Former Twitter CEO and Block boss, Jack Dorsey has announced plans to create a “Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund” with Chaincode Labs co-founder, Alex Morcos and Martin White, who is an academic at the University of Sussex.
The announcement was sent on a mailing list for Bitcoin developers, bitcoin-dev, today from an email address appearing to belong to Dorsey. The announcement stated the fund will help provide a legal defence for Bitcoin developers, who are “currently the subject of multi-front litigation.”
The announcement described 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 email described the main purpose of the fund. It stated, “The main purpose of this Fund is to defend developers from lawsuits regarding their activities in the Bitcoin ecosystem, including finding and retaining defence counsel, developing litigation strategy, and paying legal bills.
The email also stated, “Litigation and continued threats are having their intended effect; individual defendants have chosen to capitulate in the absence of legal support,” referencing open-source developers who are often independent and therefore susceptible to legal pressure.
According to the email, at the first instance, the fund will include volunteers and part-time lawyers for developers to “take advantage of if they so wish.” although, the email also states that “the board of the Fund will be responsible for determining which lawsuits and defendants it will help defend.” It further stated, “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 fund’s first project will be to take over the existing defence of Ramona Ang’s “Tulip Trading Lawsuit” against developers including Ira Kleiman for alleged misconduct over access to a BTC fortune, according to the email.