The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund, supported by Jack Dorsey, is set to defend 11 Bitcoin developers who were sued by Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist known for his controversial assertion of being the founder of Bitcoin.
In 2021, Craig Wright initiated legal action against 16 bitcoin software developers through his firm Tulip Trading, claiming ownership of £4 billion ($5 billion) worth of bitcoin. The issue arose from Wright’s allegation that he lost access to private keys for 111,000 bitcoin following a hack of his home network and that the Bitcoin Core developers were responsible for rectifying any unauthorized Bitcoin transactions.
This move by Wright resulted in a “letter before action” being served against the developers, with 11 of them being defended by the Jack Dorsey-backed Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund.
After being dismissed last year, the case has been reinstated by a U.K. appeals court in March, with a trial expected in 2024. Lord Justice Birss, who presided over the appeal, referenced academic literature that raised doubts about the decentralization of public blockchains in his ruling.
He stated, “If the decentralized governance of bitcoin really is a myth, then in my judgment there is much to be said for the submission that bitcoin developers, while acting as developers, owe fiduciary duties to the true owners of that property.”
On Wednesday, 11 bitcoin developers submitted their defense, backed by the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund.
The fund, established in 2021 by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Block (previously Square), along with Martin White, Block’s head of litigation, and Alex Morcos, co-founder of Chaincode Labs, is a non-profit organization.