- Jack Dorsey has proposed a Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund to help Bitcoin developers fight legal cases
- Dorsey suggested that the fund should be used to help individual developers targeted for legal action
- Craig Wright is suing multiple Bitcoin developers in order to get coins on the blockchain returned to him
Jack Dorsey has proposed a fund to protect Bitcoin developers from legal action. The Square CEO has emailed the Bitcoin developer mailing list over concerns that Bitcoin developers are being forced to hang up their keyboards due to legal threats, most notably from Craig Wright, and that the protocol could suffer as a result. Dorsey suggests that the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund would help defendants find appropriate counsel and pay legal bills in the hopes that it will both encourage existing developers to stay and encourage new ones on board.
So @jack just mailed to the bitcoin-dev mailing list …
— Leo WalletScrutiny Wandersleb (@LeoWandersleb) January 12, 2022
Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund Would Pay Developers’ Legal Costs
In the email, Dorsey acknowledged that recent legal action against individual Bitcoin developers was causing them to “capitulate in the absence of legal support” and as a result he wants the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund to “minimize legal headaches that discourage software developers from actively developing Bitcoin and related projects such as the Lightning Network, Bitcoin privacy protocols, and the like.”
Dorsey has taken the step to protect Bitcoin developers primarily in the wake of attacks by Craig Wright who is attempting to force developers of the Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV blockchains to essentially break into their respective blockchains and return him hundreds of thousands of coins he says were stolen from him in February 2020.
Wright Targeting Individual Developers
Wright has chosen to do this through courts in various jurisdictions, and there are valid concerns that some developers will not have the financial wherewithal to fight the case and will have to admit defeat due to their inability to defend themselves. Dorsey acknowledges that this case is the rationale behind the fund’s establishment:
The Fund’s first activities will be to take over coordination of the existing defense of the Tulip Trading lawsuit against certain developers alleging breach of fiduciary duty and provide the source of funding for outside counsel.
The targeting of individual Bitcoin developers is an intentional tactic by Wright who believed he would be able to steamroller individual developers and gain default judgements without the issues ever getting to court, but hopefully Dorsey’s Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund will allow developers to fight back.