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Trump pledges support for convicted ‘silk road’s’ Ross Ulbricht

Former U.S. President Donald Trump intends to support ‘Silk Road’ founder Ross Ulbricht.

Ulbricht received a life sentence in 2015 for running Silk Road. The marketplace, from 2011 to 2013, allowed users to buy illegal drugs and hacking tools using Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

Ulbricht is currently serving a life sentence for his role in operating the platform. 

Trump has vowed to aid Ulbricht as part of his campaign to appeal to Libertarian voters, who have long advocated for Ulbricht’s release and view his case as an example of government overreach.

The quadruple-indicted GOP candidate’s newfound endorsement of “all things related to” the cryptocurrency industry marks a shift from his previous skepticism.

“I am very positive and open-minded to cryptocurrency companies and all things related to this new and burgeoning industry. Our country must be the leader in the field, there is no second place.”

Donald Trump, former U.S. President

In a 2021 interview with Fox Business, Trump — currently awaiting a verdict in a criminal hush money trial — advocated for the dominance of the U.S. dollar and called for strict regulation of digital currencies.

But following Trump’s latest vocal support for the cryptocurrency industry, several Trump-themed meme coins have experienced a surge in value.

Coins like the “MAGA” token have rallied as investors speculate that a Trump presidency could benefit the crypto sector.

In another development, crypto investors who acquired Trump’s “Mugshot Edition” non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were offered the chance to dine with the former president at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

This event further solidified Trump’s connections with the crypto community and highlighted his willingness to engage directly with industry participants.

The dinner was part of the perks offered to holders of the Trump-branded NFTs, featuring his mugshot from his surrender at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia. This move was seen as a strategic effort by Trump to strengthen his support among crypto-savvy voters.

Additionally, Trump has vowed to prevent the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), appealing to crypto enthusiasts who value decentralization and autonomy.

Trump’s bullish take on cryptocurrency coincides with his campaign’s decision to accept cryptocurrency donations, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other digital assets.

This move makes Trump the first major party candidate to welcome crypto donations, even though independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been accepting Bitcoin donations for months.

Trump and Ulbricht

During a speech at the Libertarian National Convention, Trump promised to commute Ulbricht’s sentence to time served if re-elected, drawing thunderous applause from the audience.

Ulbricht’s case has become a high-profile cause among those who identify as libertarians. Many argue that his sentence is too harsh and that he is a victim of excessive government prosecution.

Ulbricht’s appeal has been ongoing since 2016. His legal team argued that the prosecution illegally withheld evidence and that his sentence is procedurally and substantively unreasonable.

Despite these efforts, Ulbricht’s conviction and sentence have been upheld by the courts, and he remains incarcerated.

Trump’s promise to commute Ulbricht’s sentence underscores a calculated attempt to win over what he considers to be a key demographic in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.