With the latest turnout of events in Canada’s capital about the “Freedom Convoy,” the Trudeau administration is now in the spotlight post-disbandment of the protesters as it flexed its powers extending to even a deregulated market such as cryptocurrency.
This news comes as a surprise not just for Canadian crypto miners and bitcoin specialists, but to the global industry as well. With a divided stand regarding this latest move, more people have raised concerns on how this will impact their digital assets. Find out more about the latest developments by scrolling down below.
The Freedom Convoy Explained
Downtown Ottawa became a huge parking lot as hundreds of heavy-duty trucks and other freight vehicles of individual operators and drivers stood in protest of the government-mandated vaccine and social distancing protocols.
Dubbed as the “Freedom Convoy 2022,” the small team of western Canadian truckers and other protesters marched to the streets in mid-January launching the protest. It was said that over 50,000 trucks were expected to head towards Ottawa. However, the local police cleared in early February of 2022 that there were only about 400 trucks parked outside Canada’s Parliament Hill.
The group’s mission is to challenge all levels of the Canadian government to repeal the vaccine mandates, especially those enforced on truckers as of early January 2022. The Canadian and US state required truckers to be fully vaccinated before entering or exiting either country.
The protest forced Prime Minister Trudeau to invoke the “Emergencies Act,” which gives the Canadian government the power and authority to freeze personal and corporate bank accounts of the protesters.
The Trudeau administration broadened the scope of its law and included anti-money laundering regulations to single out crowdfunding sites and entities financially assisting the truckers. Part of the regulation gave the government the power to seize crypto assets as a result.
The Canadian government’s seizure of bitcoin assets
The Justice Ministry of Ontario was able to obtain a fraction of the bitcoin crowdsourced in part of the “Freedom Convoy 2022” supporters’ efforts to fund the protest. The protest fundraised more than 22 BTC which is worth more or less $1.1 million.
Meanwhile, Nicholas St. Louis, an Ottawa native, who led the bitcoin fundraiser for the protest, received a civil lawsuit ordering him to freeze the bitcoin and transfer them into escrow. The police were able to possess 0.28 BTC ($15,000). The remaining bitcoins were saved in different digital wallets outside his supervision.
The recent display of power from the Canadian government will surely raise concerns among the crypto community as these digital assets are deregulated in nature. This will certainly become a springboard for discussion regarding the regulation of crypto assets, one of them including NFTs and altcoins.
The talk of crypto coin regulation is not new news as the US Congress is expected to release crypto regulation sometime later this year. Various states have already opened discussions on ways to regulate the sector, with some governors and senators releasing their individual proposed bills on cryptocurrency.