Crypto community condemns Canada for freezing dissidents’ Bitcoin wallets

Crypto community condemns Canada for freezing dissidents Bitcoin wallets

Justice Calum MacLeod of the Ontario Superior Court issued an order on Thursday freezing any digital assets and bank accounts linked to “Freedom Convoy,” a series of ongoing rallies against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and limitations. The amount of money locked in bank accounts and digital wallets with Bitcoin (BTC) and other assets, according to the Toronto Star, is expected to be more than $1 million. “The names of both individuals and entities as well as crypto wallets have been shared by the RCMP with financial institutions and accounts have been frozen and more accounts will be frozen,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland reported Thursday. She also argued that the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC) “lacked the necessary authorities to oversee the new world of cryptocurrency.” Following the news, major crypto enthusiasts reacted, with Kraken CEO Jesse Powell criticizing Canadian authorities. “Procedure is for plebeians.” In Canada, might makes right. If someone objects, you simply seize their assets, cancel their licenses, bar them from the financial system, and put their pets to death. When you have a monopoly on violence, there’s no need to argue the law, policy, or even rights,” he remarked on Twitter. Powell also raised concerns about crypto holders, conceding that police may order Kraken to freeze money without judicial authorization, stating: “100% yes it has/will happen and 100% yes, we will be forced to comply. If you’re worried about it, don’t keep your funds with any centralized/regulated custodian. We cannot protect you. Get your coins/cash out and only trade p2p.” Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner of Morgan Creek Digital, noted that the ongoing events in Canada very much resembled a situation in China, which is commonly referred to as an authoritarian capitalist state. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele also took to Twitter to criticize Canadian authorities for failing to make the country a top-ranking country in the “democracy index,” claiming that the widely reported alleged Ukraine–Russia crisis is a distraction from the “real war” on freedom taking place in countries like Canada. As previously reported, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act on Monday, which allowed local regulators to freeze Freedom Convoy protesters’ bank accounts and monitor “large and suspicious transactions,” including crypto. The order specifically extended the scope of Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering and anti-terrorist financing rules to cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment processors they use. “This change covers all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies,” FINTRAC said on Tuesday.