Travelers visiting the United States have long had to declare any cash they’re carrying over $10,000 to immigration officials upon arrival on American shores. If a new Bitcoin bill proposed by Congress passes into law those travellers would have to declare their Bitcoin assets, too.

The proposed law (US Bill S.1241) was introduced by GOP Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa and enjoys bipartisan support and is being touted as a Homeland Security measure. Co-signers of the bill include Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Under the terms of the proposed law, Homeland Security (which includes US Customs and Border Protection) would be tasked with developing a system for a:

…border protection 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.

The idea here is that digital currency is inherently portable and its owners, technically, are carrying it with them wherever they go. It’s a bit of a stretch and potentially opens the door to a whole lot more declaring. After all, wouldn’t any documents stored on a cloud server fall under that same stadnard?

And how, exactly, would declaring your Bitcoin at the border actually work?

Well, that part is still pretty much a mystery. The text of the bill leaves most of the heavy lifting to the peons on the ground. That said, the website Investopedia does offer a couple suggestions, including the thought that some sort of central registry that’s connected to the Blockchain could be developed and implemented.

Should US Bill S.1241 actually pass into law, it would probably still be a long time before any of these systems come to life.


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