US President Donald Trump pardoned Ken Kurson, a former Ripple board member and co-founder of a crypto media outlet Modern Consensus.
Kurson was one of 73 people who received a full pardon from Trump earlier Wednesday, less than 12 hours before his presidency expired. All 70 people had their sentences relaxed, but Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who was being pardoned last month, was not on the list. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who, with Ulbricht, helped spread the use of Bitcoin; Edward Snowden, who gave information to Wikileaks about a US surveillance program, is also not on the list.
Other recipients of Wednesday’s amnesties include former campaign strategist Steve Bannon, who said he was working on a cryptocurrency project before his 2020 arrest on fraud charges in 2018. Other notable names are rapper Lil Wayne and Kodak Black.
The absence of Ulbricht’s name on the list seems to disappoint many in the crypto industry who have defended the Silk Road founder’s pardon for years. Representative Thomas Massie (R-W.V.), A Member of Congress since 2012, was a vocal advocate of Ulbricht’s amnesty, as well as people like Snowden. Trump can continue to forgive until President-elect Joe Biden takes an oath and takes office.
Finally, a presidential pardon is a mandate for the US President to pardon any federal crime at any time during his tenure.