Border patrol don’t like bitcoin. In fact they dislike anything they don’t understand or have been programmed to distrust. Encryption, cryptocurrency, graphics cards, all of the tech we take for granted is anathema to suspicious customs agents. Whether you’re traveling into the U.S. or any other surveillance state, here’s what you should do to avoid raising red flags.
Red Flags and Black Marks
With lengthy layovers, endless queues, and heightened security, traveling abroad is stressful at the best of times. When you’re carrying cryptocurrency, however, passing through borders isn’t just stressful – it’s also dangerous. Moving from country to country with a little bitcoin – or even a lot of bitcoin – stored on a hardware wallet, laptop, or cell phone should be a lot safer than carrying a corresponding amount of cash. Crypto is much easier to conceal. But it is the very concealment of cryptocurrency – or even the possibility of such concealment – that compels nosey TSA agents to order travelers to unlock their phones, decrypt their laptops, and bare their digital life for inspection.
Regardless of whether customs have the right to intimately scrutinize passengers in such a manner, the reality is that such practices are rampant, primarily at U.S. airports. To enter the land of the free, first you must surrender your freedoms…