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Trump promises to release Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht if re-elected

Trump promises to free Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht if re-elected, embraces cryptocurrency, pledges to support crypto industry and self custody.

During the Libertarian National Convention in Washington, D.C., former President Donald J. Trump made a bold promise to commute the life sentence of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht to time served if he is re-elected president. Trump expressed his commitment to this cause, stating that Ulbricht has already served 11 years and that it is time to bring him home.

Prior to this announcement, Trump took to social media to express his support for the cryptocurrency industry, emphasizing the importance of the United States being a leader in this rapidly growing sector. He contrasted his stance with that of President Joe Biden, whom he accused of wanting the cryptocurrency industry to suffer. Trump's pro-crypto statements were met with enthusiasm from the audience at the convention, with many attendees showing their support for Ulbricht's release.

Ulbricht was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 40 years in 2015 for his role in operating Silk Road, a darknet marketplace known for facilitating the anonymous buying and selling of goods, primarily drugs. The platform operated from 2011 to 2013 and is credited with being one of the first significant use cases for Bitcoin. Ulbricht's harsh sentence has sparked outrage among many in the cryptocurrency community and Libertarians, who view it as a violation of his constitutional rights.

Trump's decision to potentially grant clemency to Ulbricht comes after his administration granted clemency to 143 individuals, including pardons for 73 individuals and commutations for 70 others. Despite calls from the Libertarian Party in 2018 to pardon Ulbricht, Trump did not take action before leaving office in January 2021. Additionally, he did not extend clemency to other high-profile figures such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

In his address at the convention, Trump also made broader statements about cryptocurrency, promising to protect the industry from what he described as Biden's attempts to stifle its growth. He pledged to support the right to self-custody and emphasized his commitment to ensuring that the future of crypto and Bitcoin is developed within the United States, not overseas. Trump's pro-crypto stance has evolved in recent months, with him publicly endorsing the industry and becoming the first major party presidential candidate to accept cryptocurrency donations.

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