The High Court of Justice of Ontario, the province of the capital of Canada, sent an order to cryptocurrency providers to freeze the funds of their users involved with Freedom Convoy. This was reported by the self-custody bitcoin wallet company, Nunchuk, which announced on February 18 that it received the order and cannot comply with the measure due to the nature of Bitcoin.
Nunchuk tweeted a portion of the document, which is seen to read: “This Court orders that any bank, financial institution, money service business, fundraising platform or website, cryptocurrency platform or exchange, or custodian of any cryptocurrency wallet, upon receipt of this order notice, immediately freeze and prevent any transaction (…) of its assets.”
In addition to ordering that the funds be frozen, it also requires that such entities urgently send them all the information they have about their users. This is seen in the next section, where it says that “it orders that the intermediaries immediately disclose and deliver to it any and all records, including the existence, nature, value and location of any money or assets.”
The Court of Canada notes that the order is a precautionary measure of Mareva. With this legal term is known an asset freezing order that prevents a defendant from transferring their assets while they are being prosecuted. This decision was made by the government in order to stop the financing in dollars and bitcoin of the Freedom Convoy movement.
Freedom Convoy is a protest started by truckers in Canada three weeks ago calling for the removal of vaccination requirements against covid-19. Since then, the demonstration has not stopped growing and has crossed borders, also forming itself in different countries of the world. Some of them are France, Finland, Australia, the United States and Spain.
The movement has raised more than $10 million in funding that it was never able to receive because the Canadian government stopped the donation by labeling it as promoting illicit acts. That is why Freedom Convoy chose to raise funds in bitcoin, a type of money that the government could not freeze if it was transferred without intermediaries.