Lawsuits are weighing heavily on the Bitcoin ecosystem, and former Twitter chief Jack Dorsey thinks he can help fend them off. Coindesk reports Dorsey, Chaincode’s Alex Morcos and academic Martin White have proposed a nonprofit legal defense fund for Bitcoin developers to protect them against lawsuits and similar “legal pressure.” The fund’s board (currently Dorsey, Morcos and White) would choose cases to support, with part-time and volunteer lawyers providing the initial defense counsel for free.
The fund will initially take over coordination for the defense against the Tulip Trading lawsuit targeting developers over alleged breaches of fiduciary duty relating to the long-dead Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange. Dorsey didn’t say how much money the fund had to start, but noted it wasn’t looking for additional money “at this time.”
Dorsey has direct incentives to establish a legal defense fund, of course. His company Block is heavily involved in Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, and the flurry of lawsuits could tarnish his business as much as anyone else’s. However, Dorsey noted that many Bitcoin developers are independents that have little choice but to give up when facing lawsuits they don’t have the resources to fight. The nonprofit might prove vital if it strengthens the Bitcoin community as a whole, whether or not Dorsey directly benefits from its actions.
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