Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau initiated emergency measures on Monday in an attempt to starve protesting truckers of funding.
Since arriving in the country’s capital, Ottawa, last week, the truckers have made their presence felt by blocking roads restricting movement and trade.
Although authorities successfully ended the associated GoFundMe campaign, the truckers quickly turned to crypto as a way to circumvent restrictions. It’s reported over $1 million in Bitcoin was donated to the cause.
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Keen to stamp down on this, the Canadian government has now invoked the Emergencies Act, giving them powers to freeze or suspend bank accounts without a court order.
Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, said the move also expands anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules, meaning greater scrutiny of transactions at crowdfunding platforms and payment providers, including crypto transactions.
“We are broadening the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules so that they cover crowdfunding and platforms and the payment services providers they use. These changes cover all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies…”
El Salvador’s President Bukele calls out Canada
In a tweet on Tuesday, President Bukele said it’s ironic that Canadian authorities preach democracy and freedom yet attempt to trample opposing voices. He ended the tweet saying Canada has lost all credibility on the matter.
Are these the people who like to give lessons to other countries about democracy and freedom?
This is one of the top ranking countries in the “democracy index”?
Your credibility on these topics is now worth 0.pic.twitter.com/wCjh9bXwDt
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) February 15, 2022
Pro-Bitcoin President Bukele is no stranger to accusations of being a dictator himself. The Guardian ran a piece recently which painted him as an authoritarian fitting the bill of historical Central American “strongmen.”
In response, President Bukele responds to such allegations in a lighthearted manner. For example, changing his Twitter profile pic to an image from the 2012 film The Dictator, starring Sacha Baron Cohen.
Protestors looking to launch their own crypto token
Undeterred by the Emergency Act, a prominent protestor named Pat King began promoting “freedom convoy token” as a solution.
Soon after Prime Minister Trudeau announced the measures, King directed supporters to a website to download a wallet and swap established tokens for the freedom convoy token.
The project’s initial goal is to fund the development of a decentralized GoFundMe platform. But it’s unclear how this project offers anything different from existing solutions.
“Being able to push our cause to a worldwide audience with no entity to control our vision meant going decentralized.”
Local press reports that Tuesday afternoon saw the website pulled, raising alarm bells it was a rug pull all along.
PooCoin Charts shows the token is still being traded, easing some of those fears. The FCT/BNB pair is currently priced at $0.0004294, up 1,096% from its February 14 launch price.