Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, an online marketplace that hosts anything from ketamine to children's books, is currently selling an NFT. This sale gain is expected to go to his legal fund and children whose parents are incarcerated.
Silk Road was founded in 2011 and is widely believed to be the first company to use Bitcoin. They proved that fully decentralized digital currencies could be used safely and without any need for censoring. However, the marketplace soon became a focus for the media as all sorts of things took place there, including drugs sales, upon which the feds shut it down.
Today, Ulbricht is serving two consecutive life sentences with an additional 40 years without an option for parole. As the guy who put his life on the line to prove that individuals should be free to decide whom they want to interact with and what to buy, he has achieved a near-mythical status within the community of cryptocurrencies traders and advocates.
With his latest auction of NFTs, it is hoped that this will have the same or a similar effect on the perception of NFTs in the broader society. This is because NFTs are founded on the same pillars that uphold Crypto, the uniqueness of digital items, and the freedom to own, use and trade these assets.
NFT is quickly generating an insane amount of wealth in the markets. It is equally moving away from its initial identity as Crypto's sidekick. It has broken into the mainstream culture, from its place on the fringes, and now publicly flaunted by celebrities, icons, and corporations, from a joke, now a tool for the much-valued concepts of freedom and flexibility amongst Gen-Zs and Millennials.
Charitable efforts, like the one Ross Ulbricht is involved in, have played their part in getting the news out there. For example, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the New Yorker magazine imitated the sale of a series of NFTs, with proceeds going to victims of the attack.