Uniting Crypto Holders, One UNI at a Time During a Crisis
It was about 12:30 AM. What looked to be an easy night on the nursing unit turned into quite the busy night. Being an RN, you never know what your night is going to look like walking onto the unit. After about 4 hours of non-stop running around, checking vitals, medicating my patients and getting everyone settled in for the night, I took a moment to breathe and opened my phone. Being a member of several telegram groups and even being an admin in couple different groups, I looked at my notifications and saw someone mention they had gotten an airdrop of a new token called UNI.
"I shit you not. I just got $35,000 worth of this UNI token. I used Metamask A LOT", said one active user in a telegram group. I opened my Metamask wallet and saw nothing. Disappointed, I put my phone down and began charting. For about an hour I wondered why I didn't receive the token. I'd used Metamask quite a bit. So I opened my phone again and shot the person who had posted a message. After talking, he further explained you needed to claim your tokens first by going to Uniswap. I got a rush of excitement. I dropped what I was doing, went to my charge nurse, and said "I'm going on break! Don't bother me for 45 minutes!"
Being as though my hospital blocks many of my favorite sites involving crypto, specifically Uniswap, I always bring my laptop with me just in case I need to make an emergency trade or liquidation since I have quite a diverse portfolio at my disposal. When I opened my laptop and logged in I saw the message; "Claim your UNI", it said. As I clicked on the claim button and processed it, I began to see the price of UNI increasing. What was worth $1.30 was now worth $2. My heart began to race and I was in utter disbelief at the fact that I had just received 1200 UNI tokens now worth $2,400.
For almost my entire adult life I have been in debt or behind when it comes to my finances. In late 2017, my wife and I managed to scrap up enough money by working extra hours and living modestly in order to buy our first home. It was exciting but an extremely large commitment, both financially and psychologically. There is a lot that comes with owning a new home at 25, but we were both happy even though it put us back behind financially when we had just seemed to start seeing the cash rolling in and the light at the end of the debt tunnel seemed brighter. On top of that we had our first child a month after we bought our home. 4 months later, I dropped my hours to 24 a week from 45+ and began nursing school. The future was both bright and dull. A rough 18 months was ahead, but everything after that time period would be easier. At least that's what I kept telling myself.
Fast-forwarding to May 2019, I completed my nursing program and became an RN. It took me 5 months to find a job, so the financial implications of taking time off from work to go to school, not being able to apply for loans due to poor credit, and using every bit of credit card utilization I could to make up for it began to really show. I was about $10,000 in credit card debt. I owed $38,000+ in student loans. I was late 5 times on my mortgage in those 18 months, and my credit score was in the low 500's. October came, I started my first job as an RN on a Med-Surge/Orthopedic floor and I began to see a slow but steadily increasing income which I not seen before.
Fast-forwarding further to March 2020, my finances were becoming more manageable, but the stress of Corona-virus was just beginning. I want to be clear and say I am extremely thankful and lucky to have maintained employment and a form of financial security in that employment because of my career path, but every day was now a battle. An unknown enemy was at the doorstep of my place of work. Anxiety was at an all-time high, but I kept in mind the reason I began working as an RN to begin with, and I treated anyone and everyone who needed my help, whether they had COVID-19 or not. I will not lie and say I handled it like a champ. For a good month and a half, every shift began with a trip to the bathroom to calm myself down from an anxiety attack. Little was known about the virus and the mortality rate was over 5% worldwide at that point, so I truly wondered if I would be one of the unlucky ones who caught the virus and passed away. 5 days after the U.S. began to shut down states, my wife and I found out she was again pregnant. I wanted desperately to serve the public to my fullest potential to help combat this epidemic, but I also wanted to make sure I went home safely to my family without compromising them. On top of this, finances were still stressful and there was a cloud hanging over my head after the CEO of my hospital group announced there may be layoffs in the near future.
Fast-forward one more time. To September 16th, 2020. My stimulus check had hit 2 months prior. I began reinvesting in crypto after stopping during nursing school. I began chipping away at debt in
March to try to alleviate the economic fallout at hand. Working overtime helped. A second job in a nursing home helped further. There were many things motivating me to work hard, and I wasn't about to lose that motivation because of the epidemic. After seeing the $2400 in Uniswap in my Metamask account. I took a month to stop and think about what I wanted to do with this gift. Do I hold? Transfer to BTC or ETH? Buy that low cap gem I've been keeping an eye on for 2 months? It was a tough decision. I also thought that it might not be a bad idea to take profit on this one. So I opened up my bank account and looked over my finances. I had recently paid off a large portion of the debt I mentioned earlier. I was down from $10,000 in credit card debt to about $4,600. I cannot tell you enough how stressed out I had been taking the little extra hard earned cash I had and paying off credit cards quicker. Suddenly, I thought, "This $2,400 would go a LONG way." I had my answer. Taking this money and paying off more than half of my remaining credit card debt was the go to decision. By the time I had finished transferring my ETH from Coinbase to pay the fees to swap, the price had gone up even further, and I took this money and immediately paid off the majority of that credit card debt, and even spent some of it on lowering my student loans. For the first time in my adult life, I had full control of my financial situation, and the amount of stress relief I experienced when I sank into my chair and took a long deep breath is a feeling I will never forget.
The story I shared is a true one and very personal to me. That's why I decided to sit down and write about it. The last 3 years of my life have been a crazy roller coaster of emotions, failures, and accomplishments. The last week of my life has been the most accomplished week I have ever experienced financially due in part not only because of good and precise decision making, but also partly because of some strangers who created a decentralized exchange. They created something anyone in the cryptocurrency community could use and enjoy. And for reasons unbeknownst to myself or anyone else, they decided to do something absolutely selfless and extraordinary in sending people free money in UNI tokens just for utilizing Uniswap.
Everyone knows how crippling the Corona-virus pandemic has been economically and financially for the entire world. Stimulus checks were given in the U.S. but it wasn’t enough for a lot of people, and many people in other countries weren’t even given that relief. What the Uniswap team did was not only selfless and extraordinary, it gave people hope. It gave people something to smile about. It put food on the table for the hungry. It paid for educational supplies for the young pupils looking to learn and grow academically. It provided a security blanket for people who did have enough to get by. It paid this months rent. It paid off someones credit card. It gave someone the opportunity to make someone else happy because maybe a surprise gift or just a fun night out was out of the question. It did many more things, and it will continue to do many more things, thanks to those who decided to think about the people who made Uniswap grow into one of the most unstoppable forces the cryptocurrency industry has ever seen.
As a cryptocurrency enthusiast, I couldn't be more proud to be a part of this growing community. Isn't this what its all about? This is the prime example of how decentralization can change the world. When individuals can make the right decision and do the right thing just because they can. When they can do what many governments like the U.S. government can't in providing further relief for the people (in regards to being unable to come up with a bipartisan bill for a second stimulus check). I have no doubt in my mind, WHATSOEVER, that what we just witnessed is one of many acts that will further prove and shape how cryptocurrency and blockchain will change the world we live in today. Forever. I am certain that the people behind this generous act have one regret; that more people didn't benefit.
Another thing is for certain. With less stress, and more financial security, I can sleep better at night. I can focus more on taking care of my patients and block out the negative thoughts of my finances. I can focus on taking better care of my wife as she approaches her due date. I can focus more on making my son happy. I can focus on appreciating my life and everything I have. All because of a random act of kindness. This is a call for all of us in the cryptocurrency community and industry to follow this approach and be kinder, wiser, and more thoughtful of others in a space that is known for its ruthlessness. The team behind Uniswap lead by example. It's time for us to follow suit.