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posted by Fnord666 on Friday June 23 2017, @06:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the bitcoins-are-like-cash dept.

U.S. Congress wants to pass a bill that would put serious fines ($10K for bitcoins as opposed to $5K for cash, IIRC) and jail time (ten years, as opposed to five IIRC) if you cross the border without reporting your bitcoins (in addition to confiscating your bitcoins of course).

http://www.coindesk.com/forfeit-bitcoin-congressional-bill-draws-fire-border-check-rules/

A group of US lawmakers wants to see cryptocurrency holdings declared at the nation's border – and advocates of the tech are pushing back.

Introduced last month, the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017 – which is actually the third iteration of a bill that debuted in 2011 – would bring a range of digital currency services under federal scrutiny, including those that provide transaction mixing services.

Yet, the provision that has attracted the particular ire of cryptocurrency advocates – especially those who prefer a regulation-light environment – is one that would make such holdings subject to disclosure requirements at US customs checkpoints. This means if a person trying to enter the country has more than $10,000 worth of bitcoin in their possession, under the proposed legal change, they would need to inform the relevant authorities.

Such requirements are already in place for payment methods like cash. But given the rising public profile of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, coupled with the perception among policymakers that they could be used to fund terrorist activities, is driving legislative efforts like the bill currently under consideration.

[...] Thus far, the bill hasn't advanced significantly since being introduced last month, public records show. On 25th May, the measure was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for further consideration.

At press time, representatives for Senators Chuck Grassley and Diane Feinstein hadn't responded to CoinDesk requests for comment. The bill is also being sponsored by Senators John Cornyn and Sheldon Whitehouse, constituting a group of two Republicans and two Democrats.


Original Submission

Related Stories

U.S. Senate Holds Meeting on Money Laundering Bill 40 comments

In May, the bill S.1241 (archive) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Chuck Grassley, a Republican Senator from Iowa. The bill, if enacted, would call upon the Department of Homeland Security to develop

a strategy to interdict and detect prepaid access devices, digital currencies, or other similar instruments, at border crossings and other ports of entry for the United States

According to a story at btcmanager.com (square brackets in original),

the bill would "criminalize [those] intentionally concealing ownership or control of a [digital currency or digital exchange] account.

The Senate held a meeting about the bill on November 28. Witnesses included Charles Davidson of the Kleptocracy Initiative of the Hudson Institute conservative think tank; Douglas Farah of IBI Consultants, which specializes in "issues of national security, transnational crime, terrorism, terror finance and non-state armed actors"; and Kathryn Haun Rodriguez of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange. Ms. Haun, however, made no mention of cryptocurrency in her testimony (PDF).


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Friday June 23 2017, @06:31PM (30 children)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday June 23 2017, @06:31PM (#530148) Journal

    If I have $10k in the bank I don't have to report anything when I cross the border, it's only if I'm carrying cash.

    They say "$10k worth of bitcoins in their posession." Does that mean you need to be carrying a device with the actual wallet on it? Do people actually do that?

    And if the wallet was stored online, does that mean they don't need to report?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bradley13 on Friday June 23 2017, @07:01PM (5 children)

      by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @07:01PM (#530174) Homepage Journal

      Exactly. This is either (a) politicians and bureaucrats who don't understand technology, or else (b) yet another random law that they can charge you for violating, when they can't get you for anything else [nationalreview.com].

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Friday June 23 2017, @09:50PM (3 children)

        by krishnoid (1156) on Friday June 23 2017, @09:50PM (#530265)

        I think they understand technology as much as the next Joe Average Ex-lawyer. IMHO, what we're seeing here is the start of the collision between:

        • governmental/sovereign nation-level issuance/control of money,
        • physical/tangible/traceable currency, and
        • a non-centrally controlled value-store large enough to show up on a money supply radar

        Funding terrorism is one issue; but allowing a sizable contender to government-issued currency? What government is going to be happy with that running around unrestricted?

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday June 23 2017, @10:54PM (1 child)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @10:54PM (#530286) Journal

          The terrorism angle is just a convenient hook to hang more regulations.

          What government wouldn't want people bringing in large sums of money?? That's just crazy.
          Stocks and bonds and foreign bank accounts, Bitcoins and IOs !! Bring them all!
          You're going to spend them somewhere, it might as well be here.

          The real fear is that you will take out large sums of money. Or perhaps evade taxes. Horrors!!

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Friday June 23 2017, @11:12PM

            by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday June 23 2017, @11:12PM (#530297)

            If people bring in untaxed money and spend it on the black market, they might have a problem.

            It's still none of the government's good damned business, though.

            --
            "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday June 23 2017, @11:33PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Friday June 23 2017, @11:33PM (#530312) Journal

          I think it's more a ground shaking movement of control that is for all to see the consequences of. Individual or associations of them have moved the border line in the sand for power over valuables and information such that the government has shrunk in influence or potential such. However the government still have the physical force to play with. The catch is that it might be worthless without knowing where, when and how to apply it. Any step outside of the defined possibilities may have negative value.

          A critical weak point is that you can cross the border naked and still carry trillions of US$ in value.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday June 23 2017, @11:24PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday June 23 2017, @11:24PM (#530307) Journal

        Haven't people learned yet to keep their mouth shut when in presence of government drones? and entrap their sleeping place such that any surprises are on the invader?

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday June 23 2017, @07:07PM (8 children)

      Any deposit of $10,000.00 or more.

      So you think you can get away with depositing $1000 on ten different days? The feds have an answer to that: it's called "structuring".

      Some restaurant owner had her life savings frozen by her bank because she deposited large amounts of cash, but never so much that is was $10k all at once.

      --
      Remember: Soggy Jobs is your one stop shop for fake jobs that don't exist.
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @08:28PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @08:28PM (#530218)

        $10,000 was chosen back when that was a shitload of money—when it hardly affected anyone.

        Now, it affects everyone; it's a perfect example of how a government's power grows in the most insidious ways.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @09:02PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @09:02PM (#530237)

          No, it's called inflation. $10k thirty years ago is the same as over $20k today.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @09:21PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @09:21PM (#530251)

            The Bank Secrecy Act [wikipedia.org] was passed in 1970; back then, $10k was worth about as much as $65k today! [bls.gov]

            Also, I'm not sure what your point is; you seem to be agreeing with the OP.

            Putting aside government's manipulation of currency, we can still ask the question: Why didn't the government update its criterion to match inflation? The reason is that leaving it as $10k meant that without having to do anything explicit, the government would gain ever more legal power over The People.

          • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Friday June 23 2017, @09:30PM (1 child)

            by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @09:30PM (#530257)

            We need a "Whoosh" mod.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @05:28AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @05:28AM (#530471)

              Or... get over needing "whoosh" and actually do a better job of explaining your point.

              Up to you. Social progress begins when we get past such unhelpful comments.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday June 23 2017, @09:21PM (1 child)

        by tangomargarine (667) on Friday June 23 2017, @09:21PM (#530252)

        So what you're saying is that the government ignores its own rules.

        MURICA

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @10:41PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @10:41PM (#530281)

          Somewhat fitting considering it's citizens ignore their own reality.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday June 23 2017, @11:38PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday June 23 2017, @11:38PM (#530313) Journal

        And if you buy gold instead? no bank log..

        And that is just one option.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by edIII on Friday June 23 2017, @07:13PM (12 children)

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @07:13PM (#530188)

      That's why the politicians are fucking morons with zero technical expertise, and they flat out ignore all the technical expertise screaming at them. It's as if they believe technology, math, science, and even reality will simply bend themselves to political will.

      1. Right before you cross the border, use zero knowledge service providers to backup your cryptocurrencies (wallets) to the "cloud".
      2. Secure delete all local data
      3. Pass through the border honestly declaring that have no cryptocurrencies on your person or in your effects
      4. Enter secure passphrase and download the deleted data from zero knowledge service provider
      5. Enjoy access to your cryptocurrency of choice

      The only people that will be impacted from this, again, are the people with little technical knowledge or skill. Which is ironically, the class of people least likely to ever declare possession of a cryptocurrency.

      This is fucking stupid beyond belief considering how ridiculously easy it is to smuggle Bitcoin anywhere. Are they going to perform a head to toe invasive search for all data storage devices? Demand all encryption keys (the real ones), to verify all data and make sure it isn't a wallet? It will take them days just to properly search a single person in this manner.

      Not a great idea, but what if you emailed yourself the wallet, or held it in some sort of groupware or collaboration platform? Just because you are passing through with a thin client (web based email) doesn't mean you need to declare all data on the server. Internet based services like SAAS will be problematic to declare accurately. The person is never technically in possession of anything on their local devices except maybe some cache that they don't have easy access to at all. Over-reporting is something that can happen with this law when citizens don't understand the technical distinctions. May as well declare all balances on all bank accounts you are a signer on.

      It would be nice if the Constitution had something to prevent stupid fucking bills like this, and IIRC laws that cannot be enforced are unconstitutional. This is such a law. Equal and effective enforcement is precluded logically, technically, scientifically, and in about any other way conceivable. Only idiots would be caught by this.

      Theater. This is Security Theater. Where's my popcorn?

      • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Friday June 23 2017, @07:28PM (7 children)

        by NewNic (6420) on Friday June 23 2017, @07:28PM (#530194) Journal

        That's why the politicians are fucking morons with zero technical expertise, and they flat out ignore all the technical expertise screaming at them. It's as if they believe technology, math, science, and even reality will simply bend themselves to political will.

        I have never really worked out if the politicians are that stupid, or they are merely pandering to voters who are that stupid.

        --
        lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
        • (Score: 3, Touché) by ben_white on Friday June 23 2017, @07:52PM

          by ben_white (5531) on Friday June 23 2017, @07:52PM (#530203)

          Yes.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by edIII on Friday June 23 2017, @08:38PM (2 children)

          by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @08:38PM (#530223)

          I dunno man. One of them brought in a snowball to refute Climate Change and Global Warming. They're fundamentally people that believe in control and power, and control and power never wants to believe that it can't have control and power. Reality simply doesn't matter.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @02:34AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @02:34AM (#530398)

            Which of course, is why Al Gore told us that the melting polar ice caps will flood the coasts and ruin property values, just before buying his 3rd gigantic mansion, located on prime beachfront property.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 25 2017, @07:21PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 25 2017, @07:21PM (#530934)

            One of them brought in a snowball to refute Climate Change and Global Warming

            Someone should have put that snowball on a pedestal, and wait for it to melt. Then ask the esteemed member of congress if he accepts the melting as proof of global warming, or explain why not. That will force him into making a scientifically valid argument.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mhajicek on Friday June 23 2017, @09:34PM (1 child)

          by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @09:34PM (#530259)

          Sufficient stupidity and malice are indistinguishable.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @06:12AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @06:12AM (#530485)

            "Sufficient stupidity and malice are indistinguishable."

            and then there's malicious stupidity, as they're not mutually exclusive, but that's also stupid maliciousness.

        • (Score: 2) by Fluffeh on Tuesday June 27 2017, @01:20AM

          by Fluffeh (954) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 27 2017, @01:20AM (#531692) Journal

          I have never really worked out if the politicians are that stupid, or they are merely pandering to voters who are that stupid.

          I present to you the following: Indiana Pi Bill [wikipedia.org] as a possible way to sway your thinking to one side of that argument..

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday June 23 2017, @11:41PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday June 23 2017, @11:41PM (#530316) Journal

        I had the exact same idea. It can be suspected that the political class is in some kind of crisis mode. Desperate people, do desperate things. Which usually have a futile utility.

        Even better. Bring absolutely nothing, only the knowledge on how to get access to any cryptocurrency. Are they going to probe the brain? ;) thought crime?..

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday June 24 2017, @02:48AM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday June 24 2017, @02:48AM (#530405)

        The wallpaper on your phone can hold enough steganographic data to securely encode a wallet.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @03:47AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @03:47AM (#530427)

        irrelevant. since these lame k0inz have only imagined worth, I lose nothing by not having any. and no worries meeting gov requirements to report...nothing. 1849. Ignoring history. again. one day at a time.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday June 24 2017, @04:42AM

          by kaszz (4211) on Saturday June 24 2017, @04:42AM (#530445) Journal

          The coinage Act of 1849 at least allowed new gold to be used. However the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 outlawed most private possession of gold, forcing individuals to sell it to the Treasury. Only repealed by 1975. In 1929 the stock market crashed and in 1933 Hitler seized power just by a coincidence.

          It's not that far fetched to think that a similar currency trickery is on again with the gold reserve being empty. And cryptocurrency being the animal that escaped..

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday June 24 2017, @02:45AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday June 24 2017, @02:45AM (#530402)

      I recently left the country with two credit cards in my wallet, total line of pre-approved credit > $25K... I doubt this is unusual, in-fact I would bet most travelers leave the country with in excess of $10K LOC in their pocket.

      The $10K cash transfer limits came from a time when a new home cost about $10K - today that number is closer to $200K, and the limits should be moved up to reflect that, but they likely never will, not even when inflation makes $10K required to pay for a one night bender in Tijuana.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by captain normal on Saturday June 24 2017, @03:35AM

      by captain normal (2205) on Saturday June 24 2017, @03:35AM (#530423)

      Just be careful when crossing the border not to be jingling a bunch of bitcoin in your pocket.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JNCF on Friday June 23 2017, @06:34PM (9 children)

    by JNCF (4317) on Friday June 23 2017, @06:34PM (#530149) Journal

    If two people have memorized the same private key, who owns the coins? If two people have each memorized one private key for a multisig address, who owns the coins? If one person has coins stored in a transaction with a locktime that will last many multiples of a natural human lifespan, do they own the coins at all? Okay governments, let's see your attempt at defining who owns a programmable currency.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ikanreed on Friday June 23 2017, @06:43PM (2 children)

      by ikanreed (3164) on Friday June 23 2017, @06:43PM (#530156)

      And what you'll find is that failure to thoroughly answer those questions is gonna get the IRS 10 feet up your anus, out your mouth and up your ass a second time.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JNCF on Friday June 23 2017, @06:54PM (1 child)

        by JNCF (4317) on Friday June 23 2017, @06:54PM (#530169) Journal

        I don't think they'll accept my answers, though I'd be happy to volunteer if they were interested: "You can't own information, The Man!"

        I expect them to write their own rules, and I expect those rules to be a trainwreck when they eventually reach the courts.

        • (Score: 2) by Fluffeh on Tuesday June 27 2017, @03:14AM

          by Fluffeh (954) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 27 2017, @03:14AM (#531730) Journal

          "You can't own information, The Man!"

          Sort of amusingly and/or ironically goes against the media shills that have convinced them that information very much can be owned. Apparently for 70 years after the death of the creator even. Sometimes more.

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday June 23 2017, @07:09PM (1 child)

      and I also expect partnerships have to report their cash if they carry $10k or more across the border.

      --
      Remember: Soggy Jobs is your one stop shop for fake jobs that don't exist.
      • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Friday June 23 2017, @07:44PM

        by JNCF (4317) on Friday June 23 2017, @07:44PM (#530200) Journal

        In my first question, either person could hand the coins over without consulting the other. In my second question, neither could. Do we break the law when we make a transaction with multisig outputs, when we cross the border with one of the keys memorized, or when we explain to the authorities that we possess a piece of information that is necessary but not sufficient to access $10,000 of coins? Does the nature of this partnership change if the multisig is 2 of 3 (or eventually 25,001 of 50,000), so that your key isn't even necessary? "I don't know who knows the other private keys, your honor; we're a decentralised autonomous organization that communicates pseudonymously over the blockchain itself." These questions are the tip of the iceberg. [bitcoin.it]

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Saturday June 24 2017, @07:04AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 24 2017, @07:04AM (#530496) Journal

      What if I haven't memorized the key, but I have stored it on my computer at home, and I memorized the password to remotely login to my computer?

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday June 24 2017, @08:00AM (2 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Saturday June 24 2017, @08:00AM (#530504) Homepage
      Presumably the same as a joint bank account. Single-signatory or dual-signatory is a unimportant distinction.
      --
      Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
      • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Saturday June 24 2017, @09:11AM (1 child)

        by JNCF (4317) on Saturday June 24 2017, @09:11AM (#530513) Journal

        It's an important distinction because a multisig output can leave funds inaccessible to either party without cooperation from the other, and there is no bank to make demands of. You can punish and fine the person with the multisig address, but you can't actually take the coins in question because they cannot be given. Slightly more extrapolation is in my response to MDC above.

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday June 24 2017, @11:11AM

          by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Saturday June 24 2017, @11:11AM (#530524) Homepage
          It's definitely an interesting new field for laws to attempt to apply to, due to it having or lacking properties that other moneys have.
          Common sense might say "time to start getting rid of old laws, as they can't apply to the new world".
          --
          Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @06:44PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @06:44PM (#530159)

    This is the identical problem that the music industry had to grapple with circa. 1999 or so. And that the movie/video industry is currently grappling with.

    What is that problem:

    Digital data has no physical existence, therefore trying to apply the old rules for physical items to digital data is a fools errand.

    This kind of law, and all of the "what if you have this scenarios ...", is exactly what you get when a lawmaker does not understand the distinction between physical things (paper cash and metal coin in your physical possession at a border crossing) and virtual things (bitcoins or any other digital data) which may exist anywhere on the globe but still be "yours".

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @08:34PM (9 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @08:34PM (#530222)

      It makes no sense; if a phenomenon exists in this universe, then it has "physical existence". To say that something "has no physical existence" is to say "I don't really understand what's going on here." That's it!

      Magnetic patterns on a hard drive platter, numbers written on a piece of paper, a large network of computers, whatever! It's all "physical". It's all "tangible". It's all here in this universe along with you and me and the trees and everything else.

      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday June 23 2017, @08:59PM (6 children)

        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @08:59PM (#530234)

        Wow. A super pedant here on SN :)

        Existence in of itself , and information involves quite the ontological discussion. Yes, even memories and love might be said to be tangible as it exists in physical and chemical processes within people. Even spoken language and history preserved by songs can be tangible in that sense. All of humanity stores the information.

        2 + 2 = 4;

        Is that tangible? Is mathematical knowledge itself something that is tangible? It exists beyond humanity, and yet according to your logic, only exists in a physical sense. That being it is held in electro-chemical storage within human beings. However, we both know that 2 + 2 will equal 4 in the complete absence of self referencing awareness's and information storage devices. Prove to me that math, and its phenomenons, are tangible in all cases.

        I do love your argument though. If a movie has to be tangible, meaning the video film and all storage devices, than piracy is logically precluded. I never stole your tangible movie! :) I just duplicated the "phenomenons" using my own work and storage devices.

        Going forward with your logic, this law is incredibly stupid. The Bitcoin wallet is not tangible and physically present with the citizen crossing the border. It's tangibility only exists on a server in New York. Does the citizen have the server in his pocket? No, so nothing ever need be declared. That's perfect for me. I just won't cross the border with any tangible data. Just a clean device ready to be loaded again on the other side.

        This means we need a border in cyberspace to process the Bitcoin wallet moving back and forth itself. Good. Fucking. Luck.

        • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Friday June 23 2017, @09:37PM (2 children)

          by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @09:37PM (#530260)

          I would say that the information itself has no physical existence, but all representations of information do.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @09:48PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @09:48PM (#530264)

            There is nothing but representation—something either exists in this universe, or it doesn't.

            So, one phenomenon (words written on paper) can be transformed into another phenomenon (a magnetic imprint on a hard drive platter) and then back to the former phenomenon (words written on paper) losslessly.

            SO WHAT!

            That does not imply that there is some "non-physical" thing that is being represented in 2 different ways; there are merely (and at least) 2 phenomena in this universe, each of which can be derived from the other—indeed, there is no way to talk about some third "non-physical", abstract thing without pointing to one of these phenomena. The phenomenon is the information.

          • (Score: 2) by KGIII on Friday June 23 2017, @11:06PM

            by KGIII (5261) on Friday June 23 2017, @11:06PM (#530292) Journal

            If you get bored, look up Hawking Radiation and the black hole information paradox. It may offer you a new way to look at it.

            --
            "So long and thanks for all the fish."
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @09:39PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @09:39PM (#530262)
          • Either there is a phenomenon in this universe, or there isn't. It's that simple. Indeed, as you say, humanity has nothing to do with it.

          • There's nothing exceptional about outlawing certain behavior; it makes perfect sense to say that there could be a law forbidding a person from making a duplicate of some data (indeed, you very easily talk about "piracy" as being an identifiable phenomenon in the universe).

          • Your argument for "non-physical" being an actual quality really does seem to boil down to "I don't really understand what's going on here." In the case of a law forbidding piracy, this becomes "It would be too difficult to enforce"; that's really what you mean.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday June 23 2017, @11:47PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Friday June 23 2017, @11:47PM (#530320) Journal

          This means we need a border in cyberspace to process the Bitcoin wallet moving back and forth itself. Good. Fucking. Luck.

          It's called the Chinese firewall..

          (at least they build walls instead of talking about them..)

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @05:32AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @05:32AM (#530473)

          You seem to be trying to make a point -- lots of words -- and yet, you really don't. Better luck next time.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday June 24 2017, @08:04AM (1 child)

        by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Saturday June 24 2017, @08:04AM (#530506) Homepage
        > It's all "tangible".

        What about reciting the hex expansion to yourself in your head. How is that tangible.

        If your only point was that "it's all in the universe", then so it fucking everything, your point is utterly vapid and valueless. To any argument. Ever.
        --
        Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @02:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @02:58PM (#530572)

          It's as stupid as saying "God" to explain something.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @06:46PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @06:46PM (#530162)

    U.S. Congress wants to pass a bill that would put serious fines ($10K for bitcoins as opposed to $5K for cash, IIRC) and jail time (ten years, as opposed to five IIRC) if you cross the border without reporting your bitcoins (in addition to confiscating your bitcoins of course).

    But who did jail time for this:
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213 [rollingstone.com]
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs [theguardian.com]
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-29/banks-financing-mexico-s-drug-cartels-admitted-in-wells-fargo-s-u-s-deal.html/ [bloomberg.com]

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday June 23 2017, @11:51PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday June 23 2017, @11:51PM (#530321) Journal

      Which means it's not drugs that are the problem. But something else.. any clever guess?

      Terrorism doesn't either seem that important when the push comes to shove.

  • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Friday June 23 2017, @06:46PM (1 child)

    by Lagg (105) on Friday June 23 2017, @06:46PM (#530163) Homepage Journal

    I had this idea in my head that was mostly joke until I noticed Diane Feinstein.

    <Lagg> Holeh shit is this a stealth bill to perform a capone maneuver and knock down Trump's russian bitkoins!?

    P.S. I'm onto some shit you guys. The deep state has toggled my star.

    P.S.S. Why a <pre> if I have to use &lt; and &gt; anyway what unprecedented flimflammery.

    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    8DF5 7CC6 9572 2282 4BD7 CC2C 1316 E8D2 AB04 0CBD
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday June 23 2017, @06:51PM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday June 23 2017, @06:51PM (#530168) Journal

      My extension has a symbols list that includes almost every bit of Unicode you would want (and some you don't) with quick insertion of &amp;, &lt; and &gt; at the top of the list. Made writing this crap pretty quick:

      &amp;amp;, &amp;lt; and &amp;gt;

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday June 23 2017, @06:48PM

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday June 23 2017, @06:48PM (#530165) Journal

    More of a Digital Liberty than Politics nexus story.

    Well at least you won't see another Politics story for a while.

    If you memorize your wallet key and then enter the country, you're breaking the law!

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday June 23 2017, @07:12PM (1 child)

    there is a limited number of possible bitcoins. The following will make the effective number decrease over time:

    Some people will die or become incapacitated without telling anyone the passphrase to their wallet.

    I plan to buy a bitcoin soon. Only one as I'm still leery of digital currencies but one seems a reasonable risk.

    --
    Remember: Soggy Jobs is your one stop shop for fake jobs that don't exist.
    • (Score: 2) by nobu_the_bard on Friday June 23 2017, @07:29PM

      by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Friday June 23 2017, @07:29PM (#530195)

      I don't think they mean like 10,000 BC, I think they mean if you have an equivalent of $10,000 worth of BC. That will age better. I mean, any law that specifies a direct amount will have its meaning shift over time though as long as inflation continues. Someday $5000/$10000 will be chump change and it'll effectively mean "if you have money deposited somewhere."

  • (Score: 3, Touché) by jdavidb on Friday June 23 2017, @08:05PM (7 children)

    by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @08:05PM (#530208) Homepage Journal
    1. Deposit Bitcoin in Coinbase
    2. Cross border; declare 0 Bitcoin in possession
    3. Withdraw Bitcoin from Coinbase

    If you are genuinely up to no good this probably works even better if you pick a provider besides Coinbase. Or sell everything for another digital currency that provides more privacy like ZCash.

    --
    ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JNCF on Friday June 23 2017, @08:24PM (6 children)

      by JNCF (4317) on Friday June 23 2017, @08:24PM (#530215) Journal

      If you are genuinely up to no good you can memorize a brainwallet [bitcoin.it] and then lie. This will work until congress approves funding for improved EEG headsets at border crossings in 2032, the shitty ones they roll out in 2026 will just be security theatre.

      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday June 23 2017, @09:06PM (5 children)

        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @09:06PM (#530239)

        This will work until congress approves funding for improved EEG headsets at border crossings in 2032,

        Not me. I will become a domestic terrorist and attempt to overthrow the government before they think they can just put something on my head and extract out all of the information. That is the most severe and invasive attack against a citizen's privacy. At that point, there would be no legitimate government, and even our Founding Fathers would rise up in a new revolution.

        The world you describe has no freedoms. It's quite pertinent to point out that rich people (aka the Elites) have private aircraft, airports, and are not subject to the TSA in the same way. Do you think Trump ever had his private bags checked before boarding his plane? Fucking doubtful.

        So those anti-Freedom headsets would be subject to the Caste system that we have. It would never be used on the Elites. Same thing with this law. Elites traveling with Bitcoin will never be subject to the same invasive searches.

        • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Friday June 23 2017, @09:50PM (2 children)

          by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 23 2017, @09:50PM (#530266)

          It's closer than you think.

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday June 24 2017, @12:08AM (1 child)

            by kaszz (4211) on Saturday June 24 2017, @12:08AM (#530328) Journal

            Once the elites control thought, information, genetics, assets and physical movement. It might be hard to fight back. Almost like a third reich "done right". Previous dictatorships had builtin poison pills that made them to implode.

            Can't be inclined to, thoughts will be deterred if they happen, can't tell anyone, can't go anywhere nor have the means to do something.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by edIII on Saturday June 24 2017, @01:38AM

              by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 24 2017, @01:38AM (#530374)

              More, and more, I'm starting to see the Matrix character Smith's point of view when it comes to humanity. One or two little humans may be cute, but you leave them alone for a few minutes in the garden, and Boom! Your whole planet is gone.

              Humanity, not even once.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @03:55AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @03:55AM (#530432)

          ahahahaha elites with bitcoin. they. aren't. that. fucking. stupid. to. buy. that. pixie. dust.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kaszz on Saturday June 24 2017, @04:46AM

            by kaszz (4211) on Saturday June 24 2017, @04:46AM (#530448) Journal

            If bitcoin has no value. Why does the government care?

            Besides the advantage with bitcoin is that you can organize trade. Investments or storage is not the point.

  • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Friday June 23 2017, @08:43PM (4 children)

    by meustrus (4961) <meustrusNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 23 2017, @08:43PM (#530225)

    Chuck Grassley is (unfortunately) my senator. I would like to write to him in opposition to this. Does anybody have some suggestions for serious talking points, areas of further research, or politically meaningful phrases to drop?

    --
    If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @09:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @09:51PM (#530267)

      That might get his attention.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @10:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @10:13PM (#530274)

      "If you want to grab the world and run it
      I can see that you will not succeed."
              -- Lao Tzu

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by GlennC on Friday June 23 2017, @10:36PM

      by GlennC (3656) on Friday June 23 2017, @10:36PM (#530280)

      I suggest a couple of pallet loads of $100 bills. Otherwise, your concerns won't even register.

      --
      The only gods that have ever been truly worshipped are wealth and power. Others are just cover.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by kaszz on Saturday June 24 2017, @12:02AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Saturday June 24 2017, @12:02AM (#530323) Journal

      * Cryptocurrency can't be verified either way because it might simply be memorized. Making the border personnel looking like fools.
        * It will make crypto rich people spend their resources elsewhere.
        * R&D in cryptocurrency might go elsewhere.
        * Making borders more intrusive makes USA less valuable as a destination.
        * Stupid laws will reflect upon those that signed them into law and they country that applies them.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @10:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23 2017, @10:25PM (#530276)

    So they have no right to touch it. But if they insist, just use a cloud based wallet.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @05:23AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24 2017, @05:23AM (#530469)

    Congressional retards try to regulate something they don't understand.

    Hint -- something that's non-physical is not "in your possession" at any particular border crossing.

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