'Freedom Convoy' truckers thought Bitcoin was safe — but their funds have been frozen anyway
Truckers and supporters on foot arrive at Parliament Hill in Canadian capital Ottawa on January 29, 2022 to protest government vaccination mandates(AFP)

On Tuesday, VICE reported that Bitcoin donations to the Canadian "Freedom Convoy" truckers have been frozen and seized — despite the fact that they had thought using the cryptocurrency would keep their proceeds secure.

"As Canadian protests against vaccine mandates rose to become a cause célèbre, millions of dollars in donations flew to a Christian crowdfunding site. But that site got hacked and also had to freeze millions of dollars meant for the self-styled 'freedom convoy,' after the government enacted the Emergencies Act to cut off protesters from the financial system," reported Ekin Genç. "In that moment, Bitcoin entered the arena hoping to be the lead rescuer of the protesters from financial troubles, with the organizers of Bitcoin fundraiser HonkHonkHodl raising more than $1 million in the cryptocurrency. It was a big moment for Bitcoin, and the ideals that its proponents see in the cryptocurrency, like censorship-resistant money."

Unfortunately for the truckers, the use of Bitcoin, organized in part by HonkHonkHodl organizer "NobodyCaribou," turned out not to be as untouchable as they had hoped.

READ MORE: Georgia county GOP chairwoman arrested for Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol: report

"Many truckers now can’t cash out their donated bitcoin due to financial sanctions, with some of the bitcoins being seized from NobodyCaribou by the authorities. The lead protesters and fundraiser organizers are now facing a class-action lawsuit that wants to give all the donated bitcoins to Ottawa citizens who were in the vicinity of the protests," said the report. "J.W. Weatherman, a pseudonymous lead Bitcoin donor whom NobodyCaribou reached out to for help, brainstormed an action plan via a 25-page public Google doc, and eventually a coder volunteered to help divide 14.6 Bitcoins into 100 separate Bitcoin wallets to be distributed to the truckers. But for the truckers to access the funds, NobodyCaribou had to approach them individually and hand out a meticulously-detailed explanation on how to claim the Bitcoin as well as the codes necessary, all carefully placed in envelopes."

The Canadian convoy was forcibly dispersed under the Emergencies Act after their blockade began disrupting commerce on both sides of the border, even forcing automobile plants to shut down. A copycat group in the United States known as the "People's Convoy" is now camped out in Washington, D.C., but they too have run into hostility and fundraising problems.