On Monday, California lawmakers set forth a bill that seeks to make transacting in digital currencies, such as bitcoin, much easier from a regulatory standpoint.
Prior to the proposal, which will soon be passing the desk of California Governor, Jerry Brown, is a reformed version of what the lawmakers have deemed to be an outdated law that forbids participating in commerce using anything other than U.S. currency.
The bill’s author, Roger Dickinson, provided the following statement in regards to the bill:
“This bill is intended to fine-tune current law to address Californians’ payment habits in the mobile and digital fields.”
Dickinson placed a significant emphasis on the increasing use and popularity of bitcoin, and said that under the current regulatory guidelines in California, even using gift cards and rewards points are technically a volition of the state’s current law.
Following a report from Juniper Research that projects digital payment transactions to hit $4.7 trillion by 2019, lawmakers are taking notice of the urgency for reform.
According to Dickinson:
“In an era of evolving payment methods, from Amazon coins to Starbucks Stars, it is impractical to ignore the growing use of cash alternatives.”
The announcement follows the latest developments where the bill, known as the California Assembly Bill 129, just recently made its way through the California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee, securing approval with a 7-to-1 vote.
AB-129 first gained traction back in February, when the bill first received approval by the California Assembly. Following a 7-to-1 approval by the Senate, the bill then made its way to the Assembly floor on 23 June for another vote, where it too was approved with a 52-to-11 edge.
The bill, though it is not so much designed to necessarily cater to the bitcoin ecosystem, it does seek to more actively represent what has been thus far a neutral stance by the U.S. government toward digital currency tolerance.
While the bill has made its way through the necessary steps in order to reach its final fate, an approval or veto will ultimately be decided by the Democratic Governor in the coming weeks.
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