A cryptocurrency expert is sounding the alarm over how the Canadian government is freezing the crypto wallets of Freedom Convoy protesters and says it’s something that can “very realistically” happen in the United States. United.
In an effort to take action against participants in the Freedom Convoy protests in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked the Emergencies Act, giving the government the power to quash protests by towing vehicles and even more direct measures such as the freezing of personal bank accounts.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told a press conference on Thursday that crypto wallets had been frozen.
“Names of individuals and entities, as well as crypto wallets, have been shared by the RCMP with financial institutions and accounts have been frozen, and more accounts will be frozen,” Freeland said.
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Nicholas Anthony, director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute, told FOX Business that the same strategy the Canadian government is using to silence protesters can “very realistically happen here.”
“I think this really has to be an eye opener for Americans across the country, across political ideologies,” Anthony said. “But it’s something that could very realistically happen here, and it’s something that shows that they really need to put in stronger financial privacy protections. And really, they should have the right to their financial confidentiality.”
He added that the seizure of personal funds is something “reserved for authoritarian regimes” as a form of punishment for citizens who disagree with government policy.
“It shouldn’t be something that can happen on a whim, and seeing it just north of the border is clear evidence of that,” Anthony said.
Anthony’s comments come as U.S. truckers plan their own “freedom convoy” as a way to protest U.S. government COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.
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Anthony said “no one is immune” to the kind of actions the Canadian government is taking against protesters’ personal bank accounts and crypto wallets.
“And as sad as it sounds, no one is safe from this, whether it’s traditional bank accounts or cryptocurrencies held with a third party intermediary, it really doesn’t matter. “significance. In other words, if it’s a third party who acts as an intermediary. And there is always this risk of crisis,” he said.
According to Anthony, the best way for individuals to “bypass” potential seizure of their crypto wallet by the government is to avoid third-party platforms and host their cryptocurrencies in a “self-hosted wallet.”
He pointed to a bill introduced this week in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, title the “Keep Your Coins Act”, which would prohibit any federal government agency from creating a regulation that “impairs a person’s ability to act as a self-depository”.
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For those who think the US government should have the power to seize bank accounts or crypto wallets at any time, Anthony said they should examine how authoritarian countries have used this power in the past.
“I would direct them to Russia. They used this practice to silence political dissidents who were critical of Vladimir Putin. In Sudan, they used it to silence advocacy groups. And, in China, they used it to silence pro-democracy protests,” Anthony said.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report