ICYMI: The world of Bitcoin encountered a colossal fart-and-fall-down moment with the landslide of Mt. Gox.
And ICYMI too, Mt. Gox is an acronym for “Magic the Gathering Online Exchange,” because it originally served as a trading hub for cards from a fantasy game. (Please, like we are smart enough to make that up.)
Anywho, Mt. Gox was the world’s largest database of Bitcoin — a uber-nerdy peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. According to Daily Tech, 25,000 Bitcoins were transferred from 478 accounts via the highly trustworthy Mt. Gox. Later, Mt. Gox “admitted a major breach” and has shut down.
In all, approximately $8.75M USD worth of Bitcoins appear to have — at least temporarily — been stolen in the intrusion.
So, how is the just as trustworthy Transportation Security Administration involved? You’ll love this.
While the government of whatever criminal allegiance of hackers, nerds and 40-year-old virgins determine Mt. Gox was just a bunch of teenagers filled with pre-pubescent angst on a fraudulent binge, we have some real news about Bitcoin.
Evidently, the TSA has determined Bitcoin is a tangible thing. As in … you can touch it, see it and even scan it in the bags of ne’er-do-well travelers.
Meet Davi Baker.
Baker was allegedly held by security while at a New Hampshire airport. Not for drugs, weapons or shampoo bottles smuggled from the Duty Free Store. No, Davi was subjected to search and seizure for Bitcoin.
“We saw Bitcoin in your bag,” Baker recalled in a blog post, the agent saying.
Mind you, Bitcoin exists in the hard drives of master computer hacks and card traders everywhere. Although one Bitcoin equals approximately $30 USD, you still can’t touch these things. They are like subsided food stamps, only without the thumbs-up from the government. Yet, Dudley Do-Right here “saw Bitcoin.”
As Baker shares, he was “transporting five tubes of metal lapel pins, which he’d recently taken to a Bitcoin conference to sell.” While that makes this librarian subject to dork protocol, the TSA thought something was afoot — they thought his pins were a stash of bitcoins.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Said TSA Sheriff was trying to do a good job because, according to regulations, anyone carrying more than $10,000 worth of cash through an airport must declare it. That said, seriously?!
An agent instructed Baker to maintain a visual on his belongings, just before they separated him from his backpack, removing it from view while searching for traces of the virtual currency. Then, the agent recited the aformentioned TSA bylaw. To wit, Baker asked something like, “Is that so? How much cash do you think I have hidden in my bag.”
And this is a direct quote: “It depends how much Bitcoin you have,” they allegedly said.
Your tax dollars — paper or somewhere in the Matrix — in action. I’m lovin’ it.