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California bill legalizes alternative currencies like bitcoin and dogecoin

California bill legalizes alternative currencies like bitcoin and dogecoin

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Almost exactly one year ago, the state of California told The Bitcoin Foundation to stop trading or face hefty fines.

Today, Reuters is reporting that California governor Jerry Brown has passed a bill that effectively reverses the state's stance on alternative currencies. The bill, dubbed AB 129, nullifies an older bill that made other currencies besides the dollar illegal. Here's the exact language:

This bill makes clarifying changes to current law to ensure that various forms of alternative currency such as digital currency, points, coupons, or other objects of monetary value do not violate the law when those methods are used for the purchase of goods and services or the transmission of payments.

The bill applies to points systems like Amazon Coins or Starbucks Stars, but also to new currencies like bitcoin and dogecoin. "In an era of evolving payment methods, from Amazon Coins to Starbucks Stars, it is impractical to ignore the growing use of cash alternatives," said State Assemblyman Roger Dickinson in a recent statement to the LA Times. Bitcoin news site NewsBTC also points out, however, that California's new bill doesn't change a lot in terms of the actual user of bitcoin since the prior bill was largely unenforced.

The most interesting and exciting part of the bill, in fact, might be an appearance by none other than Kanye West. In the comments section of the bill referencing alternative currency COINYE comes this line:

Facing legal action, creators of COINYE have ended the project and COINYE is now Lost in the World, but may have been nothing more than a Dark Fantasy.

"Sometimes I like to get creative when I'm writing analyses," said Mark Farouk, who drafted the bill. "I've found it helps people remember the actual subject matter."