In a recent Twitter exchange, Ripple CTO David Schwartz and Bitcoin SV supporter Jerry David Chan engaged in a heated debate about the responsibility of Bitcoin developers.
The discussion was prompted by a lawsuit brought by self-proclaimed Satoshi Craig Wright against prominent Bitcoiners, which was recently deemed to have serious merit by the U.K. Court of Appeals.
Chan argued that Bitcoin developers should have consulted a lawyer and that ignorance is not a defense in a situation where software handles billions of dollars.
Schwartz, on the other hand, maintained that the developers were merely advocating the code they wrote through an open and public dialog and that the notion of imposing liability on them for making arguments in an important debate was "complete nonsense"."What you are arguing caused people to be locked out or lose funds is the outcome of a public debate over what code bitcoin nodes should run. This is an attempt to impose liability on people for making particular arguments to the public on an important issue," Schwartz tweeted.
Wright's lawsuit alleges that the developers owe him fiduciary duties under English law and stems from his claim that he lost billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin in the Mt. Gox hack.
The legal showdown has raised questions about the role of court orders and public debate in the development of the blockchain community.
Schwartz has referred to Wright's attempt to use the courts to compel developers to advocate for his position as "vile" and "grotesque."
The lawsuit is set to be a major event in the ongoing development of the blockchain community and could have substantial implications for the responsibilities of developers in the future.