How the Canadian government unintentionally fast-forwarded bitcoin adoption.
Canadians owning bitcoin jumped to 13%, up from 5% in the last year according to the Bank of Canada.
Tamara Lich, an organizer with the Truckers Freedom Convoy was rearrested on June 27 for violating her parole conditions when she spoke with another organizer at a dinner celebrating her award during a ceremony in Toronto put on by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a legal organization and registered charity.
Unlike previous years Canadians will celebrate Canada Day today, July 1, with the recent memory of a government that used extraordinary legal measures including freezing peoples bank accounts to end a peaceful protest. It’s been almost six months since the Canadian government brought in the Emergencies Act (with the help of the socialist party NDP) to put an end to the peaceful protest by truckers on Parliament Hill. Under the financial measures in this legislation, more than 200 individual personal bank accounts holding about $7.8 million were frozen according to a finance department spokesperson.
In addition, on February 17, an Ontario Superior Court judge used a “rare legal maneuver,” a Mareva injunction, to freeze millions of dollars in financial donations including bitcoin to the Truckers Freedom Convoy.
The Mareva order restricted convoy leaders including Lich, Nicholas St. Louis, Benjamin Dichter and their fundraisers from “selling, removing, dissipating, alienating, transferring, assigning” up to $20 million in assets raised from donors around the world.
As Bitcoin Magazine reported earlier this year, the Truckers Freedom Convoy raised about $1 million in bitcoin donations through a fundraising platform, Tallycoin.
St. Louis, who goes by the name NobodyCaribou on Twitter, was able to redirect bitcoin funds raised through Tallycoin to individual truckers just in time. A modern-day hero, he was later detained by police and forced to hand over his bitcoin seed phrases.
Unintended Effects Or How A Government Unintentionally Fast Forwarded Bitcoin Adoption
The idea that the Canadian government could freeze people’s bank accounts for not agreeing with government policy was a shock for many and left a chill in the air even after winter was over.
In a recent report, the Bank of Canada said that 13% of Canadians now own bitcoin, up from 5% the year before. This is an outstanding jump and likely an undercount.
In an interview with Reuters, a seemingly panic-stricken Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Rogers said that the number of Canadians owning crypto assets is growing rapidly and efforts to regulate are not keeping pace.
“This is an area that is still small, but it’s growing really rapidly. And it is largely unregulated,” said Rogers
“We don’t want to wait until it gets a lot larger before we bring regulatory controls in place,” she added.
Anecdotal Evidence Backs Up Bank Of Canada Numbers
Francis Pouliot, CEO of Canadian bitcoin-only exchange Bull Bitcoin, is thrilled that despite recent volatility, Canadians are using his exchange in record numbers.
Pouliot agreed that the threat to freeze people’s bank accounts was a prime motivator and a wake-up call for Canadians.
“Absolutely and not only in Canada. I’ve spoken to a U.S. company that saw an uptick in U.S. clients because of the threats to freeze people’s accounts in Canada,” he added.
(By comparison, data from crypto-research firm Chainalysis suggests that crypto adoption in the U.S. stands at 14%.)
Benjamin Dichter is an organizer with the Truckers Freedom Convoy and told us in an interview featured in the Bitcoin Magazine Print Censorship Resistant issue that the issue was simply a matter of freedom:
“Most of us are vaccinated,” he explained. “It was the mandates, the lack of choice. That was the problem.”
Like St. Louis he is seeing an uptick in interest in bitcoin:
“Interest in bitcoin is through the roof. I keep doing spaces to orange pill supporters and it has been working,” he says.
Bitcoin Fundraising Using Tallycoin
A group of Canadian Bitcoiners who prefer to remain anonymous have organized a fundraising drive to continue the work of the Truckers Freedom Convoy.
As explained here, Tallycoin is ideal for bitcoin fundraising:
“Tallycoin enables donations directly to a fundraiser’s Bitcoin wallet and offers the option to list an extended public key so that each individual Bitcoin payment generates a unique address.”
“This is a critical privacy best practice that makes it more difficult for observers to associate these payments together. The platform also offers Lightning Network donations for fundraisers that use Bitcoin payment processors or by directly connecting their own Lightning nodes.”
This Canada Day 2022, the story of the Truckers Freedom Convoy continues to make history. As noted here:
“…the saga served as one of the most high-profile test cases for Bitcoin as a sovereign financial rail in its thirteen-year history.”
“As Bitcoiners continue to tout the technology as an off-ramp from undue censorship and surveillance, its use as a system for getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in value directly into the hands of those who had been blacklisted by the Canadian government may be the most potent illustration of that power to date.”