Canada, now in a unique pinch, has declared that the Emergencies Act is now in effect. This gives Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the government extraordinary powers in the face of national crises that affect the country as a whole. These permissions include control over all the country’s systems – including financial ones, which may affect the world of cryptocurrency as well.
Photo: AP News
How did things even lead to these drastic measures? The government deemed this decision to be necessary after countless nationwide protests against COVID-19 restrictions were held by certain groups of citizens. It came to the point where the streets nearing parliament were completely blocked off by protesters, unhappy with the quarantine period those crossing the US-Canada border needed to face. Some of these protests are illegal and pose an imminent danger in blocking off access to essential goods and services.
Since no current laws or systems can address the issue at hand, this was considered the best way to solve the situation. This is the first time this Act has ever been used.
Through the Canada Emergencies Act, the government now has control to freeze financial accounts suspected of providing the funds for these illegal protests. Banks now have the power to suspend both personal and corporate accounts without a court order as long as it is within reason. In order to move one step further, they have also tightened their anti-money laundering policies as this is seen to be the source for terrorist funding.
All huge digital crowdfunding platforms will now be under intense scrutiny, including platforms for cryptocurrency. A group managed to raise 20 bitcoins to aid protesters but this was blocked off by the government and taken down. All large financial transactions will have to be reported and can possibly be blocked – including those involving cryptocurrency.
How this news affects crypto, in the long run, is yet to be seen, but this and similar events are contrary to the “unregulated” and “decentralized” nature of cryptocurrency as a whole. Will this reduce investor trust and eventually negatively impact the token prices? We’ll have to see.
Featured image courtesy of Medium