Authoritarian Leaders Are Struggling To Stop Bitcoin

Written By Neil McKenzie-Sutter, Posted on March 3, 2022

In 2022, the Trudeau government exposed itself through the use of financial tyranny which MP Krystia Freedland calls “tools’ ‘ to de-bank and persecute peaceful protestors in Ottawa. This massive public relations blunder should give us all hope.

The crackdown on people’s bank accounts was purely vindictive and disrupted many lives. The bank account freezing is a cruel and unusual punishment and was apparent even to the apolitical and some leftists.

This move by Trudeau and Freeland was completely unnecessary. It was forced and indicative of a regime that is concerned their grip on power is slipping despite the perceived ‘threat’ being a peaceful protest in Ottawa that an Ontario judge had ruled to be lawful.

While it is not within the normal capability of the Canadian government to freeze finance assets, if the Emergencies Act is invoked they can create a temporary crisis to try and justify the freezing of bank accounts. This is what the Liberals have done and it has opened Pandora’s box, exposing the weaknesses in the banking system and reliant institutions like GoFundMe. This isn’t true with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It has for many people caused extreme skepticism amongst Canadians who are concerned they could be next if they hold the wrong political views. 

Then there is the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space. Some crypto blockchains are centrally administered by a foundation which is cause for concern about the government’s ability to freeze and/or seize your cryptocurrency with centralized institutions. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is a completely decentralized blockchain protocol with no board of directors, no foundation, no CEO. The only person who can control Bitcoin is the person who owns it.

Nonetheless, the issue of centralized cryptocurrencies and exchanges was stated outright by the CEO and founder of the Kraken crypto exchange, Jesse Powell, who confirmed after the implementation of the emergency order by the Liberal government that Kraken would indeed eventually have to comply with any orders given them by the government. 

To underline what’s going on here, Powell has advised Kraken users in Canada if they’re concerned their crypto assets could be seized, they should withdraw their crypto onto self-custodial, decentralized wallets. Similar advice to Canadian users has since been issued by Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong. 

Generally speaking, it’s a bad idea to keep amounts worth 0.1 BTC or more on the centralized exchanges like Kraken or Coinbase, unless you’re doing more than just holding the crypto asset, for example: engaging in lending or staking earnings programs. In situations like this you’re still taking a risk, but it’s up to you to decide if the potential reward outweighs that risk.

Speaking in terms of security from seizure of assets, what the Canadian government is trying to do is they are using a lot of intimidating and aggressive language to scare potential new crypto users from looking into the technology, however the government has essentially no options to actually seize your crypto when it is withdrawn into a self-custodial wallet.

To experienced crypto users this is some of the most basic information I’m discussing here, however, this article is geared more towards those Canadians and international freedom convoy supporters who know nothing about crypto, but are now concerned about becoming de-banked by totalitarian governments. 

It is absolutely necessary at this time for freedom convoy supporters to understand that you can access highly functional and fine, decentralized financial services if you are kicked off legacy banks. The government’s threats are toothless in this area.

There are several different types of self-custodial, decentralized wallets with different levels of security. Some of the main types are:

  • Web browser extension wallets (least secure)

Examples: Metamask, Binance extension wallet, Coinbase wallet. (It’s important to note is a centrally run exchange and the Coinbase wallet are entirely different services. The Coinbase Wallet is actually perfectly functional, self-custodial and decentralized. Coinbase Global Inc. commissioned the engineering of the Coinbase Wallet, however the centralized company has no back door capability to access or freeze your funds in this wallet… don’t worry, you’re not going insane, the Wallet distinction has been noted as confusing).

  • Software (hot storage) wallets (medium level of security from hackers)

Examples: Exodus, Coinomi, Atomic.

  • Hardware (cold storage) wallets (Virtually unhackable)

Examples: Ledger, Trezor, Keep Key.

It is important for crypto newbies to grasp the concept that the government is explicitly and knowingly lying about their ability to seize your crypto.

A recent article highlighted Trudeau’s Liberal government’s use of the phrase: ‘sanctioning of crypto wallets,’ and when one reads through the article in detail with some understanding of decentralized currencies it is clear that the headline does not reflect reality. 

Objectively one can see what the government is claiming: there are 34 wallet addresses or so that the government has identified as untouchables.

The most likely reason the government has been able to figure out who these wallets are connected to (if their information is correct) is that the address owners probably posted the wallet address somewhere on social media where their other personal information was available (i.e. they posted their Bitcoin wallet address on Twitter).

But as far as the information attached specifically to the crypto address, there is usually no personal information attached to self-custodial wallets. Bitcoin wallets are virtually-anonymous meaning they only receive addresses.

Unless you’ve also publicly associated yourself with a wallet address, it doesn’t matter what the government claims: you can send money to someone, even if they’ve identified the receiver as an “extremist,” you can still send money to that person and the government doesn’t know who you are as the sender.

The government is essentially just uttering empty threats and pretending that they can take people’s crypto wallets.

A tyrannical dictatorship may be able to track down one or two individual crypto users and force them into giving up their passwords, however, the more people that learn to use this technology the less effective crackdowns, similar to the kind being employed by the Canadian government, become.

We have seen an incredible example of this dynamic playing out in an exchange that was made public between the Ontario government and the self-custodian wallet provider Nunchuck, published on Nunchuck’s Twitter page

This exchange was reported in much of the press as Nunchuck rejecting the request by the Ontario Superior Court to freeze crypto wallets that had been identified as one of their products. The reporting on this exchange was confusing because as you would expect from any self-respecting wallet provider Nunchuck has no ability to access or shut down accounts, and this is how it should be despite what wannabe dictators want you to believe.

Neil McKenzie-Sutter

One response to “Authoritarian Leaders Are Struggling To Stop Bitcoin”

  1. Roy says:

    I thought that a Mareva Injunction was to be used for getting money from a debtor.