What is Civil Asset Forfeiture?
Civil forfeiture in the United States, also called civil asset forfeiture or civil judicial forfeiture or occasionally civil seizure, is a controversial legal process in which law enforcement officers take assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing.
Yes you read that right, they can take your assets on suspicion even if you haven't been convicted or charged with anything. This puts your cryptocurrency stash at risk of being seized because a cop thinks you look suspicious. This could empower the sort of cops that got in trouble stealing coins from exchanges, the bad cops. This bill is extremely flawed and the cryptocommunity should make noise about this before it's implemented. Specifically the Civil Asset Forfeiture portion is the most concerning.
Other points in the bill:
- Travelers must declare cryptocurrency at the border.
- Any currency in an amount greater than $10,000 must be declared.
- Increased penalties for bulk cash smuggling.
Maybe the intention of this bill is good but the practical aspects need work. Also Civil Asset Forfeiture introduces some extreme risks based on previous history of it's abuse.