"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 Blockchain.info, 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."
(Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:50PM
Money does not equal currency. They're all wound up about currency not money.
Its not your currency. They're just letting you use it... for now.
Some of it is a hangover from the pre-fiat currency days, pre-free(ish) trade olden days. They wouldn't let you export tree logs without licenses and taxes, so they're not going to be amused about exportation of gold or a certificate exchangeable for gold. Now that currency is all fiat it doesn't matter so much.
Note that you can carry / have control over as much money as you want without declaring currency. Walk right on thru with a checkbook connected to a $100K brokerage account, they just don't care. Ditto the linked ATM card in the wallet, or credit cards with limits over $20K. Just don't carry stacks of pieces of paper printed by the treasury department called by most people "cash", that gets them ALL wound up.