Key Takeaways

  • Jack Dorsey has announced a Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund for Bitcoin developers.
  • Dorsey, Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos, and computer science professor Martin White will sit on the fund’s board.
  • The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund’s first activity will be to coordinate defense against Craig Wright’s Tulip Trading Lawsuit.

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Block CEO Jack Dorsey has announced a new legal defense fund for Bitcoin developers. The fund’s first activity will be to coordinate defense against Craig Wright’s Tulip Trading Lawsuit. 

Dorsey Champions Developers

Jack Dorsey wants to help defend Bitcoin developers.

In an email sent out to the Bitcoin developer mailing list Wednesday, the former Twitter CEO detailed his plans for a non-profit Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund to help developers fight lawsuits regarding their activities in the Bitcoin ecosystem. 

“The Bitcoin community is currently the subject of multi-front litigation,” Dorsey asserted at the start of the email. He then listed the fund’s objectives and goals, explaining that it will be a free option for all Bitcoin developers to help retain legal counsel, develop litigation strategy, or pay legal bills. 

The legal defense fund will primarily be made up of volunteers and part-time layers. The organization’s board will decide where funds are allocated and which lawsuits and defendants it will help defend. Board members include Dorsey, along with Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos, and Martin White, a computer science professor at the University of Essex. 

According to the email, the fund’s first activity will be coordinating defense against Craig Wright’s Tulip Trading Lawsuit by providing funding for outside counsel. In May 2021, Wright was given the go-ahead by a London High Court to start litigation against 16 Bitcoin developers in a fight over funds from the defunct Mt. Gox exchange. The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund appears to have adequate resources to cover the Tulip Trading Lawsuit. Dorsey stated that the fund is not looking to raise additional money for its operations at this time. 

Wright is a controversial figure in the Bitcoin community and has been embroiled in several lawsuits in recent years. He has long claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. However, the cryptocurrency community widely disputes this claim. In December, Wright lost a lawsuit against the estate of the late Dave Kleiman and was ordered to pay $100 million in damages. 

Dorsey’s new fund will help Bitcoin developers who have often capitulated to legal threats due to not having the resources to defend themselves. As Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem grows, the need for legal defense funds like Dorsey’s is likely to increase.   

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