Canada’s securities regulator has flagged tweets by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell encouraging people to use non-custodial wallets to evade freeze orders by the Trudeau government. “We are aware of this information and have shared it with the RCMP and relevant federal authorities,” said the Canadian regulator.
Tweets from Coinbase and Kraken CEOs reported to police
Canada’s regulator, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), has alerted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and other federal authorities to tweets regarding Canada’s Emergencies Act published by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, Logic reported last week.
The two crypto exchange executives criticized the invocation of Canada’s Emergencies Act. They warned about the danger of using custodial wallets, advocating the use of non-custodial wallets to prevent funds in them from being frozen.
Kristen Rose, head of public affairs at the OSC, was quoted by the publication as saying:
We are aware of this information and have shared it with the RCMP and relevant federal authorities.
Both Kraken and Coinbase are registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC) as money services businesses.
Kraken’s Powell tweeted a few times about the importance of using non-custodial wallets last week. “Please do not fund causes directly from custodial wallets. I’m sure freeze orders are coming. Withdraw to non-custodial before sending,” one tweet reads. He also admitted in a different tweet that he donated one bitcoin to Honkhonkhodl for Canadian Freedom Convoy truckers.
In another tweet, the Kraken boss answered a question about whether his crypto exchange could be ordered by police to freeze assets without judicial consent. Powell replied
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.
Coinbase’s Armstrong also highlighted the importance of non-custodial wallets. Commenting on financial institutions and exchanges freezing accounts and crypto wallets linked to the Freedom Convoy protest, he tweeted last week:
Concerning to see stuff like this happening in any country, especially such an economically free place like Canada. Self-custodial wallets are important.
The Trudeau government invoked the Canada Emergencies Act last week. The RCMP then ordered banks, financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze accounts and crypto wallets linked to the Freedom Convoy protest. The government even warned that other accounts would be frozen.