Dorsey Proposes a Non-Profit Bitcoin Developer’s Legal Defense Fund

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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 a 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 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 that 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.