The “Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection” NFT auction raised an astounding 1446 ETH, or > $6.27M USD at the current exchange rate, a testament to the strong support for Ross Ubricht’s freedom and charity initiative. The auction winner is the FreeRossDAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), a freshly created collective from PleasrDAO, who introduced themselves as supporters of Ross Ulbricht and prison reform. The NFT collection will be fractionalized between the 500 FreeRossDAO contributors.
The auction kicked off at Art Basel Miami and ran from December 2nd to December 8th on the Ethereum digital art marketplace SuperRare.
Prior to the launch of the auction, Ross Ulbricht explained in a Medium post that he wanted to use the proceeds to help the incarcerated and their families:
“With proceeds from this NFT, we are starting a donor-advised fund called Art4Giving.” He later added: “From the beginning with this NFT, I’ve wanted to help kids travel to see their moms and dads in prison. But with such high bids, we can now have a real impact on many other important causes as well.”
All proceeds raised from the auction will not be owned by Ross Ulbricht or his family, but by a legally separate entity that will redistribute proceeds towards the Art4Giving fund, and efforts to free Ross Ulbricht (new legal proceedings, raising awareness, and more).
The NFT auction has helped revive public support for Ross Ulbricht’s case, which has often been unfairly and inaccurately characterized. While Ross Ulbricht’s charges were nonviolent––in fact, he was never prosecuted for causing harm or bodily injury–yet he was condemned to life in prison without parole.
Ross Ulbricht received this extreme sentence for his role in creating and operating the Silk Road market, which many see as playing a crucial role in blockchain adoption as we see it today.
Curated by Entoptic, the Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection NFT is a unique collection of writings and ten artworks by Ross Ulbricht, from early childhood to teen to prisoner. This exclusive collection includes an animation inspired by Ulbricht’s experience in prison, created by NFT artist Levitate, with voiceover by Ross Ulbricht himself.