Silk Road Prison Paintings by Ross Ulbricht


Ross Ulbricht, the former operator of the first darknet bitcoin marketplace Silk Road, will auction a collection of four original oil paintings and an animation consisting of 318 hand-drawn frames at Bitcoin 2022. He created the series, called “The Growth Collection”. as he continues to serve a double life sentence plus forty years in federal prison for his role in Silk Road.

“Human Blockchain – Series 1, Block 6” by Ross Ulbricht. All images are from

The oil paintings and animation will have five corresponding non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and certificates of authenticity minted on the Bitcoin blockchain via the Counterparty protocol. The coins will be auctioned by the Lightning Network-centric Scarce.City platform.

“The artwork data and proof of ownership will be stored and secured by the Bitcoin blockchain using the Counterparty protocol,” according to a statement shared with Bitcoin Magazine. “The artwork will be auctioned for bitcoin using Scarce.City’s native Bitcoin and Lightning Network auction platform.”

the Counterparty Protocol was introduced in 2014 and operates its own token, XCP, which was originally issued by sending 2,140 BTC to a demonstrably unspendable Bitcoin address, thereby “burning” those bitcoins and, in a sense, transferring their value into the XCP.

NFTs were hit on April 5 the honorary “birthday” of pseudonymous Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto. The auction is open April 6-8 via Scarce.City. Animation and oil paintings are on display in Bitcoin 2022’s on-site art gallery.

Ulbricht created the collection while serving his ninth year in prison, using a light box made from a Tupperware containing a reading lamp and sketching a plant each day to capture its growth from seed to germination.

“I’m working my fingers to the bone on these artworks for Bitcoin 2022,” Ubricht wrote in a Tweeter. “What takes the most time is the animation. No computers in jail. I have to draw every frame by hand.

Ross Ulbricht, founder of darknet bitcoin marketplace Silk Road, is auctioning off a series of artworks created while serving his life sentence.

“Human Blockchain – Series 1, Block 7” by Ross Ulbricht. All images are from

Silk Road still represents one of Bitcoin’s most widely used and infamous use cases and many in the space view Ulbricht’s sentencing as unjust for a non-violent first offender.

Bitcoin 2022 is part of the Bitcoin event series hosted by BTC Inc, the parent company of Bitcoin Magazine.


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