One Year After Trudeau's Bitcoin Warning, BTC Still Beat Inflation and S&P 500

Despite bitcoin’s tumultuous year, the world’s largest digital asset proved to be a reliable hedge against inflation. And a number of Liberal MPs own it.

AccessTimeIconSep 12, 2023 at 10:11 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 12, 2023 at 10:14 a.m. UTC
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  • Since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said political rival Pierre Poilievre's call for Canadians to buy bitcoin was irresponsible, the digital asset is up 15%, beating inflation and the S&P 500.
  • Despite Trudeau's hostility towards crypto, several Liberal Members of Parliament own digital assets.

One year ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that opposition leader Pierre Poilievre’s suggestion that Canadians invest in bitcoin (BTC) to beat inflation was “not responsible leadership.”

However, despite the market-shaking events that occurred in the months after Trudeau’s warning, which kicked off a deep crypto winter, it turns out that Poilievre’s advice was sound.

During the past calendar year, bitcoin is up approximately 15% while inflation came in at 6.5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Statistics Canada reports the nation’s inflation rate was slightly higher, with the nation’s CPI up 6.8% annually.

"Telling people they can opt out of inflation by investing in cryptocurrencies is not responsible leadership," Trudeau tweeted last September in response to a comment from Poilievre that “Canadians should have the freedom to use other money, such as bitcoin."


Bitcoin also outperformed the S&P 500, a broad index of the biggest listed companies in the U.S.

The CoinDesk Currency Select Index (CCYS) and the CoinDesk Currency Index (CCY) from CoinDesk Indicies would have also netted positive after inflation, with CCYS up 14.8% on-year and CCY up 13% on-year. Bitcoin makes up the majority of the weighting of CCYS, while CCY has a broad selection of large-cap digital assets.

CoinDesk Currency Select Index (CCYS) over the past year (CoinDesk Indicies)
CoinDesk Currency Select Index (CCYS) over the past year (CoinDesk Indicies)

However, there are plenty of tokens that are significantly down over the same time horizon. Metaverse tokens, such as Decentraland’s MANA, and Axie Infinity’s AXS plunged 65% and 70%, respectively. Meanwhile, Binance-linked BNB is down 30% and ether (ETH) has slumped 8%.


Bi-Partisan HODLers

During a March 2022 campaign stop, Poilievre bought a Shawarma with bitcoin, and a disclosure from May of that year shows that he owns shares of the Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC).

Poilievre is one of the half-dozen bi-partisan Canadian Members of Parliament and civil servants who had at one time some form of digital asset holdings, according to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

Despite Trudeau’s advice, according to disclosures, digital asset ownership is split evenly between the Liberal and Conservative Parties.

Liberal MP Chandrakanth "Chandra" Arya, who represents the riding of Nepean in Ontario, owned in 2021 bitcoin, ether, and units of 3iQ’s bitcoin fund as well as ether fund.

Joël Lightbound, who represents the Quebec riding of Louis-Hébert for the Liberal Party, owns shares of Purpose’s bitcoin and ether ETFs as well as bitcoin and Solana tokens. He also notes that he has a “loan receivable from an individual” under the cryptocurrency section in his disclosure.

(Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner of Canada)
(Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner of Canada)

Vancouver MP Taleeb Farouk Noormohamed disclosed that he owns bitcoin, ether, and stacks (STX). Stacks, the native token of Stacks Network, is a bitcoin layer-2 that helps extend the Bitcoin network’s functionality to be better equipped for Ordinals, which are similar to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

During the 2021 election, Noormohamed was criticized for being a fervent real estate speculator and flipping 42 homes within the Metro Vancouver area during the last 17 years despite Trudeau’s campaign platform, which describes the practice as “predatory.”

Edited by Omkar Godbole.


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