SilkRoad Foundation Raises Funds For Ulbricht Family After Repurposing Rug-Pull

The organization was founded through a “community takeover” commandeering the SILKROAD memecoin rug-pull.

By: Samuel Haig Loading...

SilkRoad Foundation Raises Funds For Ulbricht Family After Repurposing Rug-Pull

SilkRoad Foundation, a community-led takeover of a memecoin that initially rug-pulled its users, has raised roughly $2,850 for the family of Ross Ulbricht, the incarcerated founder of the notorious darknet marketplace, Silk Road.

According to on-chain data from SolScan, the SilkRoad Foundation’s Solana donation address has attracted 15.5 SOL worth $2,731 and $115 worth of stablecoins since launching 12 days ago.

Among the donations are 5.4 SOL comprising 50% of the minting fees generated from SilkRoad Foundation's Lost Camel Society NFT collection.

“[On March 27], Ross Ulbricht turned 40 years old, sitting at USP as a prisoner, serving out his 240-year sentence, for creating an e-commerce website,” SilkRoad Foundation said. “The very next day, Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years for stealing billions of dollars from people, committing fraud on a massive scale, and supporting criminals worldwide.”

“Multiple states have decriminalized most… of the substances that were being exchanged on the Silk Road,” the organization continued. “There is no legal, moral, or societal justification for keeping Ross Ulbricht locked in a cage.”

“Community takeover”

On April 4, SilkRoad Foundation published a blog post recapping their journey since its tumultuous beginning just two months ago.

In February, the SILKROAD memecoin launched on Solana, with the developer behind the project pledging to raise donations for Ulbricht’s family through the token. However, the project’s original developer then staged a rug-pull “almost immediately” and ran off with users’ funds.

A group of community members supporting the FreeRoss movement staged a “community take-over” in response to the incident, establishing the SilkRoad Foundation.

“A dedicated group of us who had come in to support the #FreeRoss movement did a ‘community takeover’, becoming the SilkRoad Foundation,” the post said.

The group was then able to make contact with the FreeRoss DAO, an organization that advocates for Ross’s release and raises donations for the Ulbricht family, stemming collaboration between the two organizations. For example, SilkRoad Foundation’s Solana-based donation address is featured on FreeRoss DAO’s website.

SilkRoad Foundation also launched the Lost Camel Society NFT collection on March 28. Half of the minting fees are donated to the FreeRoss wallet, with the organization collecting the remaining 50%.

Looking forward SilkRoad Foundation plans to relaunch on Cult DAO’s upcoming Layer 2 network, Modulus. Cult DAO has also invested in SilkRoad Foundation.

U.S. govt shuffles BTC seized from Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht was arrested in 2013 and charged with seven charges in 2015. The charges included narcotics distribution, engaging in a criminal enterprise, conspiring to commit computer hacking, conspiring to traffic false identity documents, and conspiring to commit money laundering.

The U.S. government recently made headlines by moving 30,174 BTC Bitcoin associated with Silk Road seizures worth more than $2 billion to a Coinbase Prime account. The movements follow the U.S. government selling 195,091.75 BTC for nearly $366.5 million between 2014 and 2023. At current prices, the Bitcoin previously offloaded by the U.S. government are worth $13.78 billion.

While the U.S. government’s latest Bitcoin movements elicited concern from some onlookers who fear the trove of BTC entering the markets could negatively impact the cryptocurrency markets, other analysts aren’t concerned.

“The Silk Road US GOV coins FUD is literally just FUD,” tweeted Byzantine General, a popular web3 influencer. “The government doesn't slam market sell on public orderbooks. If it's getting sold it either already or will be sold OTC/auction.”