Governor Jerry Brown signed AB-129 into law on Saturday making bitcoin and alternate currencies legal tender status in California, according to Reuters late Saturday.
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The bill was introduced by then California assemblyman Roger Dickinson last year when he was the chairman of the Banking and Finance committee. It had to overcome hurdles earlier this year when a previous Corporation law known as Section 107 that prevents other forms of money was repealed.
Once that hurdle was removed in May, the bill went onto the California Senate. The Senate passed the amended bill on June 19. Finally, Governor Brown signed its passage into law June 28.
Senator Dickinson in his new role has stated that alternate currency cannot be ignored. Due to emerging changes in electronic merchant payments, electronic alternate currency in digital format is “impractical to ignore,” states Dickinson.
The world is embracing bitcoin for a variety of reasons. There is an undercurrent from those who want to use an alternative currency as an opposition to formal regulated currencies, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Bumps overcome along the way to provide merchants with a cost efficient means to sell goods and services without large fees of 2-4 percent per transaction have welcomed Bitcoin. Earlier in March, Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, opened up bitcoin applications for merchants and entrepreneurs who want to use bitcoin and other alternate currencies for transactions.
“The fact is that virtual currencies are unlikely to disappear entirely,” Lawsky said and continued, “As such, turning a blind eye and failing to put in place guardrails for virtual currency firms while consumers use that product is simply not a tenable strategy for regulators.”
The U.S. Treasury Dept. has been introduced to bitcoin when payment processor SnapCard, a product of Boost, the San Mateo, California based start-up run by Adam Draper, son of Tom Draper, announced during tax season that SnapCard would provide payment of taxes with bitcoin.
In addition to advancing SnapCard, Boost.vc is planning to launch 100 bitcoin startups within the upcoming three years. This is a wide distance from the FBI shutdown of Silk Road, a website that hid money laundering for drugs and murder for hire.
The Dept. of Justice is the largest holder of bitcoin and placed on auction 30,000 bitcoin or 20 percent of the bitcoin seized in the Silk Road shut down. On Friday June 28 the DOJ had the bitcoin auction and bitcoin holders will be announced on Monday June 30.
The remaining 144,342 bitcoins confiscated from Ross William Ulbrecht, more commonly known by his online alter-ego “Dread Pirate Roberts,” remains with the Dept. of Justice while he awaits trial.
Bitcoin has advanced itself in charitable funding around the globe and other noble causes. World Aid announced on its website that it accepts bitcoin and uses the reputable payment gateway of Coinbase.
Bitcoin has gone beyond the dark days of Silk Road activities into mainstream merchant transactions, embraced as reality of daily business and signed into law as legal tender by California’s Governor Brown.