Ross Ulbricht, founder of the former online black market Silk Road, spent 10 years behind bars after US authorities sentenced him to two life sentences in 2013.
On October 2, Ulbricht posted on X that he had already spent a full decade in prison and feared he would spend the rest of his life “behind concrete walls and closed doors.” He said all he could do now was “pray for mercy.”
One year for each finger on both hands.
Today ends a full decade of imprisonment.
Sometimes I fear that I will spend the rest of my life behind concrete walls and closed doors. But I don’t have anyone else to blame. My bad choices are what led me here.
All I can do now is pray for mercy.
– Ross Ulbricht (@RealRossU) October 1, 2023
Silk Road started in 2011 and was run by Ulbricht from his personal laptop under the username “Dread Pirate Roberts”. It is known as the first modern dark web market and has a payment system built on Bitcoin (BTC).
However, on October 1, 2023, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized the laptop.
It was Ulbricht convicted In 2015, he was brought before a federal court in the United States on various charges related to Silk Road operations. He was sentenced to life imprisonment plus forty years with no possibility of parole.
According to the court documents For this case, while operating the Silk Road website, he facilitated sales amounting to 9,519,664 Bitcoin (BTC) between February 2011 and July 2013, and received a commission of 600,000 Bitcoin (BTC).
At the time the court documents were published, this amounted to about $1.2 billion in sales and about $80 million in commissions.
Related: September becomes the biggest month for cryptocurrency exploitation in 2023: CertiK
Ulbricht’s case has received widespread attention, with many calls for the website founder to be granted clemency.
according to website In the fight for justice for Ulbricht, more than 250 organizations have supported these calls and half a million people have signed a virtual petition to free Ulbricht. It has also found significant support among the cryptocurrency and Bitcoin communities.
It almost makes me cry when I see this post, the punishment didn’t fit the crime and people who did much worse had a chance at redemption, #freeross
— Soberclown.eth (@bitcoinnz) October 2, 2023
One user went so far as to consider Ulbricht a “political prisoner of Bitcoin” and said he is someone Bitcoin users can never forget.
Ross Ulbricht is a Bitcoin political prisoner.
He has been in prison since 2013.
Some may prefer us to forget it, but Bitcoin users never will.
The federal government sentenced Ross to life in prison + 40 years without parole.
As a first-time offender and convicted… pic.twitter.com/usPlbN79j1
– Free (@BitPhree) September 30, 2023
While there is a strong swell of support for Ulbricht, and many netizens have expressed their agreement that the sanctions imposed on the Silk Road founder were unfair, there are others who see the outcome differently.
One X user pointed out that the prosecution in the case against Ulbricht claimed that he hired hitmen to kill several people, although this has not officially been charged against Ulbricht and remains an allegation.
Whether murder for hire has been legalized or not. The introduction seems to be a little buried in this one.
– Rob Freund (@RobertFreundLaw) October 2, 2023
Another user highlighted what actually happened on the Silk Road website, including sex trafficking and drug dealing, and how it was used by “horrible people to do these things.”
Silk Road sells drugs, human trafficking and other things. Let’s not pretend it hasn’t been used by terrible people to do these things. However, I’m sure that’s not how he intended it to be used
– Shooooooo (@shoooiiiiii) October 2, 2023
Discussions continue online as Ulbricht’s defenders point to modern social media platforms like X and Facebook, saying“All these things happen [X] also. And all other social media sites.”
The leading website dedicated to releasing Russians has published the sentences of others involved in the Silk Road, saying the average sentence is about six years. The biggest drug seller on the site was sentenced to just seven years in prison and is currently free.
In addition, the creators of Silk Road 2.0 either served nothing or up to 6.5 years and are now all free.
magazine: $3.4 Billion Bitcoin in a Popcorn Jar: The Story of the Silk Road Pirates
Latest news about Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchain, Altcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Mining, Policy and Regulations, Cryptocurrency prices, and Technology