The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund is managed with Chaincode Labs co-founder Alex Morcos. It will also be managed by Martin White, professor of computer science at the University of Sussex.
“The Bitcoin community is currently the subject of multi-front litigation. Litigation and continued threats are having their intended effect; individual defendants have chosen to capitulate in the absence of legal support. Open-source developers, who are often independent, are especially susceptible to legal pressure. In response, we propose a coordinated and formalized response to help defend developers. 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.
The main purpose of this Fund is to defend developers from lawsuits regarding their activities in the Bitcoin ecosystem, including finding and retaining defense counsel, developing litigation strategy, and paying legal bills. This is a free and voluntary option for developers to take advantage of if they so wish. The Fund will start with a corps of volunteer and part-time lawyers. The board of the Fund will be responsible for determining which lawsuits and defendants it will help defend.
“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. 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.”
Software developers have been put off developing bitcoin recently. This is thanks to legal challenges. Work developing protocols such as Bitcoin and the Lightning network have flagged. The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund was thus created as a non-profit entity to alleviate some of these challenges. For now, Bitcoin developers will be assisted by volunteer lawyers and part-time lawyers. According to the email, the fund will not automatically handle all the legal battles faced by developers.
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