Twitter's co-founder and Block's current CEO, Jack Dorsey, has announced plans to launch a "Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund". The announcement was posted to the bitcoin-dev mailing list at 13:45 UTC on Wednesday from an email address that appeared to belong to Dorsey.
In reaction to recent legal challenges faced by the crypto industry, Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos and Martin White, a professor at the University of Sussex, are the brains behind the Bitcoin legal defense fund. The Fund will give legal representation to Bitcoin developers who are being sued for their involvement in the Bitcoin ecosystem.
"The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund is a nonprofit entity that aims 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 wrote in an email on the Bitcoin developer's listserv.
According to the mail, the Fund's primary purpose is to protect bitcoin developers from lawsuits in the Bitcoin ecosystem, including finding and retaining defence counsel, developing litigation strategy, and paying legal bills. Services will be free and voluntary for developers working on Bitcoin-related projects "if they so wish". The Fund will begin with a group of part-time and volunteer lawyers. The Fund's board of directors will decide which lawsuits and defendants it will support in defending.
The Fund's first move will be to take up Ramona Ang's "Tulip Trading Lawsuit" against developers for alleged malfeasance regarding access to a Bitcoin (BTC) fortune.
With greater regulatory and legal pressure on Bitcoin likely in the near future, a legal defence fund appears to be a positive move to safeguard the crypto ecosystem and those trying to improve it.