Uniswap, a popular decentralized exchange (DEX), has announced its fourth version. While this version is feature-rich, it has caused complaints among developers who oppose the Business Source License, which protects their code for the next four years.
Uniswap V4 features include “hooks”
Uniswap v4 introduces various new features and enhanced customizability to the platform. The latest version introduces a ‘hook’ feature, a type of smarthi contract that allows developers to extend existing liquidity pools.
Sarah Reynolds, the project’s lead smart contract engineer, describes hooks as “somewhat limitless” in terms of customization possibilities.
However, the release of Uniswap v4 has also caused complaints within the open source community. The reason is that they dislike licenses used in connection with new updates.
Uniswap has chosen to use the Business Source License 1.1 (BSL) with v4, continuing what they did with Uniswap v3. The BSL license gives Uniswap exclusive use of its innovation for the next four years.
This license permits public access to the code, and permits copying, modification, and redistribution of the code, but does not allow the code to be used for commercial or production purposes for up to four years. After this initial period, the license is permanently changed from a BSL license to a General Purpose License (GPL).
Crypto developers within the open source community have argued that Uniswap’s marketing claims of being open source are misleading.
Uniswap V4 License Impact
series of TweetGabriel Shapiro of Delphi Labs, a research and development lab to accelerate Web3 products, said the BSL is a tax on innovation and could slow development in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. In his view, it would be difficult for developers to build an automated market maker (AMM) from scratch without “checking the Uniswap v4 code.”
A business source license is a tax on innovation across the space. Anyone who has seen BSL code even once, and who subsequently creates similar code, risks receiving an allegation of copyright infringement. Because of the risk of these copyright claims, big tech companies employ elaborate “clean room” procedures. Simply put, you’d be hard-pressed to find a team of developers who can code his new AMM from scratch and have never seen Uniswap v4 code. This doesn’t mean you’ve infringed, but that’s not enough, you need to be able to prove you haven’t.
In response to the backlash, Uniswap creator Hayden Adams and his team hold YouTube live stream to address this controversy.
Chief Engineer Noah Zinsmeister defended the BSL license, arguing that four years is not long and strikes a reasonable balance between promoting innovation and benefiting from the project.
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