Canada's Watershed Crypto Moment Makes Case for Self-Sovereign Wallets
Cash.Tech Newsletter #17: Authorities invoke "Emergencies Act" to counter protests
For the first time since 1988, authorities in Canada have evoked a regulation that grants the government access to seize corporate or personal bank accounts without a court order. The latest development comes as the country grapples with the growing use of cryptocurrencies to support anti-government trucker protests. Some 34 cryptocurrency wallets are currently blacklisted by Canadian authorities, in what appears to be the first public government pushback against the use of crypto to fund protests.
This week’s Cash.Tech Newsletter brings you a roundup of Canada’s efforts to control the usage of cryptocurrencies, and also demonstrates how the latest developments make a bullish case for self-sovereign solutions such as the Cash.Tech Wallet. First, we will bring you an update of what the Cash.Tech team has been working on.
Cash.Tech development update
The Cash.Tech team has continued to make significant strides towards the release of the planned Merchant Protocol. This week, we finished writing the test scenarios for the merchant registration process. Key features defined under this module include merchant data being saved when users close or install the application, as well as the timing behind displaying the screen for registration confirmation. Defining these processes ensures a smoother onboarding experience and proper handling of collected data.
Cash.Tech is committed to ensuring the highest security standards. To this effect, we will continue to actively test the app’s latest version to find and fix any bugs that might potentially pose a risk to users. This week, the team identified a bug that logs users into a newly created wallet upon a login attempt instead of the original account. This bug poses no harm to user security and our commitment to security means the team is continuing investigations and will release a fix as soon as possible.
In the meantime, the team is designing the product listing and creation process (product catalog) for the Merchant Protocol. This will follow the refinement of the requirement details for the buyer’s payment details during the checkout process. The listing team is also ramping up efforts to release the latest iOS version of the Cash.Tech Wallet on the Apple Store. We are pleased to continue building out exciting features for Cash.Tech and $CATE tokens and will regularly keep the community in the loop on our progress.
Canadian authorities blacklist over 30 crypto wallets linked to protests
On February 14, 2022, Canada invoked the “Emergencies Act” for the first time since 1988. The Act is designed for handling national emergencies, which is defined as, “an urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada."
Prime minister Justin Trudeau revealed in a press conference that the government would utilize the powers conferred by the act to confiscate bank and cryptocurrency accounts without a court order. This marked the first time that Canada extended such laws to cover cryptocurrencies, after it became evident that truckers had turned to cryptocurrency to raise funds. The truckers are protesting against COVID-19 mandates by disrupting major routes, including along the Canada-US border.
The truckers have raised up to $9 million through crowdfunding platform, GoFundMe, but were unable to access the funds following a government freeze order. The protesters turned to cryptocurrencies, because of its pseudonymous nature and were able to raise at least $1 million to fund the Freedom Convoy 2022 campaign.
The government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act means it can now seize funds in bank accounts and crypto addresses found donating funds to the protests. Less than 48 hours later, the Deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed that “the names of both individuals and entities as well as crypto wallets have been shared by the RCMP with financial institutions and accounts have been frozen and more accounts will be frozen."
The Canadian police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), has ordered all regulated crypto exchanges in the country to stop interacting with a total of 34 cryptocurrency wallets. Evidently, the ties the wallets have to crypto exchanges means they can easily be identified through blockchain research.
Fully own your crypto with Cash.Tech
The recent developments in Canada are a reminder that cryptocurrency holdings on exchanges are just one government order away from confiscation. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell alluded to this in response to comments that his platform would also seize user funds upon government request. He added, "If you're worried about it [confiscation], don't keep your funds with any centralized/regulated custodian. We cannot protect you."
Cash.Tech Wallet is a fully self-custodial solution that allows you to truly own your crypto. Additionally, the wallet’s highly intuitive interface and integration with decentralized apps mean users can access all core crypto functionality without giving up their private keys.
Cash.Tech is already live on Mainnet for Android and iOS users. Android users can now access the app on Google Playstore, with the iOS version coming to the Apple Store in the coming weeks! Apple Users can access Cash.Tech via https://testflight.apple.com/join/In3h8jr9.