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Ethereum Founder Says Canada’s Crypto Seizures Are Dangerous

Cryptocurrency advocates, including Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, are calling out Canadian authorities for seizing crypto amid the ongoing “Freedom Convoy.”

Canada is facing massive protests against the government’s COVID 19 policies and vaccine mandates. While mostly peaceful, the protests included blocking roads and honking truck horns to cause a disturbance.

Still, protesters have received a lot of support, both at home and abroad. This includes a sizable sum in donations, including in crypto. That is something that the government wants to stop.

To quell the protests, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergency Act. Using his emergency powers, he instructed the courts to go after the donations to the protesters.

This includes fundraising platforms, banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, and decentralized wallets. So far, courts in Canada have seized over $1 million in funds, both in fiat currency and in crypto. 

Buterin: This is Dangerous

These actions faced wide condemnations among crypto proponents. This includes one of the most influential figures in crypto – Vitalik Buterin.

Buterin, who grew up in Canada, shared his views during Friday’s ETHDenver conference.

Ethereum founder thinks that freezing financial assets is dangerous. The Canadian government is not following due process. Moreover, that is exactly what blockchain tech is for, to make that more difficult.

If the truckers are blocking the roads and that’s breaking the economy, fine, blocking the roads is illegal and there are laws against that.

However, he stressed the importance of due process.

If the government is not willing to follow the laws … [and] give people a chance to defend themselves…and they just want to talk to the banks and basically cut out people’s financial livelihoods without due process, that is an example of the sort of thing that decentralized technology is there to make more difficult.

Buterin says that crypto is not about defying laws. It is about giving people recourse against situations in which the government abuses the legal system.

It’s not about being lawless. In some ways, it’s about bringing rule of law back.

Governments and police can still pursue suspects, he added. However, they should do that “without conscripting financial middlemen” and freezing people’s accounts.

This concept of going after intermediaries and using intermediaries to bypass all that is dangerous. Having decentralized alternatives to an intermediary is a good way to limit the damage.

Crypto Community Condemns Canada

Buterin is by no means alone in his condemnation of the government of Canada. Many members of the traditionally libertarian crypto community share these same views.

For example, entrepreneur and crypto investor Anthony Pompiliano compared Canada’s actions to those of authoritarian China. 

Wow. China is freezing dissidents’ bank accounts and threatening citizens who express their freedom of speech…oh wait, sorry. It’s Canada. Not China.

China is famous for its mistreatment of dissidents. The country also banned all crypto mining and transactions in 2021.

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Earlier, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele called out the Canadian government for allegedly threatening journalists with arrests.

Aren’t they the ones lecturing other countries about freedom of the press? Will any country on earth accept these lectures anymore?

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