Nouns DAO is forking again 

The high-spending DAO is seeing millions more dollars flow out of its treasury just weeks after losing $27 million


Nouns DAO executed a so-called fork last month following disgruntlement with the DAO’s freewheeling spending habits. After a proposal went live which would force Nouns to keep spending its treasury, the DAO forked a second time.

Nouns DAO, which mints one NFT every day and uses the funds to advertise the project, instituted forking in May as a form of minority protection. So far, 62 Nouns, or about 20% of treasury’s holdings, have joined the fork, which finalizes Wednesday morning. The early outflows totaled 2035.49 ether, worth around $3.2 million at the time of writing, and will add to the more than $27 million lost in the first fork. 

The Noun fork mechanism technically allows erstwhile holders to use the project’s code for a spinoff project, but participants in September’s fork don’t seem to be interested in a Nouns rebrand. The fork contract shows 224 separate transactions of users claiming their share of ether (ETH), leaving under 1,000 of the original 16,000 ETH remaining in the fork’s wallet. 

At the time, Nouns contributors told Blockworks some of the Nouns holders who left were interested in an arbitrage opportunity where Nouns could be bought for below their book value, or proportional share of the DAO’s treasury.

After the fork, a Nouns proposal went live that would burn, or liquidate, part of the Nouns treasury at given intervals if a sufficient amount of ETH was not spent, in essence forcing the DAO to regularly spend its treasury. Part of the rationale for the proposal outlined in a blog post was to eliminate the arbitrage opportunity by spending down the Nouns treasury and thus lowering the book value of each Noun. 

The proposal led to Nouns’ second fork, which curiously was executed days before the offending proposal finished its governance vote. The proposal currently lacks the votes needed to pass. 

The fork will allow some holders to profit via arbitrage. The Nouns price floor fell to as low as 25 ETH in recent weeks, per NFT Price Floor, and the current Noun book value is around 27 ETH, or roughly $42,500, according to a Dune dashboard.

But the fork isn’t all arbitrage, with at least one former holder fully exiting the project. 22 of the 62 Nouns joining the fork came from Patricio Worthalter, a longtime Nouns holder who fully closed his position after claiming 24 Nouns worth of treasury funds in the last fork. One of Worthalter’s soon-to-be-forked Nouns cost 113.33 ETH to acquire, worth around $357,000 at the time it was minted.

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