Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, a cryptocurrency advocate, has proposed the establishment of a non-profit legal defense fund for Bitcoin developers. The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund will assist developers of the world's first cryptocurrency in fighting lawsuits, which are becoming more common as the ecosystem evolves. Dorsey conveyed the information in an email to the developers' mailing group. The fund will offer free legal help and will mostly rely on part-time and volunteer attorneys. Members of the board, including Dorsey, will assess cases and decide who receives assistance from the group.
Along with Dorsey, the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund Board comprises Chaincode co-founder Alex Morcos and academic Martin White. All three were signatories on the email that was sent to the Bitcoin developers on Wednesday.
The email addressed to “Bitcoin Developers” stated that “the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit entity that aims to minimise legal headaches that discourage software developers from actively developing Bitcoin and related projects such as the Lightning Network, Bitcoin privacy protocols, and the like”.
The “fund's first activities” will be to take over the coordination of the ongoing defence of the Tulip Trading litigation against several developers for violation of fiduciary duty, as well as to provide financing for outside lawyers. The fund is not currently soliciting additional funds for its activities but will do so at the direction of the board if additional legal action or staffing is required.
The creation of the fund was a result of the heat on the Bitcoin community, which was facing multiple litigations. As a result of these threats and litigations, individual defendants have, at times, capitulated in the absence of legal help. Open-source developers, who are frequently self-employed, are particularly vulnerable to legal pressure. As a result, we recommend a concerted and codified reaction to assist developers in defending themselves.
Dorsey is the creator of the payments firm Block, formerly known as Square. In November 2021, resigned from Twitter to pursue Block's cryptocurrency goals. In its corporate treasury, the firm has more than $350 million in Bitcoin.
Dorsey has repeatedly shown his support for Bitcoin and expressed tremendous optimism about the cryptocurrency's future. He stated at the Bitcoin 2021 Conference that he did not believe there was anything more important to work on in his lifetime than Bitcoin.