Developers now have the freedom to fork code from the Uniswap V3 protocol.

On April 1, Uniswap V3’s Business Source License (BSL) expired, granting anyone the right to copy the decentralized exchange’s (DEX) code base and create their own.

While source code is publicly available under a BSL license, it cannot be used for production, which makes forking the code to create another protocol illegal. Now, the code falls under the General Public License (GPL) category, meaning it is fully open source. 

Uniswap moved to this copyright protection license in 2021 which prevented other protocols from deploying its code for commercial use. Many in the crypto community attribute this decision to the actions of one particular protocol, which copy-pasted Uniswap’s Automated Market Maker (AMM) smart contracts to become the well-known DEX SushiSwap. 

In the summer of 2020, SushiSwap’s pseudonymous creator Chef Nomi orchestrated a “vampire attack” on Uniswap, incentivizing liquidity providers (LP) to move to the platform with promises of higher rewards through the SUSHI token. At the time, Uniswap did not have its own native governance token.

In order to earn SUSHI, users had to deposit Uniswap LP tokens, which resulted in a significant migration of liquidity between the two platforms. In just two weeks, SushiSwap had successfully aggregated $2 billion worth of liquidity.

In May 2021, Uniswap responded by launching V3 of the protocol that came with new features and the BSL. The license was seen as the ideal middle ground, allowing developers to innovate using the publicly available code and fending off vampire attacks. At the time of writing, Uniswap had $3.94 billion in value locked on the platform. 

Since the BSL’s expiry, only one Uniswap fork has been deployed – a platform called Maia V3 that is yet to have garnered any liquidity. Still, developers believe there will soon be more to come, and blockchain data aggregators like DeFiLlama have already set up a dedicated dashboard to monitor these forks.