'Frozen' Bitcoin Tied to Canadian Protests Lands at Coinbase, Crypto.Com

Backing up, in recent weeks, thousands of Canadians took to the streets in major cities to protest vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions. Dozens of trucks blocked the roads of Ontario as well as various border crossings to the U.S., filling the air with honking and bringing economic disruption.

The nation’s capital, Ottawa, found itself practically under siege. In order to disperse the trucks and protesters and bring an end to the weeks-long disruptions, on Feb. 14 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time since it was enacted in 1988. Part of the Act gives the government and banks the authority to freeze financial assets and accounts linked to protestors without a court order or judicial review process.

It also enabled police forces from across the country to coordinate and combine resources as they dismantled the convoy in Ottawa and elsewhere: As of Feb. 22, 191 people have been arrested and 107 people have been charged with obstructing police, disobeying a court order, assault, mischief, possessing a weapon and assaulting a police officer, CNN reported.

On Feb. 17, in a separate legal fight brought by locals affected by the protest, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered that nine crypto platforms freeze accounts associated with 120 cryptocurrency addresses belonging to the movement. This means that if those platforms received funds from the listed addresses they should prevent any further movement of them. The list of addresses was provided via a Mareva injunction – a form of court-provided asset freezing.

Regulated financial institutions are also subject to “strict rules on tipping off criminals or others who are suspected of money laundering, so in that case they may process a transaction and report it,” Smart noted. “It’s a sealed box though; we don’t know if they are or are not reporting.”

On Feb. 16, Tim Pastoor, a digital identity researcher in the Netherlands, tweeted a video of a person coming up to a truck and handing a large paper envelope to the driver, saying it contained “some sats” – slang for “satoshis,” small fractions of bitcoin. “Eight grand of bitcoin in there,” says the donor, who then explains the envelope contains the recovery phrase for a software wallet containing bitcoin along with a set of instructions.

This content was originally published here.


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