Bitcoin users based in California can celebrate over its state government’s favorable acknowledgement of the use of the digital currency.
With a 7-to-1 vote, AB-129 or loosely called the currency bill, secured the approval of the California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee and was further approved by the Assembly floor with 52 lawmakers in favor and 11 against.
Although the bill still awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval, this already shows the country and the state’s less critical and somewhat neutral response to the use of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
However, it should benoted that this bill is not solely directed for Bitcoin per se. Instead, it covers a vast array of alternative payment methods that are digital in nature like store points.
“This bill is intended to fine-tune current law to address Californians’ payment habits in the mobile and digital fields,” said bill’s author Assemblyman Roger 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.”
Nevertheless, with Bitcoin regarded as a property that can substitute for cash payments, adopters in the Golden State will now have much simpler ways to use the digital currency without worrying about its legality.
The passage of the bill should make clear that the use of alternative payment methods like Bitcoin is not banned and, therefore, is legal in California.
This proceeding benefits the Bitcoin community in the state, but it also posits hope for the users in all over the country. Unlike Canada’s law that regulates businesses that use Bitcoin, the U.S. reflect more positive tolerance toward the cryptocurrency.
Through the online gambling perspective, the acceptance of Bitcoin in California as ‘lawful money’, however, may raise concern among the community of Bitcoin bettors. While the bill permits the use of the digital currency in day-to-day purchases, it still present a grey area as to whether engaging in Bitcoin casino gaming is legal or illegal, which is much like the general stand of the country on the matter. There are, however, multiple Bitcoin casinos accepting US players at the moment, so a lot of things remain to be seen.