The Ontario Provincial Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police have ordered companies to stop doing transactions from 34 crypto wallets, which they’ve tied to the “Freedom Convoy” trucker protests in that country, CoinDesk reported Wednesday (Feb. 16).
The federal agencies are working with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), and they’re looking into crypto donations supporting the protests.
The truck drivers have been protesting since the end of January, with the objective being to fight back against international vaccine requirements for travel. The protests have been deemed illegal under the Emergencies Act by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — the first time that had happened since 1988 when the law was passed.
The crypto wallets in question include 29 Bitcoin addresses, one Ethereum address, one Cardano address, one Ethereum Classic address, one Litecoin address and one Monero address, according to the order.
Donors have reportedly sent over 20 bitcoin to the addresses which were worth $870,000, or CA$1.1 million. The donors have reportedly turned to crypto because the GoFundMe account associated with the protests was suspended.
PYMNTS wrote recently that the crypto transactions had become a “casualty” of Trudeau’s evocation of the Emergencies Act.
The act was expanded by Trudeau to include payments linked to cryptocurrency or crowdfunding. Because of the act, crowdfunding platforms and payment services providers have to register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre.
There’s no information on how this will work once the trucker protest ceases.
The protests have been disrupting the daily life in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. It’s cut off trade between Canada and the U.S. since Jan. 22, and the policing costs to handle the 8,000-odd protesters has risen to over $500,000 per day.
The funding has become a point of controversy, and Republican lawmakers in the U.S. have both supported the truckers and called for an investigation into GoFundMe’s suspension of the fundraiser.