Binance mulls legal fund for Craig Wright victims

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Updated with comments from Jimmy Nguyen. 

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has floated a charity fund to support people who have been sued by Craig Wright.

Wright “is picking on the people who have a hard time fronting their legal fees,” said Zhao on Twitter. “How about we do a @BinanceBCF charity program to raise money from the community for legal fees for anyone CSW sues?”

Zhao explained the funds—which he said would include a $10,000 donation from him—would go directly to litigants’ lawyers, with the transactions preserved on Binance’s blockchain. The funds would be denominated in “Binance Coin,” the exchange’s native token.

It’s not dissimilar from Binance’s charity drive, which subsidises Ugandan schools with the token. Except, of course, it doesn’t feed lunches to underprivileged children.

“These cases should be slam dunk,” he said. “The loser (CSW) will eventually have to cover these legal fees. At that time, we can return those to the donors or donate those fee to charity.”

The chief scientist at Bitcoin SV development firm nChain, Wright has been suing people for questioning his claims that he invented Bitcoin under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Among those who have been served legal notices are podcaster Peter McCormack and Bitcoin Cash advocate Roger Ver, both of whom called Wright a fraud.

nChain Chairman Jimmy Nguyen told Decrypt that a strong defense against Wright would lend more credibility to Wright’s cause. “Libel cases are all about getting to the truth, and truth—as it always does—will win,” he said. “Craig has no issue with a vigorous defense because it gets to the truth and he looks forward to proving the truth in courts of law, rather than in crypto social media.”

He added that some of Wright’s wealthier targets would have little need of such a fund. “I imagine that Roger Ver and Vitalik Buterin do not need the benefit of a charity fund for legal defense,” he said. “And I will be curious to see if Binance violates any charitable foundation laws by soliciting charity donations to fund legal defense fees for libel defendants.”

McCormack, for his part, didn’t appear thrilled. “Thanks for this CZ but I really don’t think people should donate their hard-earned Bitcoin to my fund,” he tweeted. “I got myself into [it], it is up to me to deal with. Also, it may cost more to fight it than what they want.”

Zhao has done little to conceal his dislike of Wright and was the first among many exchange CEOs to delist Bitcoin SV, the Bitcoin fork Wright supports and insists is the one true Bitcoin.


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