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Bitcoin moves one step closer as lawful money in California

The California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee voted 7-1 in favor to send to the Senate a bill that would recognize legal tender, reports Coin Desk. The vote on late Wednesday includes other digital currency, points and coupons.

Las Vegas Casino Installs Bitcoin ATM
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The bill known as AB-129 (Assembly Bill 129) was in the Senate committee in February after its approval in the Assembly. Once the bill is voted upon in the Senate, it would be sent to Governor Jerry Brown for approval signature into law.

This bill drafted with an update in late May will repeal a previous Corporation law known as Section 107 that prevents creation of other money forms.

California assemblymen Roger Dickinson was the chairman of Banking of Finance when an amendment was passed last year in California that would ‘remove barriers to market entry to start-up payment technology companies.’ The California Legislature passed a bill to reform the California Money Transmission Act.

Dickenson explained that he was concerned about what is happening in alternative currencies. The bill would be an evolutionary process because alternative currencies could no longer be ignored. The area of the Internet where information and financial transactions are exchanged has led to the point that crypto-currency such as Bitcoin has a place in the future as well as other alternative currencies.

Passing this bill will allow regulators to make certain that various forms of alternative currency remain within the law and protect citizens and merchants. Dickinson’s stated that, “It wasn’t so much setting out to look at the issue of alternative currency, it was more evolutionary, leading into the breadth of the subject matter that suggested to us you couldn’t ignore alternative currencies.”

Despite the approval of the bill into law, the status of Bitcoin and other alternative currencies would not be available as legal tender to settle debt obligations. It would be noted for use of exchange in buying and selling products and services.

Jennifer Longson’s Cakes & Cups Bakery in San Mateo was one of the first retail businesses in California to accept bitcoin. She was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and told of selling four cupcakes for one bitcoin when it was valued at $12. Today on Coin Desk the last price was $647.07

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