Crypto players plead presidential pardon case for Ross Ulbricht

With just 44 days before Joe Biden’s inauguration as President of the United States, players in the crypto space are imploring Donald Trump to use his pardoning power for Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.

In a recent tweet from Jason Williams, the Morgan Creek Digital Assets co-founder pleaded for Trump to “do the right thing” by pardoning Ulbricht as well as whistleblower Edward Snowden. Peter McCormack of the What Bitcoin Did podcast followed suit a few days later, adding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the list of potential pardons.

The three — Snowden, Ulbricht, and Assange — are among many names being put forth by advisers, pundits, and conservative commentators as Trump serves out the rest of his presidency. Ulbricht, the founder of dark web marketplace Silk Road, is currently serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole after being found guilty of federal charges on money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower, left the United States in 2013 and was granted asylum in Russia. The Department of Justice has charged him with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property. He has since stated he will apply for Russian citizenship.

Though an Australian national, Assange has faced charges from more than one national authority, including for allegations of sexual assault in Sweden. In 2019, the United States charged him with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 related to the release of documents provided by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning on WikiLeaks. Assange is currently in a U.K. prison awaiting an extradition decision to…

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