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posted by girlwhowaspluggedout on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the is-that-a-bitcoin-in-your-pocket dept.

girlwhowaspluggedout writes:

"Davi Barker, co-founder of the BitcoinNotBombs advocacy group, has recently described a run-in he had with the TSA. Barker was about to board his plane on his way back from the New Hampshire Liberty Forum, when he was stopped by two TSA agents. Barker, who was wearing a BitcoinNotBombs shirt and carrying a few hundred metal lapel pins some with the logo of, a popular Bitcoin wallet and block explorer service was just cleared by airport security. But the TSA agents wanted to search his luggage again. They were looking for his Bitcoins:

I turned back to the orange shirt and asked 'What did the Bitcoin look like?' Bill chimed in and told the agent that what he was saying was impossible because Bitcoin is digital and doesn't have have any physical manifestation. You can't 'see' Bitcoin. The orange shirt said they looked like medallions or tokens. I said I didn't understand what he was talking about, and he simply repeated, in a child like way, that Bitcoins are like metal tokens. I told him that I didn't have any tokens.

The TSA agents suspected he was travelling internationally with over $10,000 worth of Bitcoins. This, presumably, might be seen as a form of money laundering. When another member of his group said that Barker was not going to fly out of the country, the agents simply turned around and disappeared."

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by jt on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:48PM

    by jt (2890) on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:48PM (#9701)

    Remember when it was illegal to export crypto algorithms as these were categorised as munitions, and people tattooed Perl implementations of algorithms to their bodies before flying out? Well, now we can do the same with crypto currencies, and tattoo the addresses to our bodies instead. Bonus: we don't have the shame of people seeing Perl code on our bodies.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Sunday March 02 2014, @08:35PM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Sunday March 02 2014, @08:35PM (#9724) Journal

    Well, the funny thing is that strictly speaking, the bitcoins are not at one specific place. You can take your "bitcoins" with you and at the same time keep them at home on your computer, and also on a backup disk, and even have dropbox copy them all over the world, because your wallet doesn't really contain the bitcoins, it just contains the information you need to spend them. If you make a copy of your wallet, you don't make a copy of your bitcoins: You don't have twice as many bitcoins. In some sense the wallet is more like your banking card: It doesn't contain the money, but allows you to access the money. Only that with the banking card, you can at least in some sense locate the money, namely at your bank. But in the case of bitcoins, the actual money is in the network, distributed all over the world. And therefore it is not really possible to carry bitcoins with you.

    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.