David Heinemeier Hansson:
Enter the trucker protests in Canada. In just three weeks of honking, blocked streets and bridges, bouncy castles and flag waving, this peaceful protest movement managed to provoke the most shockingly authoritarian response from the Canadian government.
First the Ottawa police department got GoFundMe to confiscate donations with the intention of redirecting them to other causes, then after an outcry, they backed down to merely blocking the money for 7-10 days before refunding. That seemed like a draconian escalation completely at odds with the tens of millions of dollars raised for social justice causes during the protest summer of 2020. But at the time, I thought it was something another fund-raising platform – one less likely to collaborate with the Canadian authorities – could route around. And GiveSendGo indeed started doing just that.
Turns out the concern over the donations was quickly rendered insignificant, as just a few days later, the Canadian prime minister imposed martial law on the protestors. Through powers intended for catastrophic events, he took to freeze the bank accounts of both Canadian protestors and donors, to compulsorily demand that tow-truck operators clear the streets, and forced insurance companies to drop policies for the protestors.
This is two weeks old, but still worth a read.
I’m not sure if cryptocurrencies are really the answer, though. I’m bullish on them long term, but I have some concerns about the Bitcoin ledger being public. I don’t want anyone, including the government to have the ability to watch funds leave and enter my wallet.
It has its own problems and annoyances, but I’m trying to use cash more. It’s much more difficult to seize and track by it’s very nature. And although I don’t expect that to ever happen to me, I don’t want the option to ever go away. If I keep using cash, it’s an indication to the businesses I frequent that it is still a valid transaction mechanism that they should continue accepting.