The legislation repeals what backers said was an outdated
California law prohibiting commerce using anything but U.S.
Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, the bill's author, said
earlier this week the bill reflects the popularity of forms of
payment already in use in California like bitcoin and that even
rewards points from businesses, such as Starbucks Stars, could
technically be considered illegal without an update to currency law
in the nation's most populous state.
California lawmakers approved the measure on Monday, just days after
the failed Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox received court
approval to begin bankruptcy proceedings in the United States as it
awaits approval of a settlement with U.S. customers and a sale of
Mt. Gox was once the world's leading exchange for trading the
digital currency, but shut its website earlier this year after
saying that in a hacking attack it lost some 850,000 bitcoins, worth
more than $500 million at current prices. The firm later said it
found 200,000 bitcoins.
Brown, a Democrat, in his office's written announcement did not
comment on the currency bill he had signed into law along with other
An analysis of the bill prepared for lawmakers mentions "community
currencies", which are created by members of a local area along with
participating merchants and are sometimes designed as a protest of
U.S. monetary policies, among the forms of alternative payment
methods now in use in certain parts of the United States.
[to top of second column]
The U.S. Marshals Service on Friday auctioned off about 30,000
bitcoins seized during a raid on Silk Road, an Internet black-market
bazaar where authorities say illegal drugs and other goods could be
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)
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