Wednesday 16 February 2022

Is the money in the bank really yours? | Cryptocurrency

I am sure many have heard about the news of Canada where the banks are able to freeze the bank account of anyone they think are linked with the protests without any need for a court order. This is unprecedented and comes as anti-vaccine protests has been ongoing in Canada, blocking streets and bridges.

This was originally just a rally against a new rule that all truckers must be vaccinated to cross the US-Canada border or quarantine upon return but has grown into a broader challenge to all the health restrictions.

Mr. Trudeau has been trying to get the protestors to stop and it does affect the whole country especially when the number of protestors are building up. For weeks, truckers have been blocking city streets and critical bridges and disrupting Canada's trade routes and supply chain. They have definitely tried different ways and in one of their most extreme step, the Canadian government has warned that it will freeze the personal bank accounts and suspend the vehicle insurance of truckers who continue to form blockades in protest of vaccine mandates.

It is a hard approach that the government is taking and as reported, the police is also unable to handle arresting the protestors as the numbers are in huge volumes. It is a really huge news that Mr. Trudeau is also invoking the Emergencies Act which is used in an "urgent and critical situation" that "seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians" which allows the government to take extraordinary steps.

Personal Bank Accounts Freeze

Of course, in Singapore, we don’t protest here because the price to pay is simply not worth it unless you apply for it. But I think what I want to focus on is the freezing of the personal bank accounts by the Banks without any court order, this is a really extreme step and just shows the power of the government and the Banks. Even for accounts that are suspected of funding the protest will also be freeze. Putting the protest aside, having your money in the bank is usually what we think as safe but with this step, it further enforces the idea that the money in the bank is not truly yours as the main infrastructure holding it is the bank and they can freeze it if there is an suspicious activity detected.

Why Cryptocurrencies are here to stay

When I first read about Bitcoin, it was a great innovation and creation of currency or digital gold as we all now know it as. I would say in Singapore, the idea of Bitcoin to a normal person don’t seem much because our currency, SGD is relatively strong and our banks are still paying us interest on our deposits (imagine Europe with their negative interest where they are paying the banks to keep their money). But I can imagine in a country whose currency is weak and depreciates over time would understand the true purpose of Bitcoin and why it is so important to have Bitcoin in your portfolio. Bitcoin was also created due to the 2008 financial crisis to take the power from the banks and government and to bring it to the people where Bitcoin is limited in supply and it is self-custody.

I might not have fully explain or grasp the point of Bitcoin but I believe with the actions of the Canadian government, it reinforces the idea of cryptocurrencies where you own your assets digitally via a decentralised platform and you have to take care of your own assets is so much more logical. Although there are chances that you forget your seed phrases or get hacked (usually due to human error/carelessness), at least what you own is truly yours. This is a huge catalyst as the world experiences more volatility and craziness. Stay safe and HODL!

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