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Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are blockchain-based organizations that manage resources through self-executing rules defined in smart contracts and rely on decentralized governance approaches. Many DAOs were affected by forking, a phenomenon in which a new DAO–the fork–is created by copying another DAO’s–the parent’s–protocols, source code, and/or data. Current research unveiled various far-reaching implications of DAO forking but comparing and generalizing these is inhibited by a missing fine-grained understanding of the different types of DAO forks. This motivates us to develop a taxonomy of DAO forks. We developed our taxonomy based on research on forking of DAOs and software development projects and the examination of 21 real-world cases of DAO forking. Our taxonomy contributes a framework to researchers of DAOs and software forking as well as practitioners, who are now able to define and distinguish different types of DAO forks and their individual implications.



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