Ross Ulbricht, imprisoned founder of black market website “Silk Road” to auction NFTs
Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the now inoperative black market website, Silk Road, has announced in a Medium article that he is auctioning a series of 10 NFTs.
The series, titled the “Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection”, is based on writings and artworks from all periods of his life, including his imprisonment. It will also include an animation by Levitate, an NFT artist, with a voice-over by Ulbricht, inspired by his time in prison.
“Decades of incarceration stretch out in front of me. As I face that future — my eventual old age and death in this cage — I find myself looking for meaning and purpose. Why am I here? What good can I do with the time I have left and from where I am?” Ulbricht wrote.
“In my 20s, I stopped drawing so much. I thought I did not have enough time. I know better now. If something is important, you make time for it.
“I was 29 years old when I was arrested. Suddenly, sitting in prison, I had time for drawing again. I reconnected with my artistic side, producing illustrations that told the story I was going through. I was able to connect to those of you in the free world through my art. The isolation I felt was tempered by it.”
In 2015, Ulbricht was sentenced to a double life imprisonment plus forty years without the possibility of parole after being found guilty of utilising Silk Road for money laundering, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.
The proceeds from the NFT series will be put toward a fund called Art4Giving which is dedicated to funding the travel for children to visit their parents who are incarcerated. The funds will also be used in a trust for Ulbricht’s ongoing legal expenses.
Ulbricht wrote further: “There is a lot we can do with the proceeds of this auction, but one idea I am committed to is to help kids travel to visit their moms and dads in prison.
“My own future may look bleak, but I can still do a little something to heal the damage I see all around me. Prison shatters families. It shatters communities. And the kids are the ones who suffer”.
The website created to inform on the NFT project expresses that “devotees of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies recognise Ross’s vision as being an original catalyst for blockchain adoption.”