Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced at a press conference that the government has invoked the Emergencies Act to expand the scope of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations to cover online platforms. crowdfunding and its payment service providers in an effort to crack down on the “Freedom Convoy” protests.

“These changes cover all forms of transactions, including digital assets like cryptocurrencies.”

Freeland said, adding that the illegal blockades of protesters and the financial support they have obtained show that crowdfunding platforms are not “fully captured” under the country’s crime and terrorist financing law.

As part of the move, crowdfunding platforms and their payment service providers will now be required to register with Canadian financial regulator FINTRAC. They will also have a mandate to report any large and suspicious transactions to the watchdog.

The Freedom Convoy and GoFundMe

To ease supply chain issues, the US and Canada allowed waivers for unvaccinated cross-border truckers to travel freely between the two countries for the second half of 2021. These waivers ended on January 15 in Canada and on January 22 in Canada. January in the US

Cross-border truckers upset with Canadian vaccine requirements began organizing convoys across the country on January 22 and converged on downtown Ottawa on January 29, forming a blockade. The protests have been going on ever since and have become a rallying point against public health measures and COVID-19 restrictions in Canada.

The movement initially had a GoFundMe page that raised nearly $10 million. However, GoFundMe took the campaign offline on February 5, saying the campaign had violated its terms of service.

‘Bitcoin for truckers’ and the GiveSendGo hack

After the GoFundMe campaign was removed, a Canada-based bitcoin group organized a cryptocurrency fundraiser HonkHonkHodl began to gain ground among the followers. He raised more than $900,000 in bitcoin for the movement.

Freedom Convoy organizers also started another crowdfunding campaign on a US platform called GiveSendGo. However, the platform was hacked on the night of February 13 by an anonymous group.

The hackers claimed to have 30MB of data on the donors who had participated in the Freedom Convoy fundraiser on GiveSendGo. They said they would only share it with journalists and researchers.

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