Jack Dorsey, the former Twitter CEO and founder, has introduced plans to create a “Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund”. He has partnered with Martin White and Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos to work on this project. White seems to be an academic at the University of Sussex.
This fund will assist in the provision of a legal defense for Bitcoin developers and will feature a team of volunteers and some part-time lawyers. The announcement was published on a mailing list for Bitcoin developers, bitcoin-dev, at 00:13:45 UTC on Jan. 12 from an email address that seems to belong to Dorsey.
For now, the board members are yet to respond to reporters to confirm the legitimacy of the email. The interesting announcement said that the fund is meant to help in offering a legal defense for BTC developers, who are “currently the subject of multi-front litigation.” The email reads:
— Zack Voell (@zackvoell) January 12, 2022
“Litigation and continued threats are having their intended effect; individual defendants have chosen to capitulate in the absence of legal support.”
That part of the email referenced open-developers who are mostly independent and thus susceptible to legal pressure.
“We propose a coordinated and formalized response to help defend developers.”
The announcement went on to describe the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund as:
“A nonprofit entity that aims to minimize legal headaches that discourage software developers from actively developing Bitcoin and related projects. The main purpose of this Fund is to defend developers from lawsuits regarding their activities in the Bitcoin ecosystem, including finding and retaining defense counsel, developing litigation strategy, and paying legal bills.”
Originally, the fund will feature volunteers and part-time lawyers for these developers to use their services when and if they so wish. But, the email also says that:
“The board of the Fund will be responsible for determining which lawsuits and defendants it will help defend. 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.”
Based on the email, the fund’s first project will primarily be to take over the current defense of Ramona Ang’s “Tulip Trading Lawsuit” against developers for supposed misconduct over access to a Bitcoin fortune.
Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO at the end of November. He is a long-time proponent of Bitcoin. For now, it is still not clear whether Dorsey left the social media company to focus on Square’s plans to create a decentralized Bitcoin exchange.
On November 19, the decentralized exchange (DEX) project dubbed tbDEX published a white paper that elaborated plans to develop a message protocol that is designed to facilitate trust relationships without having to rely on a federation to control access.