• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Canadian Federal Judge-Crypto Donation Freeze Unreasonable, Unconstitutional

Walter Swift

ByWalter Swift

Jan 25, 2024
Canadian Federal Judge-Crypto Donation Freeze Unreasonable, Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Canada has ruled that the decision by the government to freeze the funds of protesters by invoking the Emergencies Act is unreasonable, unjustified, and unconstitutional, as the decision did not undergo the necessary factual and legal due diligence checks.

Justice Richard Mosley, on January 23, 2024, disagreed with the Canadian government on the decision, declaring that there was no national emergency that justified freezing assets and consequently blocking donations in both fiat and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

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The ruling came after the legal tussle between the Freedom Convoy and the Canadian government after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau activated the Emergencies Act for the first time, claiming the protests had devolved to the point of an emergent national emergency.

What Was the Freedom Convoy Protest About?

The Freedom Convoy protests erupted on January 22, 2022, against the backdrop of vaccine mandates for truckers in Canada. The “Truckers Protest” was a protest in which demonstrators occupied popular areas in Ottawa and vowed to stay there until the government terminated all COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

The protest continued for about one month, finally ending on February 23, 2022, after Canadian Police dismantled the protests by arresting several protesters, tearing down blockades, and forcefully relocating parked trucks.

While the Freedom Convoy initially had plenty of support from members of the Conservative Party of Canada (the main opposition party) and some far-right groups in the US and Canada, support for the protesters quickly waned after many protesters started openly calling for anarchy and an overthrow of the Justin Trudeau government.

How Were Cryptocurrency Tokens Involved?

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In the early days of the protest, the Freedom Convoy raised over $9 million in donations through the popular fundraising platform GoFundMe. GoFundMe froze all the donations after pressure from the Justin Trudeau-led Canadian government.

The movement shifted to Tallycoin, another crowdfunding platform that runs on the Bitcoin blockchain, to combat the control of the funds by the government. The protesters raised several Bitcoins using this technique, with an estimated total donation of around $1 million.

However, the Canadian government would also freeze the Bitcoin donations, activating the Emergencies Act to make it possible without a court order this time. In addition to freezing the cryptocurrency assets, the government also moved to end the protests by dismantling the blockades and arresting organizers and leaders.

How the Public Reacted

The onslaught against the Freedom Convoy cryptocurrency assets came with widespread condemnations from the Canadian public and beyond, with many observers decrying its wide-ranging implications on the freedom of Canadians to transact without governmental interference. The intervention caused Canadians, especially those who had donated to the protests, to panic-withdraw their fiat from banks in justified fear that the government could freeze their assets at will without a court order.

In response to the move, crypto exchange CEOs hit back at the Canadian government, decrying the excessive centralization of power in Canada and its potential negative impacts. Surprisingly, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced that it reported the tweets to the police, proving a dwindling freedom of expression in Canada.

Ruby on Rails creator and Bitcoin skeptic David Heinemeier Hanson (DHH) published a blog post titled “I was wrong, we need crypto” in the wake of the actions, pointing out how Canadians who donated to the truckers now have to fear for their money in banks. Also, DHH described the situation as “absolutely bonkers” and “terrifying.”

What Should We Expect?

 The judgment by Justice Richard Mosley awarded no compensation to the Freedom Convoy. It may inspire the protest’s organizers to attempt a recovery of their funds from the Canadian government.

Also, the ruling should be helpful to their case in the ongoing criminal trial involving the Canadian government and two prominent protest leaders- Tamara Lich and Chris Barber.

The Freedom Convoy organizers could hope to recover the frozen cryptocurrency donations to pay for adequate legal representation in their criminal trial. Achieving this, however, is a story for another day.

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Walter Swift

Walter Swift

Walter Swift is an adept crypto writer, known for his deep insights into the decentralized world. His pieces artfully break down complex blockchain topics, making them accessible to a broad audience. With a passion for emerging technologies, Walter's articles are a beacon for crypto enthusiasts and novices alike.

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