A single wallet address pushed up Ethereum prices on DeFi exchange Uniswap to just short of $450. The trade involved a series of swaps totaling $17.9 million USDT to purchase slightly over 40,000 ETH.

ETH/USDT price chart by UniswapVision
ETH/USDC price on Uniswap by TradingView. Data source: UniswapVision

With ETH prices at about $400, the trade was valued at about $16 million⁠—equating to a loss of almost $2 million to slippage. The whale received the USDT from an address associated with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi. The ETH was then parceled out to several freshly minted addresses.

Transaction graph of the $18M swap by Bloxy
A graph of the significant transactions associated with the $18 million Uniswap trade. On-chain data shows that 13 and 5 million USDT came from Huobi-related addresses. Source: Bloxy

A position of this size could have been fulfilled on a centralized exchange with much less slippage. The trade shows that DeFi doesn’t have enough liquidity to serve institutions yet. But, it does show that there is still demand for big DeFi trades, even if costs are high for now.

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