Jack Dorsey Announces Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund to Assist Developers

Block CEO and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has proposed the creation of a legal defence fund that would help Bitcoin developers deal with mounting litigation. Called the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund, it’s services would be free for developers to take advantage of if they choose to do so. Initially, volunteers and part-time lawyers would assist with cases, and the fund’s board would be responsible for determining which cases and defendants to help. Dorsey outlined the basics of the proposal in an email to the Bitcoin-dev mailing list.

In the email, Dorsey said litigation and continued threats to the community are having their intended effect as some individual defendants have chosen to surrender in the absence of legal support.

The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund would essentially serve as a non-profit entity tasked with helping developers minimise legal headaches. Specifically, the fund would assist with finding and retaining defence counsel, developing legal strategies, and paying legal fees. In fact, the fund will also include a team of volunteers and part-time lawyers, readily accessible to developers for legal counsel.

Apart from Dorsey, the email was signed by Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos and academic Martin White, who both join the former Twitter boss on the fund’s board.

The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund’s first move will be to support 16 developers being sued by Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist who claims to be the creator of Bitcoin. Wright won a court battle in December 2021 to keep a cache of 1.1 million Bitcoins, worth about $54 billion (roughly Rs. 3,99,238 crore) at the time.

In the new case, known as the “Tulip Trading” lawsuit, Wright claims the access keys for a Bitcoin wallet were stolen from him last year in the Mt. Gox hack, and he is demanding the developers be forced to give him back control of the wallet — another case with Billions of dollars at stake.

Dorsey, who has become more crypto-focussed since stepping down as Twitter CEO to concentrate on his digital finance company Block, which rebranded from Square. Recently, two NBA stars agreed to have their salary paid in Bitcoin via its Cash App, the latest in Dorsey’s efforts to grow Bitcoin adoption.

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