Dorsey Proposes Non-Profit Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund for Developers

The main purpose of the fund will be to defend developers from lawsuits regarding their activities in the Bitcoin ecosystem, the Block founder wrote in an email to the bitcoin-dev mailing list.

AccessTimeIconJan 12, 2022 at 6:27 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:57 p.m. UTC

Block founder and CEO Jack Dorsey proposed creating a legal defense fund for Bitcoin developers as the community faces "multi-front litigation" and "threats" that have forced some without legal support to "capitulate."

  • Dorsey wrote the proposal in an email dated Jan. 12 to the bitcoin-dev mailing list, shared on Twitter. The email was signed by Dorsey, Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos and academic Martin White as "Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund Board."
  • The main purpose of the fund is to defend developers by finding and retaining defense counsel, developing litigation strategy and paying legal bills.
  • According to the post, the Fund's first activity will be to run point on coordinating the defense of Craig Wright's Tulip Trading lawsuit against various bitcoin developers in relation to a "breach of fiduciary duty" with regards to the theft of crypto from the Mt. Gox hack.
  • Ontier LLP, the law firm representing Tulip Trading, has been given the green light by a London High Court to serve papers on 16 Bitcoin-related developers in a fight over funds from the defunct Mt. Gox exchange. At the same time, Wright is suing groups that hosted the Bitcoin white paper for breach of copyright.
  • The fund is free and voluntary for developers to use if they so choose, the email reads. It will start a corps of volunteer and part-time lawyers. The fund's board will determine which lawsuits and defendants it will help defend.
  • At this time, the trio says, the Fund is not looking to raise outside capital, but may do so in the future at the direction of the board
  • In December, Wright was found not liable for a breach of a business partnership with a former associate, deceased Florida computer forensics expert Dave Kleiman. The suit was focused on claims that Wright developed the Bitcoin protocol on his own, or if it was a partnership between Wright and Kleiman. Wright's claims that he is Satoshi were not tested in court.


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