Jack Dorsey proposes the creation of a legal defense fund for BTC developers

By: Jinia Shawdagor
Jinia Shawdagor
Jinia is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Sweden. She loves everything positive, travelling, and extracting joy and… read more.
on Jan 12, 2022
  • Per Dorsey, the fund seeks to help the Bitcoin community, which is facing multi-front litigation.
  • The fund would handle tasks like finding and hiring defense counsel and paying legal bills.
  • Dorsey claims the fund does not need to raise additional operational funds at the moment.

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Block, has announced plans to form Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization that would offer Bitcoin developers legal protection. Dorsey suggested this idea through an email he sent to the Bitcoin Developer’s mailing list earlier today.

Through this initiative, the American entrepreneur hopes to help the Bitcoin community, which is currently under multi-front litigation.

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In the email he sent, Dorsey pointed out that,

Litigation and continued threats are having their intended effect; individual defendants have chosen to capitulate in the absence of legal support. Open-source developers, who are often independent, are especially susceptible to legal pressure. In response, we propose a coordinated and formalized response to help defend developers.

The email described the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund as an entity that would help minimize legal headaches that intimidate developers, inhibiting them from actively developing Bitcoin and related projects like the Lightning Network and Bitcoin privacy protocols.

Specifically, Dorsey noted that the fund would focus on defending developers from lawsuits based on their work in the Bitcoin ecosystem. To ensure the safety of developers, the fund would handle responsibilities like finding and retaining defense counsel, developing litigation strategy, and paying legal bills.

A free and voluntary option for developers

Dorsey added that this initiative is free and voluntary for Bitcoin developers. According to him, the fund will start with a corps of volunteer and part-time lawyers. He further pointed out that the fund’s board would be responsible for selecting which lawsuits and defendants the fund would help defend.

Dorsey remarked,

At this time, the Fund is not seeking to raise additional money for its operations but will do so at the direction of the board if needed for further legal action or to pay for staff.

The email, which was co-signed by Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos and academic Martin White, detailed that the fund’s first task would be taking over the coordination of the Tulip Trading lawsuit, which alleges that certain developers breached fiduciary duties. Additionally, the fund will provide the source of funding for outside counsel.

This news comes after Dorsey left Twitter at the end of November 2021, relinquishing the CEO position to Parag Agrawal. Soon afterwards, he led Square’s rebranding to Block, steering the financial payments company down a blockchain path.

The company has since been experimenting with crypto, including a decentralized exchange (DEX) for trading Bitcoin (BTC/USD) among other cryptos.

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