Sanctions Against Russia Pose A Conundrum For Bitcoin
Almost half of Russia’s $630 billion reserves have been seized by foreign governments since the invasion of Ukraine. It was relatively easy to do given modern financial infrastructure. The mainstream temptation is to react favorably to this move. Russia will be poorer and so less able to fund its war. The baddies lose, the goodies win. Now consider the story of the Canadian truckers who have been criminalized by their own government for seemingly doing little more than protecting their right to work. Invoking emergency legislation, the Canadian government froze 210 bank accounts with deposits of C$7.8 million. And under pressure from the government, GoFundMe withheld C$10m in donations for the cause. The lesson — mess with the government, and we’ll steal your money. A key tenet of Bitcoin is its unseizability. Anyone, anywhere can own bitcoin, and be confident it can’t be taken away. That means Canadian truckers and their supporters, but it means the Russian government and their supporters too. You can’t apply Bitcoin principles to one, and not the other.
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