Ross Ulbricht, famed for creating the now-defunct online marketplace Silk Road, has once again made global headlines although this time it has nothing to do with his endless legal woes but everything to do with his heartfelt letter to Bitcoin to mark its 10-year anniversary.
Ulbricht’s connection to Bitcoin is significant, considering his massive impact on the growth and development of Bitcoin through Silk Road.
The letter, which he wrote while still in his prison cell, metaphorically portrays an estranged father (Ulbricht) addressing his child (Bitcoin) and is filled with admiration at how far the currency has come since its inception.
In the Beginning…
A decade back, Bitcoin was just but a vague idea scribbled on a paper by the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. Currently, however, it is set to become a once-in-a-century class of new asset.
In its journey down the years, there have been numerous individuals who have popularized this cryptocurrency and shaped it into the dominant force it now is.
Nonetheless, only a few, if any, have had a more significant influence on its development and popularity than Ulbricht, mainly when he was running Silk Road.
Silk Road, despite turning into a hub for illegal trading of drugs, assassination contracts and firearms was precisely the platform that almost single-handedly sparked the development and popularity of Bitcoin as a medium of exchange.
It is the connection with these illegal activities, however, that led to Ulbricht being subsequently tracked down by the authorities, prosecuted in 2015, and ultimately sentenced to double life imprisonment as well as an additional 40 years without possibility of parole.
About the Letter
Writing about the 10-year Bitcoin birthday from his prison cell, Ulbricht outlined his affection for how Bitcoin has grown over the years.
In the letter, which was published in Bitcoin Magazine, Ulbricht described his relationship with Bitcoin by comparing himself to a somewhat alienated father addressing his child although from behind bars.
Ulbricht continued his narrative by comparing Bitcoin to a kid aged 10 years old, arguing that it is still quite young and still developing gradually.
He also went on to predict that the coming 10 years for Bitcoin would be like passing through adolescence, outlining that the franchise is yet to uncover its true meaning, but it would ultimately achieve maturity.
According to him, the next 10 years would allow us to discover Bitcoin’s capability, its various uses, as well as its influence on our everyday activities. He also referred Bitcoin as “our gifted child,” stating that it will surpass everyone’s expectations.
Ulbricht was also quick to stress on the significance of upholding the distinct values on which the currency was created, as well as of the individuals who inspired its potency.
He also highlighted a few key factors including privacy, decentralization and empowerment of individuals, urging Bitcoin advocates to represent it adequately.
In fact, according to him, these advocates will determine how far Bitcoin spreads its wingspan.
Finally, Ulbricht concluded by stating how excited he is for what the next decade would mean for both Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, referring to the latter as Bitcoin’s crypto cousins.
Moreover, he also outlined that he hopes he can ultimately make a return to his home to not only pursue his true passion but also make up for the lost years.