As many now know, Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday. Ulbricht was convicted in February 2015 of seven felony charges which included drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and a kingpin charge. He was accused of being “Dread Pirate Roberts”, the creator and operator of the on-line marketplace, Silk Road. He was sentenced to life in prison on Friday, 29 May 2015 by the Federal District Court in Manhattan by US District Judge Katherine Forrest.
Ulbricht wrote directly to US District Judge Katherine Forrest, “Silk Road was about giving people the freedom to make their own choices to pursue their own happiness, however, they individually saw fit. What it turned into, was in part, a convenient way to satisfy their drug addictions”.
“In creating Silk Road, I ruined my life and destroyed my future”, “I could have done so much more with my life, I see that now, but it is too late”. Ulbricht asked Forrest, “to give him a light at the end of the tunnel” but a life sentence was passed.
Now, I appreciate that whatever I write here will touch many in the bitcoin eco-system positively or negatively, but I have to write what I believe, and what I think mainstream humanity may now be thinking and considering.
Firstly, many, many families are living with the effects of having a family member who is either an addict or recovering addict and I do not restrict my thinking just to drugs. Addiction can take many different forms, but the results are the same, LOSS. Loss of the person that was and the creation of a person that has chosen another path and chooses, for their own personal reasons, to remain on that path, despite the pain that their journey creates for them, and those around them, until they either choose to get well or die.
Addicts become blind to the person that they once were, despite being reminded by all of those around them, of how spiritually beautiful they were. Addicts become spiritually unrecognisable to those that love them unconditionally, although sadly, that love may for the addict’s own good and for the safety of their family and friends, become conditional!
Serenity is not just a word, it is a way of being and living! And my heart must go out to those that were affected by the exploits of Silk Road and their involvement in “enabling” and I defy any member of our digital currency World not to concur. And yes, I have been affected by a family member who had/has an addiction so I will always be compassionate on this subject.
However, it has to be said, that Ulbricht created a successful website that ultimately was abused by growing numbers of the site’s minority and as such, his personal responsibility was to ensure the integrity of his site against abuse, particularly, as he became more and more aware of the potential for such abuse. By not taking action, he ultimately benefitted from its’ misuse.
However, how many others have found themselves in similar business situations and turned a blind eye or been enticed by the financial opportunities of visual impairment?
We perhaps can all individually think of at least one business operation, whether an individual or corporate that has chosen to follow that path and if, or when, identified by the authorities is unlikely to face a life sentence for their involvement.
A life sentence is just that, until death and for a man of Ulbricht’s age that is literally his lifetime which will be many years to come. However, for whatever length of time Ulbricht serves, he was a business owner who chose to take advantage of a situation, not a path he had intended to travel from the outset.
Now, as a digital currency community we all, I hope, are driven by what we consider to be the future, which is utilisation of a digital currency world for all humanity to enjoy. But our individual responsibilities to that World’s creation, has to be to ensure that it is created for the benefit and enjoyment of all humanity and at no individual personal cost. Criminality and corruption evolves in every society and perhaps, that is about the minority of our species who choose, for whatever reason, but ultimately for their own personal gain, to carry out actions or are implicit to actions that are illegal, corrupt and despicable as they directly hurt and impact others within humanity.
Numbers of innocent people are affected by the actions of the few and that has been the case for time in memorium. So let us seriously consider and ensure that the actions of the few are eradicated in our Digital Currency World, and let Digital Currency make the difference for all of humanity, let that be the legacy that it becomes known by, a Digital Currency World where corruption is unacceptable and those who choose to take a path for personal gain, opened eye or blindly by choice, at the direct cost of the innocent, faces a zero tolerance.
That said, I am a mother and therefore I have compassion for Ross Ulbricht and his family. His sentence was the ultimate that could have befallen him and let me be honest, there are others who have been charged in many different and diverse circumstances where leniency has been shown.
Truthfully, there are others who walk on other paths, at different levels with our democratic society who could be considered to be corrupt and who appear to go unnoticed and remain un-charged, or if they are ever charged, receive lighter more compassionate sentences.
However, perhaps this is the very message for all to consider, and to hold dear during the beautiful evolution of our digital currency world and which has to be the future aspirational goal. To commit and ensure that our World is built on the rock solid foundations of the lessons that humanity has already learned during its’ evolution.
That the thoughts and actions of the few, impacts the majority, and as such, the perception of the integrity, honour and principles of the currency and community members can, through no fault of its’, or their own, become tarnished.
And that is not what I, or any of us, would want for the beautiful utopia landscape of the Digital Currency World that we are all individually striving to create for ALL to enjoy and benefit from.
These, as I have previously expressed are my thoughts, I appreciate many of will have a much different view and appreciation of the sentencing of Ross Ulbricht, however, whatever your thoughts might be, I very much look forward to hearing them, but please may I ask to all who read this, take a moment out of your day to say a prayer for Ross, his family, and for all who are touched by addiction, thank you and god bless!