Trump woos crypto bros with pledge to free Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht

The appearance of Donald Trump, nominally a Republican, at a libertarian event was unusual enough. But he also promised to free a famous cybercriminal if re-elected US president.

Trump is leading current US President Joe Biden in nearly all swing states. However, the vote is still almost half a year away, and every extra effort counts – especially with many voters still undecided about whom to vote for in the fall.

Libertarians are among those on the fence, so Trump decided to speak at the Libertarian National Convention on Saturday night to present his case.

This was actually the first time a former president has directly addressed this organization, it proudly said before the event, and Trump wasted no time in addressing an issue important to this particular community – the fate of Ross Ulbricht, founder of darknet drug marketplace Silk Road.

In 2015, Ulbricht was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 40 years, but many libertarians and crypto enthusiasts (Silk Road is widely considered to have been the first real-world use case for Bitcoin) see his trial as an example of government overreach.

Libertarians actually asked Trump to address Ulbricht’s case before the convention – as well as to talk about Julian Assange and the Deep State, among other things. Trump delivered.

“If you vote for me, on Day one, I will commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht to a sentence of time served. He’s already served 11 years, we’re gonna get him home,” said Trump.

It’s also quite telling that just before these remarks, the former US president took to his social media site Truth Social to praise the crypto industry.

“I am very positive and open-minded to cryptocurrency companies and all things related to this new and burgeoning industry. Our country must be the leader in the field. There is no second place,” Trump wrote, adding that Biden allegedly wants to destroy the industry.

In its “2024 Cryptocurrency Adoption and Sentiment Report,” said that 40% of American adults now owned crypto – this could be as many as 93 million people. Obviously, that’s a huge number of votes.

Last week, Trump’s presidential campaign began accepting crypto donations, making him the first major party candidate to embrace digital currencies.

The campaign also said in a statement it "will build a crypto army" to combat the infamous "anti-crypto army" that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has campaigned on.

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