Amid the barrage of last week’s regulatory news, from rumors of Joe Biden’s upcoming executive order on digital assets to another round of the Russian government’s crypto tug of war, the storyline that was arguably the most consequential for the mainstream narrative on the social effects of crypto has been the one around the Canadian government’s standoff with the Freedom Convoy. The government’s invocation of emergency powers to put down a protest movement — combined with the movement’s financial infrastructure being one of the main attack vectors — has led many observers to appreciate with renewed vigor Bitcoin’s capacity to resist state financial censorship.

If a government as “civilized” as Canada’s can arbitrarily cut off a group it doesn’t like from the financial system, then any state can potentially do the same to any group, the argument goes. While there is, as always, much more nuance to this situation. What matters is a simple, digestible notion with which the global audience walks away from the shocking news. So far, the main takeaway seems to be this: Financial censorship is scary, but crypto offers a way around it.

Canada: Not so polite anymore

A series of protests and blockades against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Canada has been ongoing since mid-January 2022. By mid-February, the impediment of transport infrastructure and general economic and social costs of the unrest have led the Trudeau government to consider extreme measures, such as the invocation of the never-before-used Emergencies Act to suppress the protests. The…

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