Trump promises to free Silk Road creator if re-elected

May 27, 2024 2:49 p.m. UTC+2
| 4 min read

The U.S. presidential election is fast approaching, scheduled for November 5, 2024. As the race heats up, every vote counts and candidates seek to appeal to every segment of the electorate. Donald Trump has understood this well and is increasing his announcements on crypto. Recently, he announced that he was ready to release Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, the biggest black market on the dark web, if he was re-elected.

Trump wants to seduce American crypto investors

About 10% of Americans own cryptocurrency, a far from negligible figure in this tight presidential race. Donald Trump, Republican candidate, has increased the announcements concerning cryptos to attract the attention of investors.

It all started when Donald Trump declared his love for cryptocurrencies and NFTsby offering its own collection.

More recently, he indicated accept campaign donations in cryptocurrencies. And this weekend, Trump doubled, even tripled, the stakes with two new announcements:

The first via a Saturday post on “Truth Social”the social network launched by Trump after being banned from X (Twitter at the time).

In this post, the former president explains that he is “very positive and open about crypto businesses and everything related to this burgeoning industry.” Wishing to make the United States a hub for innovation.

Obviously attacking the current president of the country in passing, estimating that Biden would like crypto “ dies slowly and in pain »:

A FEW HOURS… Sorry. Only hours later, Trump made a second announcement regarding Ross Ulbricht. He promised to free Silk Road creator if re-elected.

Silk Road, the dark web’s most famous online black market, led Ulbricht to a double life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The Silk Road black market; cigarettes, drugs, telephones, etc.

During his speech to the Libertarian National Convention in Washington DC, Trump reportedly announced that he wanted to release the founder of Silk Road from prison “from his first day in office”.

Ulricht’s reaction

And to everyone’s surprise, Ulbricht responded from his celle :

“Last night, Donald Trump pledged to commute my sentence on day one, if he is re-elected. THANKS. THANKS. THANKS.

After 11 years in prison, it is difficult to express how I feel right now. It is thanks to your unwavering support that I can perhaps have a second chance. »

Ross Ulbricht became a martyr figure for many in the crypto community, as well as many libertarians.

The latter see in Ulbricht’s sentence an excess of government power and a violation of their rights constitutional.

In 2018, the Libertarian Party called then-President Donald Trump to grant pardon to Ulbricht.

Ulbricht’s defenders argue that his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole is disproportionate to the non-violent crimes he committed and symbolizes an attack on the freedom and decentralization dear to the crypto community.

Trump: crypto or not?

Donald Trump has long been skeptical of cryptocurrencies. In 2019, he even declared on Twitter:

“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money and whose value is very volatile and based on wind. Unregulated crypto assets can facilitate illegal behavior, including drug trafficking and other illegal activities. »

However, in recent years, Trump’s position appears to have evolved. He recently embraced NFTslaunching several collections which proved very lucrative. For example, his “POTUS TRUMP NFT” collection generated between $100,000 and $1 million in 2022.

Additionally, financial documents revealed that he owned up to $2.8 million in cryptocurrencymainly in Ethereum, following its NFT initiatives.

Critics say this turnaround is mostly a facade intended to attract pro-crypto voters. Trump, after announcing that his campaign would accept cryptocurrency donations, sought to build what he calls a “crypto army” to strengthen its support base.

So, has Trump’s stance on crypto really changed, or is it just a political maneuver? One thing is sure, the only real pro-crypto candidate in the United States is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who presents himself as an independent.

Kennedy has clearly expressed his support for cryptocurrencies for several years, criticizing excessive regulations and defending financial freedom that they represent.

Unlike Trump, Kennedy has long and consistently positioned himself in favor of decentralization and the technological innovation that cryptos bring.

Source: CoinDesk

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