Tag Archives: Judicial process

No, Canada did NOT seize any crypto wallets connected with the #FreedomConvoy, here’s why, by Mark E. Jeftovic

Cryptocurrencies are difficult for governments and judicial processes to crack. From Mark E. Jeftovic at bombthrower.com:

Short answer: They can’t

(Unless they’re in a hot wallet on an exchange within Canadian jurisdiction).

Longer answer:

I’m seeing references and hearing anecdotally how the Canadian government froze or even seized crypto wallets associated with the #FreedomConvoy fundraising efforts. Including the sensational headline from Fortune magazine’s Fed up Ottawa residents win secret suit to freeze the crypto wallets funding Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters“.

…fed up residents

…secret suit

… “Freedom Convoy Protestors” in scare quotes

Oh my.

The article refers to a Mareva Injunction issued by the Ontario Superior Court against the convoy organizers (Dichter, Lich, Barber), Pat King (the convoy crasher in my book), several people who were involved in the Tallycoin fundraiser for the truckers, and then numerous John Doe’s. It orders that 134 crypto wallets be frozen, such that nobody remotely involved with them can basically move or cause to be moved any of the funds in those wallets.

Further, it orders that any wallet that receives funds from any of these wallets also be frozen. Technically that means if somebody were to move a single satoshi to Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, BitBuy, etc – then the receiving hot wallets of those exchanges are technically “frozen” as well.

This isn’t really tenable, and this issue has actually come up before within the context of Bitcoin mining and OFAC compliance. There was a time when Marathon Digital actually tried to create an initiative where they would only mine “fully AML and OFAC compliant” derived blocks. This would have essentially required the censoring Bitcoin transactions and  was widely scorned by the industry. It proved itself to be unworkable, with Marathon  scrapping the program almost immediately. (It is also worth noting here that according to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, which consults for numerous law enforcement and intelligence agencies, only 0.5% of all Bitcoin transactions are illicit in nature).

Trying to enforce a “taint chain” on specific crypto addresses would run into similar problems to the point where the choice would simply be to shutdown Bitcoin entirely (not possible) or give up.

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