Kraken Ceo, Jesse Powell, advises moving crypto out of exchanges due to a potential forced freeze on wallets by the police. There is growing concern from the cryptocurrency community around the Canadian authorities freezing crypto wallets involved in COVID-19 protests.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Calum MacLeod issued a freeze on all wallets associated with a series of protests, the “Freedom Convoy”, surrounding COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions. According to the Toronto Star, the estimated amount of frozen funds is more than $1 million.
Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, stated on Thursday, “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.” Freeland also claimed that the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC) “lacked the necessary authorities to oversee the new world of cryptocurrency.”
This news has solicited quite the reaction from Jesse Powell along with other crypto advocates. Powell exclaimed in a tweet, “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.”
Powell is transparent about his growing concern for crypto holders and the potential freeze afflicted by authorities without consent. Powell says, “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 your coins/cash out and only trade p2p.”
This reaction from the Canadian authorities is being compared to China and its authoritarian capitalist state by Anthony Pompliano, partner and co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele also criticizes Canada for failing as a front-runner country in the “democracy index”. Bukele stated in a tweet that the Ukraine-Russia conflict is a distraction and that current wars against freedom were happening in countries like Canada.
On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued the Emergencies Act, allowing local authorities to inhibit the use of Freedom Convoy Protestors’ bank accounts. FINTRAC stated on Tuesday, “This change covers all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.” In addition, this directive extends the jurisdiction of the Canadian Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist financing rules allowing for control over crowdfunding platforms and payment processes used.