No matter which side of the aisle you sit on when it comes to the Canadian trucker protests, one conclusion is indisputable: governments are willing and able to access your digital wallets and take your crypto.
Where they take it and what they do with it once it gets there is perhaps an open question.
But the fact remains that under the recently invoked Emergency Measures Act, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau has given the government the power to sanction 34 well-known crypto wallets and, in theory, seize the funds they hold. contain.
Whether the Canadians succeed or not, a clear marker has been set.
Governments are coming for your crypto.
Earlier in the trucker protests, it was clear that financial networks were becoming a key battleground.
Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe early sided with the Canadian government and announced that donations to protesting truckers would actually be diverted to a charity chosen by the funding platform.
After an outcry, the launch of multi-level US government investigations and an accusation of fraud by US presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis, GoFundMe has agreed to return the money to donors rather than give it to others. other charities. But the fact remains that the money never reached the truckers, even though at that time there was nothing illegal about making or receiving such donations.
First round in the Canadian government.
Then the alternative funding platform GiveSendGo stepped in.
Again, the Canadian government tried to intervene, but with less success, as the founders of GiveSendGo were not as politically aligned with the Canadian government as the founders of GoFundMe.
Pro-Trucker Groups called GoFundMe “GoFraudMe” and hailed GiveSendGo as a new lifeline.
But there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
If GiveSendGo didn’t voluntarily stop funds going to truckers, the Canadian government had other directions from which it could target that money.
On the one hand, he could label the Truckers as terrorists, and thus claim that the GiveSendGo platform was used to finance terrorism, which he duly did. For good measure, Prime Minister Trudeau added to the other common slanders of the day – truckers were racist and misogynistic.
Unfortunately, the trucker protests were almost entirely peaceful and involved dance parties, children playing on bouncy castles and pets.
Trudeau’s claims only seemed truly believable to people wearing the same kind of tint on their glasses as the government itself.
Another alternative was to wait and see if anything happened to GiveSendGo – which it duly did. Its website was hacked and taken down, and the names of trucker donors were made public. In some cases this was unfortunate, as people inside the echelons of government turned out to be donors, and in other cases it was dangerous, as threats were made.
Some had also claimed violence on the side of the truckers, but to date no such story has been proven.
Meanwhile, as then-Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly, a longtime police veteran, continued to keep his powder dry, the Truckers looked to other sources of funding to keep going.
The battle for financial control has turned to Crypto.
Here the government needed the additional powers of the Emergencies Act before it could act. Prime Minister Trudeau came under heavy pressure from the conservative right in Canada and the United States not to invoke it, but he duly did so, shortly after Peter Sloly was ousted.
Time will tell if Sloly will be remembered as a restraining force who tempered a powder keg situation or simply as a man who dithered and failed to prevent the development of a ‘carnival of chaos’ – the term used by Ottawa Board Police Department Chairman Diane Deans, who was later ousted herself.
Either way, with the Ottawa Police back, the government felt more secure to take its next steps, both on the ground and financially. Although the protesters and their trucks were given a few more days of grace, their crypto was now under direct attack.
On February 18, Crypto exchange Kraken said it would not be able to prevent the Canadian government from freezing assets held on its platform.
Indeed, Kraken General Manager Jesse Powell was quite unequivocal.
“We will be forced to comply” he said on Twitter. “If you’re concerned, don’t keep your funds with a centralized/regulated depository. We cannot protect you. Withdraw your coins/cash and only trade on a peer-to-peer basis.
A reply to this Tweet asked if Prime Minister Trudeau just killed bitcoin by “showing how easy it is to lock?”
To be fair, however, Powell himself is not neutral on the matter. He has publicly opposed mandating vaccines and defended people who take such a stance against the charge of being “anti-vax”.
Note, however, that the issue of vaccination mandates that started all this chaos was largely lost in the ensuing melee over control of streets and money. Is it really even about Covid and life safety, or is it about much, much more?
Is it, in fact, the broader relationship between the state and the individual?
If so, then cryptography, which after all is traceable through blockchain technology, will never be completely effective in keeping the state financially at bay.
The only asset that has ever done this effectively and consistently through the ages is gold. And towards the end of last week, gold broke through the US$1,900 mark, once again heading for an all-time high.
Financial experts around the world have attributed this strength in gold to ongoing tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
But couldn’t there have been another reason why buyers overwhelmingly turned to gold?
This is because last week was the week governments around the world started coming for your crypto.