Jack Dorsey spearheads new fund to defend Bitcoin developers against legal action

Former Twitter boss Jack Dorsey is helping to launch a new fund that will help defend Bitcoin developers against litigation.

Its first port of call will be to come to the aid of the Bitcoin developers who are being sued by Craig Wright’s Tulip Trading Limited over an alleged “breach of fiduciary duty.” The fund will provide funding for outside counsel.

In an email addressed to developers, sent early on January 12, Dorsey described the open-source community as “especially susceptible to legal pressure.”

“In response, we propose a coordinated and formalized response to help defend developers,” he wrote.


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The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit entity, will aim to assist developers with legal disputes that might interrupt their work, he added.

It will do this by helping to appoint defense counsels, devising defense strategies and footing legal bills. The proposed service will come free for developers of Bitcoin-based projects — Dorsey made mention of the Lightning Network.

The fund will be staffed by volunteers and part-time lawyers to begin with, with a board responsible for allocating its resources. That board is comprised of Dorsey, Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos and academic Martin White, based on the email.

“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,” wrote Dorsey.

About Author

Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen reader and writer. He enjoys all things active, especially running, rugby, climbing and tennis.