Ross Ulbricht’s NFT collection paints a melancholy but hopeful picture of a man who has had much time to reflect on his life’s significance while serving his no-parole prison sentence.
Convicted Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht is auctioning personal artworks as NFTs on the SuperRare platform. The unique artworks, which form the Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection, were produced during Ulbricht’s childhood and prison time. There are 10 NFTs, which include pencil drawings and poetry. The names of the individual pieces are: “Mom’s Dae,” “Dolphin,” “I Hope the War is Over,” “Quicksilver,” “You lookin’ at Me?,” “The Trial I Saw, “Life in a Box,” “Uncageable,” “Perspective,” and “Death.” Whoever wins the auction will receive an NFT of an animation comprised of all Ross’ artworks. Entoptic will curate the NFT collection.
Why launch NFT collection now?
After spending nine years behind bars, Ulbricht has personally experienced and witnessed the toll a prison sentence can take on a family’s relations and wishes to raise money to help convicts’ kids come to prison to visit their incarcerated parents. FreeRossDAO is a group of investors who aim to raise funds to bid for the Genesis Collection and hope to contribute to efforts to free Ulbricht from life imprisonment through legal proceedings and raising awareness. PleasrDAO seeded the FreeRossDAO with 240 ETH and will continue contributing should FreeRossDAO be outbid until it hits a maximum hidden donation. If FreeRossDAO wins the auction, the Genesis Collection NFT will be broken up into fractional $ROSS, and distributed to donors based on their contribution. The tokens will grant governance rights to users, and a fractional part of the Genesis Collection NFT.
Any leftover ETH following the win will be held in treasury, governed by FreeRossDAO. If a DAO has more than 4000 unique donors, the $ROSS tokens will be distributed via airdrop. Otherwise, they will be distributed via bulk transfer, with the DAO absorbing all gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain. If the auction is lost, funds will be distributed via a Merkle Airdrop, costing 0.04 ETH at 200 gwei.
The auction launched at Art Basel Miami, and as of Dec. 4, 2021, the highest bid was 666 ETH. There are 29489 blocks until the auction ends. The auctions run and are settled on-chain, hence the use of blocks rather than time.
Ulbricht remains a hero to some
Ulbricht was arrested in 2013, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down the Silk Road online marketplace, which accepted bitcoin for the payment of drugs and later weapons, and operated as a Tor hidden site to avoid monitoring. He is seen by his supporters as a pioneer who exposed people to bitcoin in bitcoin’s early days. In 2015, Ulbricht was convicted and sentenced to two life terms, plus 40 years, without parole.
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