Senator Warren Davidson has introduced a new “Keep Your Coins” bill in an attempt to legislate more individual autonomy over crypto holdings. The Senator’s bill comes following Canada’s seizure of funds being sent to anti-vaccine mandate trucker protesters in Ottawa, and the country’s invoking of emergency powers to be able to freeze bank accounts without a court order.
Our office will be introducing legislation in the US House of Representatives shortly to protect Americans from this version of overt theft.— Warren Davidson (@WarrenDavidson) February 15, 2022
Please let your Member of Congress and Senators know… https://t.co/UbNdcj8ZZ4
“A number of people will undoubtedly recognize that, ‘Bitcoin fixes this.’ That’s only true with self-custody. Account-based crypto has similar vulnerabilities. We also have a bill protecting self-custody: the Keep Your Coins Act,” Davidson said.
If passed, Davidson’s bill will prevent the state from restricting “the ability of a covered user to— (1) use virtual currency or its equivalent for such user’s own purposes, such as to purchase real or virtual goods and services for the user’s own use; or (2) conduct transactions through a self-hosted wallet.”
In an interview, Davidson said that boundaries need to be set to prevent the government from using finance to restrict citizens’ freedoms.
“People are talking about [free speech] with the trucker convoy. If this [protest] happened in America, some would be cheering, some would be upset. My point is that it should be even-handed. We shouldn’t use money as a way of controlling people. Of course if there’s criminal activity, you should go after that. But imagine if the same thing were done to a crowdfunded BLM movement. That wouldn’t be okay. It’s not okay with the Freedom Convoy, either.”
According to new reports, Prime Minister Trudeau’s administration has frozen at least 34 crypto wallets associated with the trucker protests, including 29 Bitcoin addresses, 2 Ethereum, and 1 wallet each of Cardano, Monero, and Litecoin.
“The Ontario Provincial Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police are currently investigating cryptocurrency donations being collected in relation to illegal acts falling under the scope of the Emergency Measures Act,” the RCMP order begins.
“Pursuant to the Emergency Economic Measures Order, under subsection 19(1) of the Emergencies Act, there is a duty to cease facilitating any transactions pertaining to the following cryptocurrency address(es).”
Presumably, these wallets are on centralized exchanges, and its unclear to what extent the Canadian government has the ability to freeze or seize the digital assets. As per the report, one of the addresses contains at least $1 million in BTC.
According to Senator Davidson, the new bill will rephrase FinCen language to provide a proper framework for KYC (know-your-customer) which protects self-custody.