Global cryptocurrency enthusiasts have expressed concerns over Canadian authorities freezing bank accounts and crypto wallets involved in funding local COVID-19 protests.
On Thursday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Calum MacLeod issued an order freezing all the digital assets and bank accounts associated with “Freedom Convoy,” a series of ongoing protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions.
According to a report by the Toronto Star, the amount of funds frozen so far in bank accounts and digital wallets with Bitcoin (BTC) and other assets is estimated at 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.”
Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland: “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.” pic.twitter.com/iA69DbRJl1
— True North (@TrueNorthCentre) February 17, 2022
Major crypto advocates have subsequently reacted to the news, with Kraken CEO Jesse Powell condemning Canadian authorities. “Due process is for plebs. Might makes right in Canada. If someone dissents, you just confiscate their wealth, revoke their licenses, exclude them from the financial system and kill their pets. No need to debate the law, policy or even rights when you have a monopoly on violence,” he wrote on Twitter.
Powell also expressed concerns over crypto holders, admitting that it could be possible that Kraken could potentially be forced to freeze assets by police without judicial consent, 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…..