labs, the legal entity behind the exchange.

The kicker is that it has done this years, apparently! But it only tells users now.

And oh, how those users are scandalized.

“Is decentralization a myth?” one DeFi Degen shouted Crypto on Twitter, where I get all my stories without exception.

Other apocalyptic quotes abound – just type “Uniswap user data TREASON” into a Twitter search.

To a certain extent, FUD is not completely unfounded.

A helpful DeFi analyst working through Yoda Research explained To me, the revelation reflects “an ongoing trend toward centralization of crypto.” Yoda points out that the Uniswap DAO did not set a privacy policy, but instead is supposedly unilaterally managed by its core development team.

“The core ethos of DeFi is waning and often gone,” lamented the researcher. “It’s an empty facade.”

For many in DeFi, Uniswap’s terms are an unwelcome introduction to DeFi data collection and Web2 sensitivity.

The user data in question is tracked through the Uniswap website, the back end of which is closed to the public and managed by a small group of developers who work at Uniswap Labs, the company that develops the exchange—that is, the protocol behind it. blockchain.

This group, which was awarded 40% of Uniswap’s original mint revenue, is after a four-year earning period increased influence of the stock exchange management mechanism.

Like considered by radical decentralization enthusiast Chris Blec, the Uniswap team, once a squadron of tough, anti-establishment coders, has fallen under the sway of the old world’s old guard.

It has leaders in its ranks NYSE, BlackRock and data tracking firm Chainalysis, and a former Obama spokesman and Federal Reserve economist. Not something you’d expect to see working in a cypherpunk mall! I remember the heady days of truly decentralized platforms like Augur, where no one on the platform would ever accept any form of centralized control. (One could argue why those platforms never really took off.)

Fun Tweet comes to mind from the past. It was ironic, yet captured the spirit of the times: “No one ‘runs’ a crypto company…we are just mortal agents whose menial labors manifest the dream of a segregated ledger currency in this most worthless of capitals. Airplanes.”

Now these protocols have internal PR.

Maybe there is some legal basis for that. We are now in a brave new world where crypto developers can be prisoner at the whim of governments, as happened to the Tornado Cash privacy platform developer in the Netherlands. Just this week, Dutch authorities ruled that the developer in question should remain behind bars for another three months before the trial begins, labeling him a flight risk.

While Uniswap itself may now have transcended mere jurisdiction, existing only as a shroud of digital fog in time and space, the exchange’s largely American developers remain at this moribund level. (Uniswap Labs did not confirm or deny whether the recent arrests in the DeFi world spurred its decision to publicize the data policy).

The truth is that pure protocols such as Bitcoinany kind of accessible interface through which normal, non-crypto users can use these platforms is usually maintained by a human core with some centralized influence.

Maybe some updates to the HTML should every member of the DAO community is voted and ratified; maybe every small change should go through GitHub first. My good friend Yoda believes that literally everything should be left up to the community, but “at least the minimum to operate within the jurisdiction.” Anything beyond that is financially motivated, they argued.

But if true decentralization also involves separating web design and leaving it to a decentralized group of cypherpunk dilettantes, we’re going to be faced with a truly horrifying 1990s aesthetic in DeFi website design. And I’m not sure if my modem can handle it.

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