- Ross Ulbricht has for the first time since his arrest discussed his role in creating Silk Road when he was a naive 26-year-old.
- The computer scientist has called on the crypto community to continue building having watched much of Bitcoin’s growth behind bars.
The creator and manager of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, has opened up at Bitcoin 2021 about his involvement in the online marketplace. The computer scientist phoned in for an interview from a maximum-security federal prison. Ulbricht faces two life sentences + 40 years without parole for money laundering charges, hacking and conspiracy to traffic illicit items.
Ulbricht launched Silk Road back in 2011 and the online platform quickly took off. Unfortunately, at the time, cryptocurrencies were common with criminals. As Silk Road was focused on privacy, it quickly became popular and this attracted the attention of authorities. At its peak, the platform was shut down for aiding criminal acts. In 2013, Ulbricht was arrested for creating and running the darknet site.
The computer scientist has for the first time since his arrest, opened up about his involvement and further commented on the latest developments around Bitcoin. Phoning in from prison, Ulbrich was apologetic about creating Silk Road explaining that he was naive at the time.
“The irony is that I made Silk Road in the first place because I thought I was furthering the things I cared about: Freedom, privacy, equality,” he explained to the thousands of attendees. He was further apologetic about rushing his idea when he started off.
Ross Ulbricht appeal to the Bitcoin community
He further went on to talk about the Bitcoin developments from the last 8 years, where Bitcoin has seen adoption and prices hit record levels.
I’ve seen incredible innovation. I’ve seen inspiring courage. We didn’t know how things would turn out for Bitcoin back in the beginning, but over the years, I’ve been continually impressed with what you’ve accomplished…
His comments come just months after Bitcoin set a new all-time high of roughly $65,000. The digital asset has further captured the attention of millions and regulators as well.
Ross Ulbricht believes that Bitcoin users are transforming the global economy. On top of bringing freedom and equality, he calls on the community to aspire to transom criminal justice.
Family and friends of Ulbricht created the Free Ross project in a bid to get his sentence reduced. At the time of press, nearly half a million have signed the petition to reduce his sentence. In part, those in support, believe that he received a harsh sentence. This especially accounting for the fact that he was a first time offender, and all charges were non-violent. His defence attorneys have also argued that the prosecutors did not produce a single witness to testify firsthand.