Silk Road Founder Clemency
According to report by The Daily Beast, Trump is considering pardon for the Silk Road founder in his last weeks as president of the United States of America. Per the report, three people familiar with the matter have stated that the White House Counsel has had Ross Ulbricht’s case under review and Trump has been made aware of it. It is said he expressed some sympathy in private to his situation and may be considering his name for the next round of commutations and pardons.
The Silk Road Story
Founded in February 2011, Silk Road was an online marketplace accessible only through the dark-web as it was operated as a Tor hidden service. The products traded on the marketplace were mainly illicit drugs and the currency of choice was Bitcoin. The platform was anonymous and operated by “Dread Pirate Roberts”. The FBI later charged Ross Ulbricht for being the founder and operator of Silk Road in 2013. He was convicted of 7 charges by the jury in 2015, including narcotics trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking. He has since been serving a life sentence with no parole.
The FBI initially seized 26,000 BTC which were worth $3.6 million at the time. They later seized 144,000 BTC which were owned by Ross, followed by the seizure of another wallet a year later in 2014 holding 144,342 BTC. The latest seizure amounted to 69,370 BTC and took place in November 2020. Approximately 30,000 BTC were sold in an auction by the US Marshalls and Tim Draper was the buyer whom paid about $17 million at the time.
All in all, the Bitcoins seized by the US government from Silk Road round up to about 350,000 BTC worth just shy of $7 Billion today.