Donating crypto to Freedom Convoy illegal after $1M Bitcoin raise
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has invoked emergency measures that criminalize Bitcoin and other crypto donations to the “Freedom Convoy” protesters.
As part of Tuesday’s Emergencies Act, the Canadian government urged local crypto exchanges to blacklist Bitcoin wallets associated with the protest, which demands an end to mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for truckers crossing the US border.
The 30-day Emergency Economic Measures Order “extends the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing rules to cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment processors they use.”
“This change covers all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies,” said Canada’s Department of Finance in a statement.
According to blockchain analytics unit Elliptic, among the blacklisted campaign is one trucker’s Honk Honk Hodl fundraiser.
The campaign raised funds via Bitcoin-powered Tallycoin and hit its 21 BTC ($880,000) goal in less than two weeks.
Another blacklisted “Adopt A Trucker” campaign advertised donation wallets for Bitcoin, Ether, Ethereum Cash, Cardano, and privacy coin Monero.
Freedom Convoy Bitcoin wallets flagged with crypto exchanges
Canadian truckers and their supporters have occupied downtown Ottawa for close to three weeks and turned to crypto after GoFundMe ended their million-dollar campaign.
The crowdfunding site withheld the CAD$8 million ($6.3 million) raised after reports of violence between protesters and locals.
On Tuesday, Canada’s deputy prime minister and minister for finance Chrystia Freeland highlighted the protest’s effects on the country’s economy.
“These illegal blockades are doing great damage to Canada’s economy and to our reputation as a reliable trading partner,” she said.
According to Freedland:
- The blockade of the Ambassador Bridge has affected about $390 million in trade each day.
- In Coutts, Alberta, about $48 million in daily trade has been affected by the blockades.
- In Emerson, Manitoba, about $73 million in daily trade has been affected by the blockades.
Trudeau’s government is urging financial institutions to “review their relationship” with those involved with the protests.
Banks should also report any related assets and transactions to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).
The RCMP (Canada’s version of the FBI) has sent a list of wallets linked to funding the Freedom Convey to Canadian banks and crypto exchanges.
The RCMP’s letter demands crypto exchanges “cease facilitating any transactions” via 29 Bitcoin wallets and five other wallets, including ones tied to Litecoin and Ether notes RT.
Read more: [Weaponry and cyberwar: How Bitcoin funds anti-Russia efforts in Ukraine
Some of the campaigns aren’t particularly large. The previously mentioned Adopt A Trucker plea raised $7,500 in various cryptocurrencies.
Organizers have pledged to disperse raised funds to truckers for first aid, shelter, food, and fuel.
Another campaign for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) donations raised $51,700. Elliptic pointed out the BCH wallet was not included in the list of flagged addresses.
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Edit 19:40 UTC, Feb 17: Updated paragraph 18 for clarity.