Photo Credit: Ross Ulbricht
Ross Ulbricht, the imprisoned founder of the now defunct dark Web marketplace called “Silk Road” has decided to auction some of his artwork as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These pieces of art are being chosen from different phases of Ulbricht's life so far. All ten of Ross's original artworks and writings, as well as an original animation compiled into one singular NFT, will be open for biddings from December 2 to December 8. In a blog post, Ulbricht has said that he is also using artwork to show his story from being a toddler to finding himself behind bars at the age of 29.
“I was 29 years old when I was arrested. Suddenly, sitting in prison, I had time for drawing again. Then one day, I was told ‘you should sell your art as an NFT',” the Silk Road founder said in the post titled “My NFT”.
Titled the “Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection”, the collection will include writings and artworks by Ulbricht. An original animation with Ulbricht's voiceover narrating his prison experience will also be part of his first NFT series.
A Twitter handle run by Ulbricht's “loved one from the free world” posted black and white glimpses of his artwork.
We are going to start the NFT auction at $1.— Ross Ulbricht (@RealRossU) November 29, 2021
I want everyone to have a chance to participate, and I trust the community to find the right value.
Happy bidding and good luck! https://t.co/7aAJ94A69h
My NFT auction will start in 2 days! ????https://t.co/jtOPsEH9ME— Ross Ulbricht (@RealRossU) November 30, 2021
Ulbrichit has remained in prison since October 2015 when he was sentenced to two life terms.
He launched a dark Web marketplace Silk Road in February 2011, that allowed the purchase of anything including banned substances via Bitcoin.
Along with funding his own efforts to get freedom from jail, Ulbrichit has other plans with the proceeds this NFT auction will raise.
“With proceeds from this NFT, we are starting a donor-advised fund called Art4Giving, dedicated to relieving the suffering of the incarcerated and their families. There is a lot we can do, but one idea I am committed to is to help kids travel to visit their moms and dads in prison,” the blog explained.
NFTs are digital collectibles with their ownership transferrable and locked on the blockchain network. Fidenza digital artwork number 938 called “God Mode” priced $8.5 million (roughly Rs. 63 crore) has been declared the first most expensive NFT in the history of the industry and is owned by rapper Snoop Dogg.
NFT sales volume surged to $10.7 billion (roughly Rs. 79,820 crores) in the third quarter of 2021, up more than eightfold from the previous quarter, according to data from market tracker DappRadar.
Surging sales and hefty prices on NFTs - items which do not physically exist - have baffled many, but the multifold growth shows little or no depreciation whatsoever.