Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bill Calls for a Massive New Escalation on the War on Cash and E-Currencies

A bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley [R-IA] on 05/25/2017 and co-sponsored by Sen. Diane Feinstein [D-CA], Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX] and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI] is the latest step in the war on cash and e-currencies.

US Bill S.1241 – The Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017, contains a provision to greatly extend its authority to seize your assets through “Civil Asset Forfeiture.” Corporations will also be required under the Act to monitor the size of activity on prepaid credit cards, prepaid phones, prepaid retail gift cards and prepaid coupons.

The bill also would require the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to devise 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, including an assessment of infrastructure needed to carry out the strategy.” notes:
 Since digital currencies technically travel with the holder where ever the holder goes, one would have to declare one’s entire crypto portfolio each time the holder entered the U.S. Such a declaration is not required for travelers who may happen to have bank accounts or precious metals worth more than $10,000 stored outside the United States.
The type of infrastructure required to detect foreign holdings may come in the form of (i) expanding Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act to currently unregulated foreign crypto currency exchanges and to non U.S. citizens. FATCA currently only applies to U.S account holders of certain foreign financial and non financial institutions; (ii) some type of global monitoring of blockchain activity; or (iii) extreme vetting at the border and penalties for non disclosure that would encourage full disclosure.

But it gets worse.

 Simon Black writes:
These people are certifiably insane...
[T]hey’re authorizing themselves in this bill to seize not just the money you didn’t report, but ALL of your assets and bank accounts.

They even go so far as to specifically name “safety deposit boxes” among the various assets that they can seize if you don’t fill out the form....

This is unbelievable on so many levels.

It’s crazy to begin with that these people are so consumed by the fact that someone has $10,000 in cash.

But it’s even crazier that they’re threatening to take EVERYTHING that you own merely for not filling out a piece of paper, without any due process whatsoever.

Oh, and on top of civil asset forfeiture penalties, there are also criminal penalties.

Right now according to current law they can imprison you for up to FIVE YEARS for not filling out the form. Five years.

But apparently that doesn’t go far enough to protect us against evil men in caves.

So this bill aims to double the criminal penalty to TEN years in prison.

And if that weren’t enough, this bill also gives them with new authority to engage in surveillance and wiretapping (including phone, email, etc.) if they have even a hint of suspicion that you might be transporting excess ‘monetary instruments’.

Usually wiretapping authority is reserved for major crimes like kidnapping, human trafficking, felony fraud, etc.

Now we can add cash to that list...

The bill also attempts to drop a major bomb on Bitcoin by including it in the list of monetary instruments that must be reported when entering or leaving the US.

So theoretically if you leave the US with more than $10,000 in Bitcoin or Ether, you’d have to confess this fact to the authorities or otherwise face the aforementioned penalties, i.e. prison time, civil asset forfeiture, etc.


As you can see, this bill criminalizes or delegitimizes the most mundane and harmless financial activities, all under the guise of keeping us safe.

Of course nothing in this bill is about keeping people safe.

ISIS couldn’t care less about forms and penalties.

This bill is nothing more than another weapon in their ongoing War on Cash… and now cryptocurrency too.
The entire bill is here.


1 comment:

  1. Of course the title of the Bill is pure government speak, "The Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017." But if they really wanted to "combat money laundering" this could easily be done by getting rid of black markets. The easiest way of doing this is abolishing the laws that cause there to be black markets. The most apparent of these would be the laws involved in the "war on drugs" which probably accounts for most of laundered money.

    How is “Terrorist Financing” combated? If we narrow it down to what most people worry about when they think of terrorism, the likes of al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban (not so much the FARC in Columbia or even those that commit the majority of terrorist attacks in the US, Latinos and Extreme Left groups) the answer is Middle East foreign policy. If the US had a non-interventionist, open market relationship with the Middle East and stopped playing favorites with tyrannical regimes such as Saudi Arabia, and backing Israel in all matters, the US would have little terrorist threat from the region. Another benefit with regard to US Bill S.1241 is less terrorism means less laundered money.

    Fiat money is essentially counterfeit money. We could just get rid of fiat money and there is no need for US Bill S.1241. Especially considering there are plenty of existing laws against counterfeiting already on the books. The biggest counterfeiters are government agencies. The small amount of counterfeiting by private actors is no reason to abolish something as useful as cash.