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With the government now targeting crypto assets, it remains unclear exactly how they plan to stop a decentralized payment system.
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has invoked the Emergency Act of 1988 to block crowdfunding and bitcoin transactions meant for protesters. This was in response to weeks of truckers-led protests that have blocked Canadian streets and major crossings at the US Canada border.
While the Act allows the minister to call in the Calvary, Trudeau stated he has no such plans. Instead, he is using the Act to target the finances of the protesters. According to the minister, “This is about keeping Canadians safe, protecting peoples’ jobs and restoring faith in our institutions.” Going by the Act, banks can freeze accounts without a court order and any fear of a legal clap-back.
Additionally, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the government was expanding its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist laws to include crowdfunding platforms and their payment providers. Freeland noted that the law covers all kinds of transactions, including crypto assets.
Gag Attempt Is Unconstitutional, Says CCLA
Canadian Civil Liberties Association stated that the Prime Minister was overreaching by invoking the Emergencies Act. It said, “The federal government has not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act.”
Initially, the group was receiving funding via a GoFundMe account. The protesters raised more than $19 million through GoFundMe and GiveSendGo. Following pressure from the government, the account was closed and the funds redistributed to the donors. Consequently, the Freedom Convoy sought additional funding sources, resorting to cryptocurrencies.
In a matter of days, the HonkHonk Hodl group reportedly raised more than 20 bitcoin (BTC) through the Tallycoin bitcoin fundraiser. The group announced via Twitter that it had exceeded its target and would announce plans for disbursement to protesters.
Targeting Bitcoin Transactions Are Good Advertisement
With the government now targeting crypto assets, it remains unclear exactly how they plan to stop a decentralized payment system. This has been greeted with delight from crypto proponents like Pylon Holding Company founder Preston Pysh. Pysh believes that the incident with the Canadian government has highlighted Bitcoin’s potential to the mainstream. “What an advertisement for Bitcoin,” he said.
Coin Center’s Neeraj Agrawal also noted sarcastically:
“Oh no please don’t expose how easily the state can lean on financial intermediaries [to] cut off political protest fundraising.”
As expected, the Bitcoin market reacted to the news with the coin gaining 4.30% within 24 hours. At the time of writing, the coin was trading at $44,235.40.