The Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Canada has claimed that the country’s banks could be asked to immediately freeze or block the bank accounts of individuals in the country as the “truck drivers protest” against Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions continues.
Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said: “We are expanding the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financial rules to cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment providers they use.”
“These changes cover all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.”
This last statement will have been the most worrying for the country’s many crypto enthusiasts as it implies that such measures could also be used to impose freezes and confiscations on crypto asset wallets.
In theory, such measures can be enacted without a court order or concern for civil liability.
Freeland justified the government’s stance by claiming:
“The illegal blockades have made it clear that crowdfunding platforms and some of the payment processors they use are not fully covered [existing anti-terrorism legislation].”
The likes of Brian Armstrong, the CEO of the crypto exchange giant coin basewas quick Point that self-custody solutions could help anyone trying to evade government access to their bank accounts or crypto wallets.
Google searches for terms like “bank run,” which briefly peaked in Canada on Feb. 10, began to surge again in the news — and are particularly high in Alberta and British Columbia, according to Google Trends data.
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, who pioneered the introduction of Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender in his country, has sharply criticized the nation so often seen as a bastion of a level-headed liberal democracy.
It now appears that many of the protesters’ international supporters have been exposed in a hack GiveSendGo Christian crowdfunding site that has raised nearly $9 million to support the protests.
Vice reported that the “names and personal information of over 92,000 donors” were briefly “leaked online.” The majority of the donors appear to be based in the United States, and many have reportedly been religious groups or individuals. Many referred to “tyranny” in the messages accompanying their donations, the media outlet noted.
Some media outlets have suggested that some support in the form of crypto was sent to the protesters after the government blocked bank transfers.
The news follows developments in Lebanon, where the government – for a very different reason – is also reportedly considering freezing citizens’ assets and hacking into their bank accounts. The Lebanese government is reportedly viewing the move as a last-ditch effort to fight inflation. Meanwhile, Turkey‘s government is reportedly working on plans to get its citizens to hand over gold “under the mattress” in its latest plan to prop up the value of its national currency, the lira.
But in all these cases, now also in Canada, the solution for Bitcoiners is the same.
Ryan Selkis, the founder and CEO of Kryptoforscher Messarireplied to the message from To write that the Canadian government’s move proved that the “narrative of BTC remains the most important thing in crypto.”
He noted that “a modern democracy simply refers to political opponents as domestic terrorists”.
The protests, which have seen trade in Canada come to a near halt due to extensive road blockades and closures, prompted Ottawa to declare a state of emergency earlier this month. But despite widespread condemnation from many international observers who claim that QAnon conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccinationists were behind the protests, others have claimed that draconian measures could endanger Canadian democracy.
In an opinion piece, The New York Times wrote:
“Allowing non-violent, albeit disruptive, protest is an important tool for maintaining social cohesion in a polarized society.”
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