FreeRossDAO emerges winner of imprisoned Silk Road founder's NFT auction

A group called FreeRossDAO has won the auction for Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s first non-fungible token (NFT) collection with a winning bid of 1,446 ETH (about $6.2 million).

Tweeting on Thursday, FreeRossDAO stated that it raised over 2,800 ETH ($12 million) from more than 1,300 supporters, spearheaded by the PleasrDAO community.

The NFT collection in question, dubbed “Genesis Collection,” is a collection of digital items including journals and art pieces created by imprisoned Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht and showcased on the SuperRare platform.


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Following its auction win, FreeRossDAO says it will fractionalize the NFT collection and distribute same on a pro-rata basis to all DAO participants. The distribution will be in the form of ROSS tokens. Meanwhile, the remaining funds held by the DAO will be held in a community-managed treasury.

FreeRossDAO aims to undertake prison reform advocacy while fighting to free Ulbricht, who is serving a double life sentence plus forty years for operating the defunct darknet market Silk Road.

The news is another indication of seemingly effective fundraising by DAOs, especially under significantly short notice. In November, Constitution DAO raised $40 million to bid for a rare copy of the United States constitution.

Citadel CEO Kenneth Griffin eventually beat Constitution DAO with a winning bid of $43.2 million.

About Author

Osato is a news reporter at The Block as part of the crypto ecosystems team that focuses on DAO governance, staking, blockchain layers, and DeFi. He was previously a news reporter at Cointelegraph. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, he enjoys crosswords, poker, and attempting to beat his Scrabble high score. Follow him on Twitter at @OsatoNomayo.