The situation in Canada, and especially the unprecedented freezing of Canadian citizens’ bank accounts by their government, prompted the CEO of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, Jesse Powell, to speak up.
Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, has harshly criticized the Canadian government’s decision to seize funds from its citizens’ bank accounts without due process. He revealed that Kraken would be forced to comply with seizure requests and warned users to send their coins and cash out of a centralized exchange.
The CEO of Kraken, Jesse Powell, comment about Canada
In his tweet, the CEO of Kraken opposed the actions of the Canadian government and criticized the recent emergency orders of the government of Justin Trudeau, which allow the authorities to seize funds from the bank accounts of Canadian citizens without a court order. By relying on an emergency law that has never been used to date, the Canadian government wants to prevent funding from Freedom Convoy protesters who have blocked several key transit routes and cities in protest of ongoing measures in the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A good process is for plebs. Canad does the power to the right.”
Powell said, referring to the fact that the Canadian government is willing to circumvent due process and allow for the seizure of funds without a court order. In a press release, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland revealed that the Canadian government had begun freezing bank accounts, seizing funds, and disrupting the financial services of those associated with the Freedom Convoy protests.
Centralized exchanges will have to obey
In a subsequent tweet, Powell warned that Kraken and other centralized cryptographic exchanges would be forced to comply with law enforcement authorities if asked to freeze deposits from specific cypony currency addresses. In response to a question from @degderat, whether Kraken could find himself in a situation where the police told him to freeze assets without court approval, Jesse Powell replied:
“100% Yes, it happened / it will happen, and we will be forced 100% to comply. If you are afraid, do not have your resources with any centralized (regulated) administrator. We cannot protect you. Get your coins (cash) outside and trade only P2P (peer-to-peer).”
On Thursday, Royal Cavalry Police officials sent letters to cryptocurrency stock exchanges ordering them to stop all cryptographic transactions targeting Freedom Convoy protesters. The black list included 34 cryptocurrency wallets (bitcoin, ethereum, monero, litecoin, and Cardano) with digital currencies worth approximately $ 1.4 million. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, all funds sent from these wallets to FINTRAC-regulated exchanges will be frozen immediately. I wonder if the mining officials even realized that setting up another address was a matter of minutes?
Powell is another central cryptocurrency figure who has spoken out against the Canadian government’s decision to seize funds from its citizens. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong also expressed his concern on recent developments in Canada on Tuesday, stressing the importance of keeping virtual currencies in private wallets.
Others, such as Bitcoin Plan B analysts, speculated that the situation in Canada could lead to another “Cypriot momentum” for bitcoin. If that doesn’t tell you anything, I add that in 2013 the price of this cryptocurrency shot up, as the Cypriot financial crisis raised concerns about the run on banks.
Conclusion on Jesse Powell
Although a run on Canadian banks currently seems unlikely, the recent seizure of bank accounts by the Canadian government has highlighted the importance of decentralized monetary systems.