Trudeau’s Emergency Measures Will Accelerate Decentralized Finance’s Importance
In recent years, the financial sector has become a key target of progressive activists seeking to implement their agenda. Activists have used a variety of methods to persuade and pressure financial institutions to do their bidding. They have successfully pressured the financial sector to adopt standards on environmental impact, social impact, and broader corporate governance, collectively referred to as ESG standards; they have targeted the financial sector for remaining accessible to industries deemed to conflict with ESG standards, such as oil, natural gas, and firearms.
Following 9/11, the United States Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act, which, among other things, 1) required financial institutions to establish due-diligence mechanisms to detect and report money laundering through private bank accounts and 2) encouraged regulatory agencies and law enforcement to share information with financial institutions if an individual or entity is engaged in or reasonably suspected of engaging in terrorist acts or money laundering. Western nations followed the United States government’s leadership in broadening anti-money-laundering rules to include anti-terrorist-financing measures. Since the 2008 global financial recession, financial institutions have been heavily scrutinized for their role in exacerbating the economic collapse. To prevent intense scrutiny, financial institutions have since stayed more in line with regulators’ goals. This “partnership” has seemingly meant that financial institutions mostly succumb to regulatory demands on topics ranging from climate risk to social issues and other sensitive topics.
As financial institutions have become more captured by the state, decentralized digital currencies have become increasingly popular. In the late 2000s, bitcoin emerged as a decentralized digital currency that can be sent from user to user without the need for financial intermediaries. Over time, crypto assets like bitcoin have ballooned to enormous popularity. As of February 23, bitcoin’s market capitalization was well over $700 billion. As the crypto-asset market continues to grow, governments and regulators have debated the best approach to constraining its utility in escaping government oversight. The Ontario Securities Commission reported tweets by the CEOs of two major crypto-asset exchanges that informed crypto users about ways to avoid the government’s ability to seize crypto-assets. As Canadian protesters recently learned, the financial system could become a weapon against them if the current government finds their political views to conflict with the its current priorities.
On February 19, NBC News reported that hundreds of police officers in riot gear retook control of Ottawa after weeks-long protests “occupied” the city’s streets. This forceful action comes days after Canadian minister of finance Chrystia Freeland announced a government crackdown on the Freedom Convoy. In fulfilling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Emergencies Act declaration, the Ottawa interim police chief threatened the remaining protesters with “financial
Article from Mises Wire