The following is an excerpt from Leigh Cuen | June 19, 2017 | ibtimes.com |
U.S. senators like Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California want to make travelers declare cryptocurrency assets over $10,000 at the border, including bitcoin. The Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017, aka Senate Bill 1241, still has a long way to go before becoming law. Even so, it is already raising questions about how lawmakers can combat cryptocurrency laundering.
For many people outside the blockchain industry, bitcoin has a seedy reputation. It is often used in black market drug deals and reportedly has been donated to fund terrorist activities by groups like the Islamic State. Yet strict regulation now curtails beneficial uses of digital currencies like bitcoin. Would making bitcoin declarations a part of border control actually discourage financial crimes?
Attorney Marco Santori, a partner at Cooley LLP firm, which specializes in fintech law, disagrees with legislators’ current approach. “It’s nonsensical,” he told International Business Times. “It is a fundamental misunderstanding of how decentralized currency works.” Bitcoin enthusiasts also criticize SB1241 as both invasive and impractical. The financial blog Sovereign Man described this bill as “almost too ridiculous to believe.”
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