Ross Ulbricht’s Mother ‘Hopeful’ President Trump Could Pardon Silk Road Founder

Kevin O'Brien

Lyn Ulbricht remains hopeful President Donald Trump’s affinity for pardons could mean her son, Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, could one day go free.

In 2015, Ross Ulbricht was given two life sentences with an additional 40 years after being arrested by authorities in 2013 for his role as operator of the Silk Road Marketplace. His punishment came with no option of parole.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance UK, Lyn Ulbricht admitted Ross’ work and foundation of the Silk Road was a “frankly reckless idea.”

She said he did it not to harm others, but “…because he was on fire for freedom as a young guy…who believed in privacy and free markets.”

A Longstanding Clemency Petition For Ross Ulbricht

The debate over Ross Ulbricht’s sentence contains to remain a contentious issue. Some believe the punishment was justified. Others think it was a draconian decision by the government.

In July, Lyn Ulbricht started a petition asking for clemency for Ross. The petition noted how the punishment was overly harsh, especially since his charges were all non-violent and he had no criminal history.

As of press time, 111,673 people have signed the petition. It has recieved support from Shapeshift founder Eric Voorhees and Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, who have Tweeted a link to it.

In the interview, Lyn Ulbricht indicated how one of Ross’s charge as a “kingpin” was an “abuse of power” because “he’s not Pablo Escobar.”

She argues the sentence for Ross was disproportionate to the crimes committed, which represents a “trend that must change.”

Questions If A Murder-For-Hire Was Real

A large part of the arrest and trial of Ross Ulbricht centralized around allegations he arranged for a murder-for-hire to take out a blackmailer and other individuals, according to Yahoo Finance UK.

One of the purported ‘hits’ incorporated an undercover FBI agent who staged a photo of a death.

Lyn Ulbricht expressed a belief the entire scheme was a sting that was organized by someone else who was logged onto the account of ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ while Ross Ulbricht was away. She said the alleged chat logs concerning the situation were written in a style and format very different than Ross usually communicated in.

Ross Ulbricht’s mom indicated he was “coping very well” in the USP Florence ‘supermax’ prison in Colorado. He is able to maintain some connection with the outside world by dictating Tweets to visitors and receiving letters and other notes in the mail.

New Ukrainian Amendment Makes 'Virtual Assets' Compliant With FATF Guidelines

Michael LaVere
  • A new Ukranian amendment further regulates virtual assets to be compliant with anti-money laundering laws.
  • Transactions over $1300 will require identity verification for both the sender and receiver. 

Ukraine’s legislature has approved a series of amendments that permit the use of “virtual assets” as a legal form of payment, while also creating a clear method for anti-money laundering regulation.

A draft law on the prevention of funding crime and terrorism received a majority vote by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s legislative body. According to the final version of the law published on Dec. 6, virtual assets are now considered to be a store of wealth and must be regulated as such for their potential use in financial crimes and money laundering. 

The bill is aimed at making virtual assets and their providers, such as crypto exchanges, compliant with the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “Trave Rule” which is set to go into effect in 2020. 

Transactions under 30,000 hryvnias ($1300) will require the government to collect the public key of the sender, while larger transactions will necessitate verification from both the sender and receiver. Authorities will also need to be provided with identity verification, including the nature of the business relationship. 

Virtual asset service providers (VASPs), will also share in the responsibility of transaction verification, providing authorities with information on traders when amounts exceed 40,000 hryvnias ($1,600).

Featured Image Credit: Photo via