The cryptocurrency industry has also been subject to several scandals and the Silk Road was surrounded by one of the initial furore. The Silk Road was a digital network developed by Ross Ulbricht that enabled users to access the dark web using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and pay for commodities.
Since Ulbricht was arrested in 2013, some members of the cryptocurrency community have attacked the decision to place him behind bars for a crime that was not under proper jurisdiction. This led to the creation of FreeRos.org, a website that has recently accepted petitions for release and crossed the 275,000 mark.
The news came almost seven years after multiple agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had put the cryptocurrency enthusiast behind bars. Ulbricht’s arrest was widely scorned by a large sector of the cryptocurrency industry, with personalities like Roger Ver also calling for his release.
Ver, the Chief Executive Officer [CEO] of Bitcoin.com has raised awareness about Ulbricht’s plight multiple times over the past. He has even urged the Bitcoin Cash community to rally behind the jailed Ulbricht. The FreeRoss website was set up by a group of Ross Ulbricht’s family, friends, and supporters with the aim of coaxing the Justice Department to reduce his sentence. The petition starts by saying:
“My son, Ross Ulbricht, is a first-time offender serving a double life sentence without parole, plus 40 years, for a website he made when he was 26 years old and passionate about free markets and privacy. Ross―an Eagle Scout, scientist and peaceful entrepreneur―had allnon-violentcharges at trial. He was never prosecuted for causing harm or bodily injury and no victim was named at trial. This is a sentence that shocks the conscience.”
Ulbricht started the Silk Road with the intention of creating a decentralized marketplace by removing the middleman and establishing a safe transaction system. Law officials began looking into it when reports revealed that the website was also home to illegal substances such as cannabis, MDMA and other drugs.
The ease of access and delivery shocked lawmakers in the United States and other countries. Once they had enough evidence, the FBI infiltrated Ulbricht’s home and took him into custody. The entire event was the start of a tussle between the cryptocurrency industry and the legal framework.
The accused’s family had come to the record several times earlier to say that the case recurred to corruption and extortion. Accusations of prosecution misconduct and constitutional violations were also mixed up as Ulbricht’s support grew daily. The petition hopes to soon cross over 300,000 signatures and bring the arrest to mainstream attention.
Tim Draper was another popular personality who asked for Ulbricht’s release from prison. The billionaire investor stated that convicts who had harmed other people suffered less than what Ulbricht was going through. This was in the same vein as Ulbricht’s family, who called the decision as a “miscarriage of justice”.
The latest information about the case has also said that Ulbricht has been cut off from all visitors due to the spread of the Coronavirus. He will be put in isolation for 30 days with the prison claiming that Ross was doing “just fine” in prison. Ulbricht provides updates about himself on Twitter with an ardent fan following standing by him on the social media platform as well.