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Canada to review the “risks” of cryptocurrencies after Freedom Convoy protesters subverted crackdown

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After freezing bank accounts during the Freedom Convoy protests earlier this year, citizens in Canada began to use cryptocurrency to support the civil liberties protests.

This week, Canada’s Department of Finance launched a review called the Financial Sector Legislative Review On The Digitalization of Money. The purpose of the review is to assess the risks to “monetary sovereignty” posed by cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

“The digitalization of money, assets and financial services which is transforming financial systems and challenging democratic institutions around the world creates a number of challenges that need to be addressed,” the department wrote in a notice to potential contractors.

The notice did not mention the “Freedom Convoy” protests earlier this year. The government used the Emergencies Act to freeze $7.8 million held in 267 bank accounts and 170 crypto wallets owned by supporters of the protests.

“In the last several months there have been a number of high profile examples, both around the world and here in Canada, where digital assets and cryptocurrencies have been used to avoid global sanctions, evade government oversight and fund illegal activities.

“Raising broader risks such as risks to monetary sovereignty and the ability to conduct monetary policy; competition risks if economic power becomes concentrated in issuers; environmental risks due to power consumption; and illicit finance risks including sanctions circumvention, money laundering, cybercrime and tax evasion.”

The deadline for the report is 2024 and it is not yet clear the amount of money that will be spent on the review.

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