Most major cryptocurrencies traded negative for the week as Canada’s blacklisting of crypto wallets related to the trucker protest drew criticism from the community, while tensions between Russia and Ukraine dented broader markets.
Bitcoin and Ethereum, the world’s largest crypto currencies, were trading 5.6% and 10% lower for the week, respectively, while crypto market capitalization sank by at least $160 billion this week.
A bulk of the losses can attributed to tensions over a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which had hurt equities and foreign exchange. But crypto markets were also unsettled by Canada banning more than 30 wallets related to the “Freedom Convoy” protest.
The move, which was part of a broader crackdown that targeted funding sources for the protest, drew widespread ire from the crypto community.
The government said more accounts would likely be frozen, and that individuals and entities will face full sanctions in connection with the protest. The Freedom Convoy is a nearly month-long protest started by truckers in opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Crypto Companies Criticize Canada’s Actions
Jesse Powell, chief executive of crypto exchange Kraken, criticized the blacklist in a series of tweets, and urged investors to consider using non-centralized wallets.
100% yes it has/will happen and 100% yes, we will be forced to comply. If you’re worried about it, don’t keep your funds with any centralized/regulated custodian. We cannot protect you. Get your coins/cash out and only trade p2p.advertisement
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) February 18, 2022
Powell also said that centralized exchanges would have no choice but to comply with government regulations, and that decentralized exchanges would allow investors to protect their funds.
“If you’re worried about it, don’t keep your funds with any centralized/regulated custodian. We cannot protect you. Get your coins/cash out and only trade p2p.”
Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and Coinbase head Brian Armstrong expressed concerns over the move, while Ethereum founder VItalik Buterin called the blacklist “dangerous”, in an interview with Coindesk.
The Justin Trudeau administration recently invoked emergency powers that allow it to freeze individual accounts without needing court approval. Trudeau himself has publicly condemned the protests.
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