Superbowl crypto commercials were cool, but so far it is Canada ’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who is leading the most impactful Bitcoin advertising campaign in the Western world.
🍁 Last week Mr Trudeau invoked an emergency act declaring Freedom Convoy, a series of protests against the Covid mandate, illegal. The emergency act notably gives institutions and authorities the power to seize or block funds they consider having connection to the protests without any court order.
💰 The police have reportedly frozen hundreds of bank and crypto accounts, while the banks, encouraged by the government, froze some more using their own algorithms. This comes after the government forced two crowdfunding platforms to block the donations to the protests.
The indignation with these measures has been rising on all social networks for weeks, and the Convoy itself, as well as its objectives, are really the least important thing here. Civil liberties is the main topic.
Both Kraken and Coinbase CEOs have taken it to Twitter to tell people that as centralized exchanges they are obliged to do whatever the Canadian police tells them to, and the best way to protect people’s funds is to transfer them to a self-custodian wallet.
🏛️ The response from the Ontario Securities Commission came straight from Orwell’s 1984 (or at least that’s what it looked like to us): it warned the exchanges to not promote self-custodian wallets and signalled the incident to the police. The message couldn’t be clearer: citizens don’t have right to manage their own money.
We would like to stress it once again: if a protest becomes a nuisance to the people, it is within the police’s rights to shut it. Cutting people from the funds they rightfully possess should be not.
The way that Canadian government handled the Freedom Convoy case is troubling, but at the same time not surprising. It is just another wake-up call for all of us: if you’re not 100% on the side of people in power, your funds are in danger.
People living in Western democracies may just discover this, people living in less democratic places have known this for a long time.
Bitcoin fixes this.