Speed Reads

the bitcoin snatcher

Freedom Convoy: Trudeau plans to target truckers' cryptocurrency using new emergency powers

Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau may use his new emergency powers to go after the Freedom Convoy's cryptocurrency, CoinDesk reported Tuesday.

"We are broadening the scope of Canada's anti-money-laundering and terrorist-financing rules so that they cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use," said Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. "These changes cover all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies."

Cryptonews suggested that "such measures could also be used to impose cryptoasset wallet freezes and seizures." Trudeau could direct Canadian securities regulators to add crypto wallets linked to protesters to the Canada's sanctions list, which would prohibit crypto exchanges from transferring currency to them.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong called Freeland's comments "concerning" and encouraged users to set up self-custodial crypto wallets. Self-custodial (or "non-custodial") crypto wallets allow users to retain the "keys" to their cryptocurrency and engage in peer-to-peer transactions with little oversight.

Fundraising platform GoFundMe removed a fundraiser for the Freedom Convoy earlier this month after being urged to do so by Ottawa police. GoFundMe initially said it planned to seize nearly 10 million Canadian dollars in donations and redirect the funds to approved charities. After the announcement drew threats of legal action, GoFundMe decided to refund the money instead. 

Trudeau invoked his country's Emergencies Act on Monday for the first time since its passage in 1988, hoping to put a swift end to the protests against COVID-19 restrictions that began last month.

Trudeau declared the emergency just hours after Ontario announced that, as of March 1, proof of vaccination will no longer be required to enter public spaces. Lifting vaccine requirements is a key demand of the protesters, but Ontario said its decision wasn't tied to the protests.