Ross Ulbricht, the man who established the infamous dark web marketplace Silk Road, is apparently joining a music band in prison.
Ulbricht is serving a double-life sentence for his involvement in starting Silk Road, and appears to have been maintaining a Twitter presence with the help of family and contacts on the outside.
Ulbricht’s New Hobby
More than any other individual linked with cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto, Ulbricht is responsible for the extensive adoption of digital currency. Currently, however, if his tweets are anything to go by, he seems to have found a new passion—Rock and Roll.
Since July 2018, Ulbricht has been keeping his supporters informed through regular tweets. Aside from a period of solitary confinement when he was forced to handwrite his messages and send them to his family in the mail, Ulbricht has been dictating his quips and missives over the phone and receiving printouts of comments.
Ulbricht recently expressed appreciation for the music program offered by his prison, tweeting that he had “joined a band” and playfully asking his followers what they imagined his instrument might be. In a later post, he claimed to have felt like a rock star after getting the opportunity to play an amplified bass guitar.
The Silk Road Platform
From February 2011 to May 2013, Ulbricht created, programmed and managed the Silk Road platform via a private server and Tor browser. Being a libertarian, Ulbricht believes that people can and should make their own decisions and choices, a philosophy which was reflected by the anonymous nature of Silk Road. In keeping with this, all payments were settled in the emerging Bitcoin blockchain.
However, the anonymous nature of the platform also made it a haven for criminal activity. The marketplace saw regular transactions of multiple controlled substances including heroin, cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine, all of which Ulbricht was accused of trafficking.
The marketplace also traded weapons and ammunition, counterfeit passports, drivers’ licenses, Social Security cards, malicious software, hacked accounts and pirated media, all of which Ulbricht profited from in the realm of $13 million. Shortly prior to its shutdown by authorities in October 2013, Silk Road contained almost 13,000 listings for illicit substances from vendors in at least 10 different countries.
Ulbricht operated under the moniker Dread Pirate Roberts, a name which he reportedly subsequently passed along to his successor.
Ulbricht’s Petition for Clemency
Ulbricht’s family, friends and supporters are appealing to United States President Donald Trump to pardon Ulbricht of his conviction. They are petitioning on the grounds that all of the charges laid against him were non-violent, and that he received an unfair trial amidst six murder-for-hire allegations which were later dropped.
The family are maintaining an Instagram account on his behalf and running a petition on Change.org which currently has over 142,000 signatures. They remain determined to give Ulbricht a second chance at life, and the opportunity to use his education to benefit society.
However, there is only one person with the power to make this dream a reality and it remains to be seen how he will respond.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.