After his graduation in 2009, Ross Ulbricht found it hard to work in a 9-5 job. Thus, he aspired to become an entrepreneur to make an impact.
In 2011, he came up with the idea of Silk Road marketplace, an online marketplace. This market place was quite different from the other run-off-the-mill ecommerce solutions.
Silk Road was a free market where users were anonymous. Ulbricht was a supporter of privacy and opined that individuals should be allowed to cover their identity for the sale and purchase of products with the exception of a single rule: they must not harm one another.
To provide anonymity to the users, Ulbricht leveraged the power of Tor—an open-source protocol used in the development of dark net forums. Tor works by encrypting the data.
This means if a user sends a message to another user, then Tor will make sure to arrange this data in a way such that only the actual receiver can read it, thereby nullifying any third-party interception.
Secondly, Tor routes internet traffic so IP addresses are modified before they arrive at their final destination. Hence, it is not possible to identify the IP address of the sender or receiver. With the concealment of IP addresses, Ulbricht succeeded at one of his goals.
However, Tor alone was not enough to power a marketplace. If users engaged in payments based on traditional banking mediums, then they could still be tracked through their money trail. At that time, a certain cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin was making headlines.
While most of the global financial institutions mistook it as a scam, Ulbricht was shrewd enough to envision futuristic cash-less society which could run on the back of cryptocurrencies. Hence, he was quick to add Bitcoin as a payment mechanism between members.
Bitcoin uses a platform known as Blockchain which stores the transactions through “blocks.” These blocks contained the data about the sender and receiver and were chained together, hence the name Blockchain. However, it was not possible to track these transactions.
Blockchain was heavily based on cryptographic algorithms which ensured that it was impossible for a third-party to view any “Block” and take and a peek. The integration of cryptocurrency did wonders for the Silk Road as it became a huge success. Unfortunately, it was halted when Ulbricht was arrested in 2013.
Saving Ross Ulbricht
Whether you ask Ulbricht’s inmates or go around his friends and family members, he boasts an angelic reputation among his peers.
Punishing a guy who just experimented to change the global system with 40 years is extremely harsh. Donate for Ulbrich through HYDRO tokens to strengthen his defense so he can have a better future.