Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked a state of emergency law that gives him the power to freeze the bank accounts of the Freedom Caravan protesters and monitor “large and suspicious transactions,” including cryptocurrency.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said at a press conference on Monday that this latest tactical maneuver against protesters expands the scope of terrorist financing rules. It targets “crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers that use them”.
“These changes cover all types of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.”
In total, protesters have raised more than $19 million through fundraising platforms GoFundMe and GiveSendGo. However, those funds were blocked from being delivered to the caravan, which led to someone setting up a Bitcoin (BTC) fundraising round.
HonkHonk Hodl Group has raised 22 bitcoins worth nearly $1 million through Tallycoin BTC fundraising platform. HonkHonk Hodl closed its Tallycoin page on Tuesday as it exceeded its fundraising goal. It is expected that this money will be distributed to the protesters.
GoFundMe has partnered with Canadian officials to return funds to donors, but GiveSendGo has faced a leak revealing the identities of “thousands of names who have donated to Freedom Caravan,” according to Daily Dot writer Mikael Tallinn. There was no word on the fate of the convoy’s money.
BBC News reported that Quebec Premier Francois Legault said before Trudeau’s statement that implementing emergency law could “add fuel to the fire”. However, Trudeau insisted that emergency services “will be used temporarily and in a very specific way”.
And the Canadian Civil Liberties Association said, on Tuesday, that the Prime Minister exceeded his authority by activating the emergency law. “The federal government has not gone far enough to implement the Emergency Relief Act,” she said.
This law sets a high and clear standard for good reason: The law allows government to bypass normal democratic processes. This criterion is not met.”
Related: Cryptocurrency donations to increase nearly 16-fold in 2021, according to a new report
It is currently unclear which payments will be blocked. At the press conference, Freeland only noted that all crowdfunding platforms are required to report “large and suspicious transactions” to the Canadian Financial Transactions and Reporting Analysis Center.
Crypto proponents such as Preston Beech, founder of the Pylon Holding Company, sarcastically shared the execution opportunities that Freedom Convoy made public. On Tuesday, Pysh tweeted in response to Freeland: “To promote Bitcoin.”
BTC price has responded by 2.6% over the past few hours and is trading at $43,667 at the time of writing.