Roughly 43%, or nearly half of all funds associated with The DAO, have now been withdrawn by former project investors.

The activity comes hours after developers on the ethereum network executed a hard fork of its blockchain, a network change meant to specifically reverse the failure of The DAO project and move funds tied to its compromised smart contracts into a new account.

Data from the ethereum blockchain shows users began removing funds in ether shortly after the fork. At press time, the address for the new smart contract shows 6.6m ETH (or roughly $80m).

This figure was down from the roughly 11.58m ETH (worth $145.2m) available in the original smart contract shortly after its creation. In total, 1,188 withdrawal transactions have been executed in the first six hours the funds were available, a figure that can be tracked more closely here.

Prior to its mid-June collapse, The DAO had an estimated 23,574 users who had purchased DAO tokens, and would therefore be eligible for refunds. Should the withdrawal transaction figures represent individual users, this would mean roughly 5% of DAO users have now received refunds.

That such a small number of users could withdraw nearly half of the smart contract’s ether funds is not surprising.

Those funds were originally exchanged for DAO tokens during a crowdsale earlier this summer, and while the total The DAO raised was impressive, its number of investors was comparably small.

Previous CoinDesk Research analysis revealed the top 500 DAO addresses held more than 70% of all DAO tokens, while the top 50 held over 40% of the funds. Developers and individuals close to both the ethereum project and Slock.it, the startup that wrote code for The DAO, were also among those who held funds in the project, an issue that proved controversial in previous weeks.

Regardless, reports on social media indicate that users began pulling out their ethers this morning to a mostly positive response.

Block explorers indicate that not all transactions were successful, though errors were said to be unrelated to the contract design, attributable instead to errors such as the failure of those executing transactions to pay the necessary gas fees. Users were paying on average 1 cent to execute transactions at press time.

For more on the ethereum hard fork, read our full report here.

Pete Rizzo contributed reporting.

Coin bowl image via Shutterstock

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