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Trump Vows to Pardon Silk Road Creator Ross Ulbricht if Re-Elected

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Trump Vows to Pardon Silk Road Creator Ross Ulbricht

Former President Donald Trump has made a promise to grant a presidential pardon to Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, if he is re-elected in November’s election.

Trump made this announcement during the Libertarian Party’s National Convention in Washington on May 25.

“If you vote for me, on day one I will commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht,” Trump said during his speech.

He expressed his intention to bring Ulbricht, who has already served 11 years, back home.

Ulbricht Sentenced to Two Life Terms in Prison


Silk Road, known as the first modern darknet market with a payment system built on Bitcoin, was established in 2011 and operated by Ulbricht under the username “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

However, on October 1, 2013, the FBI seized Ulbricht’s personal laptop, leading to his subsequent arrest.

Ulbricht was convicted in a U.S. federal court in 2015 on various charges related to the operations of Silk Road.

He received two life terms plus forty years without the possibility of parole.

In addition to the pledge to pardon Ulbricht, Trump addressed his pro-crypto stance, which marks a shift from his previous skepticism towards digital assets.

He emphasized his commitment to ensuring that the future of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin is developed within the United States rather than being driven overseas.

Furthermore, Trump promised to protect individuals who choose to hold their crypto assets outside centralized exchanges, advocating for the right to self-custody.

He also made a direct reference to Senator Elizabeth Warren, assuring crypto holders that he would keep her and her associates away from their Bitcoin.

The announcement by Trump regarding a potential pardon for Ulbricht has sparked discussions within the crypto and legal communities.

While some argue that a pardon would provide a second chance for Ulbricht, who has already served a substantial prison term, others express concerns about the implications of pardoning someone convicted of running an illegal marketplace.

Crypto’s Influence in Politics Increases


Aside from its growing adoption among retail users, cryptocurrencies are also used to influence politics.

A well-funded political action committee (PAC) backed by prominent figures in the cryptocurrency industry has set its sights on key Senate races, with the goal of potentially shifting the balance of power in Congress.

The PAC, called Fairshake, recently spent over $10 million successfully opposing a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in California.

As reported, approximately 73% of US voters believe that US presidential candidates should have an informed perspective on innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and cryptocurrency.

Likewise, a recent report from Coinbase claimed that California voters who own cryptocurrencies are expected to have a significant impact on the 2024 elections.