According to a CBC News investigation, the federal government used the Emergencies Act to freeze the Freedom Convoy’s assets, but most of the approximately $1 million raised in Bitcoin appears to have avoided Canadian officials.
The biggest account linked to protestors raised 20.7 Bitcoin (about $1,062,674 Cdn), however, authorities appear to have frozen just 5.96405398 Bitcoin (around $306,176) as of March 18.
The remaining 70% of Bitcoin has been drained from its original source.
Bitcoin cannot be frozen by the state. Jack Dorsey has had it with authoritarianism in Canada as well.
You Can’t Stop the Honey Badger
CBC News put together a partial but intricate chain of transactions in which big funds were spread into hundreds of Bitcoin wallets.
A combined team of the OPS, OPP, and RCMP are looking to reclaim Bitcoin used by those freedom-loving-anti-COVID-19 health mandate Freedom Convoyers, but observers say users are still finding methods to access the Bitcoin.
“There’s a huge limitation, as we’ve seen, with freeze orders when they relate to ‘cryptocurrency’ wallets,” said Mathew Burgoyne, a leading Canadian digital currency lawyer based in Calgary.
“The limitation is that the ‘crypto’ can simply be transferred to another wallet address that’s not frozen, and then another address that’s not frozen, and it can continue to be transferred in an effort to obscure the original source, or in an effort to remove the funds as much as possible from the wallet that was frozen.”
On Feb. 14, the Emergencies Act was invoked, citing digital assets as one tool to deter demonstrators from gathering funding.
To block transactions, the RCMP banned wallet addresses related to the convoy.
The RCMP declined to comment on the issue, but CBC News has verified the agency targeted 34 wallet addresses.
A judicial order obtained on Feb. 17th named over 100 wallets allegedly affiliated with demonstrators.
The legal complaint seeks to seize protestors’ assets, including Bitcoin, and deposit them in an escrow account for use in paying class-action damages.
The RCMP’s list includes at least 20 of the civil claim’s wallets, including the principal account used by the demonstrators to raise Bitcoin.
How’s all that working out for the RCMP?
Not well. While it is possible to track the movement of assets using Bitcoin’s public ledger, despite the freeze orders, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin-related to the demonstrators continued to flow.
In one case, three Bitcoin (approximately $154,010) were transferred from a flagged account to an unflagged account in days. It got over 15 Bitcoin on Feb. 16th and distributed them to other accounts in $200 increments.
A civil action against the protest organizers’ lawyers, Monique Jilesen of Lenczner Slaght, claimed digital cash is tougher to track but still traceable.
“I’m assuming, but not certain, that it was done to disperse the wallets… They take one huge wallet, split it up into hundreds of smaller wallets, and provide the passwords to the end receiver “said.
Though the RCMP won’t comment on this case, it told CBC News it can collect and reclaim digital currency holdings, citing earlier prosecutions of cybercriminals.
It appears that NobodyCaribou, truckers that protected their keys, and those who aided on the ground were much more successful than originally reported by the Canadian officials. It also looks like they are struggling to stifle Bitcoin and coming to the realization, all they can do is say things, spread FUD, and use scare tactics. Canada like the US, as Max Keiser puts it is ”powerless against this thing.” Tick Tock…