California is getting closer to legalizing Bitcoin.
In September last year, California passed AB 786, a piece of legislation that made it easier to conduct in-state business for Bitcoin start-ups. Recently, a bill named AB-129 Lawful Money, which would legalize cryptocurrencies in the state, passed the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee by a 7-1 vote, this followed approval by the California Assembly by a 75 – 0 vote. The next step for the bill will be a full vote in the state senate, after which, depending on the outcome, could result in it going to the state Governor’s desk for approval.
If signed by the governor, the proposed law would legalize the development, distribution, and use of cryptocurrencies in California. This would replace current legislation that, while vague, could potentially serve as grounds for authorities to clamp down on cryptocurrencies.
AB-129 Lawful Money has two clear benefits for bitcoin: it removes the omnipresent risk that the government may step in to stop the cryptocurrency, whilst also encouraging and endorsing widespread use of the currency in the state.
Should this legislation pass, it would also give the green light for Silicon-Valley businesses who may have been wary of embracing Bitcoin due to present government regulations, to begin serious engagement with cryptocurrencies.