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Opinion
Jonathan Levin

Crypto’s High Ideals About Freedom Take a Beating

The industry was outspoken about non-interference when the Canadian government froze assets of protesting truckers. Now platforms are telling people what they can do with their coins.

Voyager Digital and others show that the crypto industry doesn’t stand up for its core principles when push comes to shove.

Voyager Digital and others show that the crypto industry doesn’t stand up for its core principles when push comes to shove.

Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Earlier this year, the crypto community went into an uproar over news that Canadian banks had frozen financial accounts tied to protesting truck drivers who had been blockading a key boarder crossing. The truckers were angry about vaccine mandates and other Covid-19 measures, but as the narrative went, you didn’t have to agree with them to recognize that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had used the financial system to punish political adversaries, an episode that reinforced the need for cryptocurrencies that were fully resistant to any interference.

That was all well and good, until it wasn’t.