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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: 1) by bornagainpenguin on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:44PM

    by bornagainpenguin (3538) on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:44PM (#9754) []

    Every story about bitcoin shows some version of this. "Digital" doesn't really mean much to people these days. They had "analog" cell phones that were physical, and they were replaced with "digital" cell phones that were also physical. So, by that rationale, bitcoins are physical coins, but moar digital and better.

    Thank you! This is exactly the thought that came to mind when I read the summary.

    To an average (non-techie) person when someone says coins, those are what come to mind, especially in an age where all sorts of gold coins and silver coins are being minted for use as Zombie Apocalypse currency.

    Presumably there was (as already suggested elsewhere in the comments) a briefing and some uninformed person spread the ignorance that caused the incidence mentioned in the article.