Canadian Trucker Protesters Eye Bitcoin Amid Court-Ordered Fund Freeze
The government of Canada’s Ontario has obtained an order from the province’s Superior Court of Justice that allows freezing some USD 9.4m in funds collected through crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo for the ‘trucker protest‘ — encouraging calls by some of the protest’s supporters to develop a bitcoin (BTC)-based strategy that could ensure continued funding for the truckers.
The protest started as an initiative against the country’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and pandemic-related restrictions for truckers entering Canada from the USA.
Ivana Yelich, a spokesperson for Ottawa Premier Doug Ford, told The Globe and Mail the latest court order introduces a ban on distributing donations transferred through the platform’s ‘Freedom Convoy 2022’ and ‘Adopt-a-Trucker’ campaign pages. As of 13:31 UTC, the two campaigns have amassed about USD 8.7m and USD 701,330 from donors, respectively.
That said, the platform was fast to reject the order:
Preston Byrne, a crypto and blockchain-focused attorney at US law firm Anderson Kill, tweeted that it looked like “crypto is saving the day once again” in response to the release of a strategy that could allow overriding the fund freeze shared by one of the protester’s.
“Canada is attacking the Canadian non-profit ‘Freedom 2022 Human Rights and Freedoms’ which was set up on January 30th,” Joseph A. Camp said in a blog post. “However, the GiveSendGo releases the funds to the American non-profit ‘Incorporated Freedom 2022 Human Rights And Freedom Association’ which then distributes the funds via Crypto to the TruckerConvoy2022.”
Controversial Canadian psychologist and author Jordan B. Peterson was among those who criticized the court’s decision, calling it “state-sponsored theft,” but also expressing his belief that cryptoassets could allow the campaigns’ supporters to continue to fund those efforts.
“Bitcoin fixes it,” he said.
Meanwhile, another crowdfunding effort for the trucker protest, enabling supporters to donate bitcoin, is said to have generated BTC 21 (USD 918,240) in collected funds, according to its organizer.