'Keep Your Coins' crypto asset forfeiture bill introduced in Congress to curb the government's digital wallet seizure powers
One of the more crypto-friendly U.S. Congressmen - Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) - has introduced a new "Keep Your Coins" bill against Federal crypto asset forfeiture. Prompted by the Emergencies Act of the Canadian government which aims to curb funding for the so-called Freedom Convoy protesters, the bill aims to "prohibit Federal agencies from restricting the use of convertible virtual currency by a person to purchase goods or services for the person’s own use" without the necessary court order and due process. According to the Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, the Emergencies Act that PM Trudeau evoked will allow a drastic expansion in the government's crypto asset restriction and seizure abilities:
First: we are broadening the scope of Canada’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules so that they cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use. These changes cover all forms of transactions, including digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.
Second: the government is issuing an order with immediate effect, under the Emergencies Act, authorizing Canadian financial institutions to temporarily cease providing financial services where the institution suspects that an account is being used to further the illegal blockades and occupations. This order covers both personal and corporate accounts...
Third: we are directing Canadian financial institutions to review their relationships with anyone involved in the illegal blockades and report to the RCMP or CSIS. As of today, a bank or other financial service provider will be able to immediately freeze or suspend an account without a court order. In doing so, they will be protected against civil liability for actions taken in good faith.
The new "Keep Your Coins" bill aims to prevent exactly the type of civil asset forfeiture of digital wallets and the containing crypto that an emergency power act by the government could make legal in the U.S., too. According to Congressman Davidson, the anti-forfeiture bill for crypto assets has been in the works for the past six years, but now is the time to introduce it in Congress and hope it will pass to prevent unsanctioned government takeover of crypto wallets or transaction monitoring in times of emergencies like the aforementioned Freedom Convoy financing clampdown.
#DefendFreedom— Warren Davidson (@WarrenDavidson) February 16, 2022
“So, while financial privacy should already be protected by the Constitution (the Fourth Amendment), preventing the government from being able to prohibit or restrict the use of self‐hosted wallets is a much‐needed policy improvement.” https://t.co/RfpyY6yLQ8