Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht, is auctioning some of his art as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain.
Ulbricht explained on Clubhouse that after fees, approximately only half of the NFT proceeds will be used to pursue her son’s clemency.
He’s currently serving a double life sentence plus 40 years for operating darknet marketplace Silk Road.
Bidding opened on December 2 and will start at $1.
A portion of the proceeds will go to Art4Giving to help other prisoners and their families. Ulbricht said she would like to fund a project that helps children travel to see parents in prison.
- Ross isn’t allowed to communicate electronically from prison.
- His mother occasionally relays his handwritten messages publicly.
- She manages Ulbricht’s Twitter and Medium accounts, operates FreeRoss.org, and coordinates the #FreeRoss campaign.
Kanon’s KSPEC protocol created Ulbricht NFTs
Ross Ulbricht’s mother announced the NFT sale on October 19.
Entoptic and SuperRare are facilitating the sale. Tech collective Kanon used its “KSPEC” protocol to transform Ulbricht’s hand-drawn art and stories into animated NFTs.
Kanon describes KSPEC as an open-source, permissionless, on-chain protocol for creating institution-grade NFTs.
Instagram influencer Trippy is also confirmed to be a collaborator alongside Kanon as its “Meta Architect.”
Trippy Labs curates other NFT collections for SuperRare. Its website features artwork known as TRIPPYs and aims to launch other NFTs on the Solana blockchain.
Apart from Ulbricht’s clemency and charity donations, the remainder of the NFT sale proceeds will go to intermediaries:
- Trippy Labs associates,
- Marketing and community managers,
- Entoptic fees,
- SuperRare platform fees,
- and Ethereum network fees.
Ross Ulbricht’s defense almost out of options
Ulbricht is currently serving a double life sentence plus 40 years. A jury convicted him in 2015 on charges related to his operation of Bitcoin’s Silk Road darknet marketplace.
Ulbricht has already served eight years in a maximum-security prison.
Over 456,000 supporters have signed a Change.org petition in support of clemency.
According to FreeRoss.org, organizations supporting him include the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and Students For Liberty.
Individual supporters include Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, Bitcoin Cash instigator Roger Ver, actors Russel Brand and Keanu Reeves, and politicians Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.
As recently as February, Elon Musk called Ulbricht’s sentence excessive.
Two law enforcement agents faced misconduct charges in handling Ulbricht’s case.
A court found Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges guilty of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin tied to the Silk Road investigation.
A separate case saw U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Mark Force convicted of attempting to extort Ulbricht.
An analysis of a Silk Road database shows that an unknown party deleted evidence related to the case.
Ulbricht’s mother argues that these two agents unfairly tainted the investigation.
According to Ars Technica, the Free Ross campaign as of July 2015 raised a total of $370,000 in cash and cryptocurrencies to fund Ulbricht’s legal defense.
He’s faced numerous setbacks, including the loss of an appeal to overturn the conviction in 2017 and the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case in June 2018.
Ross Ulbricht has few options remaining except a presidential pardon.
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