Canadian authorities have frozen bank accounts and crypto wallets that were used in financing local COVID-19 protests, according to global cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
Thursday’s order by Ontario Superior Court Justice Calum McLeod to freeze all digital assets and bank accounts related to Freedom Convoy, or ongoing protests against COVID-19 restrictions and mandates, was issued on Thursday
According to The Toronto Star, more than $1,000,000 has been frozen on bank accounts and digital wallets using Bitcoin (BTC), and other assets.
“The RCMP has shared the names of individuals and entities, as well as crypto wallets with financial institutions. Accounts have been frozen and more will be frozen,” Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister, reported Thursday.
She also claimed that the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada, (FINTRAC), “lacked the necessary authority to supervise the new world of cryptocurrency.”
Deputy PM Chrystia Freiland: “The names and addresses of individuals and entities, as well as crypto wallets, have been shared with the RCMP by financial institutions and accounts were frozen. More accounts will be frozen.” pic.twitter.com/iA69DbRJl1
— True North (@TrueNorthCentre), February 17, 2022
Major crypto advocates have since reacted to the news with Kraken CEO Jesse Powell denouncing Canadian authorities. “Due process should be for the plebs. Canada is a country where might makes right. You can take their wealth, remove their licenses, exclusion them from the financial sector, and even kill their pets if they disagree with you. He wrote that there was no need to debate the law or policy, or rights, when you have a monopoly of violence.”
Powell expressed concern about crypto-holders, admitting that Kraken could possibly be forced to freeze assets without judicial consent by police.
“100% it has/will occur and 100% we will have to comply. If you’re worried about it, don’t keep your funds with any centralized/regulated custodian. We can’t protect you. Trade p2p only, and get your coins/cash back.
Anthony Pompliano is co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital. He noted that the current events in Canada resembled China’s authoritarian capitalist state.
Wow. China is threatening dissidents who speak out about freedom of speech and freezing their bank accounts, according to reports. It’s Canada. It’s not China. CANADA
— Pomp (@APompliano), February 18, 2022
Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador, also used Twitter to criticize Canadian authorities for failing to make the country a top-ranking nation in the “democracy Index.” He claimed that the widely reported Ukraine-Russia crisis was a distraction while “real war against freedom” is taking place in countries like Canada.
The real war isn’t in Ukraine. It’s in Canada and Australia, France, Belgium, England, Germany, Italy… They want you to ignore them.
— Nayib Buukele (@nayibbukele), February 13, 2022
As previously reported, Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau invoked Monday’s Emergencies Act, which allowed local regulators and Freedom Convoy protesters to freeze their bank accounts and monitor large and suspicious transactions, including crypto.
Related: The ‘Keep Your Coins” bill was introduced to limit government control over crypto
This order extended Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering, anti-terrorist Financing rules to include crowdfunding platforms and payment processors. FINTRAC stated Tuesday that the change applies to all transactions, even digital assets like cryptocurrencies.