The creator of the Silk Road internet bazaar, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to two life terms in 2015. He has now served ten years of his sentence, which again calls into question the impartiality of the punishment.
The infamous Silk Road Bitcoin-paying unlawful transactions totaled $1.2 billion in Bitcoin transactions and $80 million in commissions. When compared to other participants in the market who received shorter prison terms and some of whom are currently free, Ulbricht’s supporters argue that his sentence is excessive.
The FBI’s 2013 seizure of the laptop, which led to Ulbricht’s arrest and subsequent conviction, is the foundation of the prosecution’s case. Given the length of his sentence, some advocate for his release, but others point to claims that he engaged in dubious practices, such as employing hit men.
Given that identical transactions are made on other platforms as well, the Silk Road affair continues to raise concerns about how illegal activity committed online should be punished. Ulbricht’s case is still the center of a heated argument about whether or not to commute his sentence.
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