California is getting closer to legalizing bitcoin and passing a bill proposed by the steering committee. Back in September last year, California passed legislation amendment AB-786, which lowered the seed capital requirement for bitcoin start-ups operating in the payment and money transfer industry.
This time Bill AB-129 is called “Legal Money”. Its adoption completely legalizes the cryptocurrency. On June 6, 2014, the bill passed hearings in the committee of banking and financial institutions and received seven votes in favor to one.
In January, the bill was unanimously approved by 75 members of the Assembly, the next step is consideration by the State Senate and, if approved, is sent to Governor Jerry Brown for approval. If the amendment is signed by the Governor, it will fully legalize the development, distribution and use of cryptocurrencies in California, which will greatly facilitate the activities of companies associated with bitcoin. Like Coinbase in San Francisco.
The amendment concerns the repeal of Article 107 of the Code, which regulates business associations. This section prohibits corporations, associations, or individuals from issuing or putting into circulation any money other than the lawful money of the United States. This wording – “legitimate money of the United States”, is rather vague, but potentially, if desired, can become a lever for power and suppression of cryptocurrencies or other forms of money.
The emergence of bitcoin and other digital currencies, in any case, requires a revision of the definition of the concept of “money”. Lawmakers in California, home to Silicon Valley, an incubator for crypto-currency startups, seem to be beginning to understand the potential of these innovations for the state, primarily in the form of increased tax revenue from projects.
The latest version of the bill does not require that cryptocurrencies have a valuation in the official US dollar exchange rate. This is an important point, because if bitcoin becomes widespread, will everyone follow the letter of the law?
Many cryptocurrency startups and many investors are probably not even aware that alternative forms of money are considered illegal in California. They do not know – because there was no persecution under this law.
Therefore, the upcoming possible changes in the law can be considered a mere formality. While California laws require payment for a license obtained from the Department of Business Oversight, it is not yet clear whether companies that only transfer cryptocurrencies and have so-called Bit licenses will fall under the law.
In any case, the passage of AB-129 will bring clarity and help create a regulatory framework for more than just California. The potential legal change could give the green light to all of Silicon Valley, including internet giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, eBay and PayPal, who may have been wary of bitcoin due to sender rules.
Lawmakers seem to be beginning to understand that cryptocurrencies have a right to life, looking at the rise in popularity of bitcoin, at charities and politicians accepting cryptocurrencies as donations.
In any case, the law will have a positive impact on the economy of the state of California, which seems to be moving towards a world of legally legal cryptocurrencies.