former twitter CEO jack dorsey recently announced a “bitcoin legal defense fund” aimed at helping open source bitcoin developers facing litigation.
The fund is a non-profit entity. it was announced via an email addressed to the developers. The effort stems from the susceptibility of developers involved with Bitcoin and its products to legal pressure, as Dorsey described. she stated that “the bitcoin community is currently the subject of litigation on several fronts.”
This effort would add much needed muscle to the defense of the popular tulip trade lawsuit. many of the litigated developers cannot afford adequate legal defense, and furthermore, the letter states that this event has discouraged developers from continuing their online activities. “We propose a coordinated and formalized response to help defend developers,” Dorsey wrote.
“the bitcoin legal defense fund is a non-profit entity that aims to minimize the legal headaches that discourage software developers from actively developing bitcoin and related projects, such as the lightning network, privacy protocols of bitcoin and the like”.
The announcement was widely applauded by the community, who agree that developers deserve this kind of support and the chance to fight back. tftc founder marty bent tweeted:
“thanks to @jack, alex morcos and martin white for stepping up to protect bitcoin developers from getting bogged down in lawsuits so they can focus on what they do best.”
how the background will work
“This is a free and voluntary option for developers to take advantage of if they so choose.”
Details about the fund that the letter promised to share in the near future are still unknown. For now, however, we know that its board of directors will likely consist of Jack Dorsey, Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos, and academic Martin White, who will determine future resource allocation decisions.
In addition to providing financial support for outside counsel, the nonprofit will begin operations with a staff of volunteers and part-time attorneys who will play a role in defending the promoters.
“The primary purpose of this fund is to defend developers from lawsuits related to their activities in the bitcoin ecosystem, including finding and hiring defense attorneys, developing a litigation strategy, and paying legal bills,”
The letter clarifies that the fund does not “seek to raise additional money for its operations, but will do so at the direction of the board if necessary for additional legal action or to pay staff,”
As mentioned, the first project they will provide funding for is the Tulip Business Lawsuit, a critical legal action alleging breaches of fiduciary duty against multiple developers.
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the demand for trade in tulips
This lawsuit involves Australian businessman Craig Wright, who claims to be the creator of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto, but is seen by the community as a scammer.
mr. Wright has filed a £3.5 billion (about $4.7 billion) lawsuit against 16 developers with bitcoin-related activities. In the legal filing, he claims that after losing the 111,000 BTC encrypted keys due to a hack, the software developers refused to return it to him.
His story doesn’t add that he couldn’t prove ownership of the coin, but the lawsuit goes beyond his vague narrative, as his legal team further alleges that the developers are legally responsible for “preventing illegitimate transactions from being entered into the chain of blocks”. ”
Negative results may bring many other legal actions for developers involved with digital currency activity.
One of the litigated developers claimed that he hasn’t made a contribution to bitcoin’s core code “in a long time.” “Even if bitcoin was centralized, it wouldn’t be on the list. I just don’t have any special control over bitcoin,” he said after receiving the lawsuit.
“wright is probably suing for what are ultimately public relations reasons. most likely because they are trying to convince others that they will win, to somehow get more money out of them. keeping quiet is good from a legal perspective. but it also makes it easier for wright to scam others.”
-peter todd, developer
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