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Canadian Police Tell Exchanges to Halt Bitcoin and Ethereum Trades Tied to Trucker Blockades

The RCMP has told exchanges to block and report trades associated with several crypto wallets.

2 min read
Truck drivers in Canada have been protesting the country's COVID measures. Image: Shutterstock.

In brief

  • Canada's leading newspaper says the RCMP has sent letters to crypto exchanges.
  • The RCMP campaign is part of actions to end the trucker blockades.

Two of Canada's biggest law enforcement agencies are telling cryptocurrency exchanges to block any transactions associated with dozens of wallets tied to the trucker blockades that have created mayhem at the country's borders and in its capital city.

A letter circulating on Twitter reveals the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Provincial Police have ordered financial institutions to “cease facilitating any transactions” tied to certain wallets, and to report any information or transactions linked to those wallets.

The wallets are primarily associated with Bitcoin addresses but also include a handful tied to Ethereum, Cardano, and Litecoin accounts.

Canada's leading newspaper, The Globe & Mail, reported on Wednesday afternoon that it had obtained RCMP letters sent to cryptocurrency exchanges, but didn't specify which exchanges. Coinbase and Kraken—two of the most popular North American exchanges—did not immediately respond to inquires from Decrypt as to whether they had received letters.

The RCMP campaign against the crypto addresses is part of a sweeping series of measures the Canadian government has undertaken to break up trucker blockades that sprung up weeks ago to protest the country's covid vaccine measures.

Those measures include targeting bank accounts of those carrying out illegal activities, and are being conducted under the Emergencies Act, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked for the first time since it was passed in 1988. The legislation allows the federal government to take extraordinary measures for 30 days.

The blockades are estimated to have cost Canada millions of dollars in lost trade and business revenue, and has rendered life miserable for the citizens of Ottawa where semi-trucks have been blaring horns in residential neighborhoods for weeks.

A Globe & Mail editorial endorsed the government's counter-measures, arguing that protesting is a fundamental right but that the truckers' activities—primarily supported and financed by Americans—amount to an "illegal blockage."

Many Bitcoin and crypto advocates have decried Canada's decision to target the wallets as heavy-handed and a violation of civil liberties.

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