California Brings Optimistic Amendments to its Bitcoin Bill


California Brings Optimistic Amendments to its Bitcoin Bill — A new amended version of California’s digital currency bill — AB 1326 — has brought relief on the faces of small Bitcoin startups.

The bill, which is close to being passed, proposes small scale businesses to obtain a conditional approval from the California’s Commission of Business Oversight, a step that will excuse them from paying hefty license fee proposed in the previous version. As it reads, a person or business, who is conducting digital currency business with obligation below $1,000,000, and whose business model displays no monetary risk for consumer, can register itself with a $500 fee.

Furthermore, there are many detailed provisions in AB 1326 that seems more progressive than its counterparts in New York and Connecticut. At first: the Californian bill clearly draws a line between custodial and noncustodial exchanges, and applies enough common sense to decided which among them requires to obtain a license — of course the custodial one that holds full custody of its customers’ funds.

Secondly: AB 1326 has offered exemptions to Bitcoin businesses that are involved in software development, mining, B2B storage and security services. Furthermore, there are no additional state level requirements for the businesses to obtain AML clearances. It simply means that a uniform Federal standard will be imposed right upon the registration of any business, saving them the hassles that were imposed in the first draft.

Coin Center’s Executive Director Jerry Brito further applauded the bill, and addressed a special “letter of support” to convey his satisfaction.

“You may recall that about a month ago we filed our second letter to California regarding AB 1326.,” he wrote. “Our top request was removal of language that would make exchange or conversion an activity that would require licensing. In the draft announced today, that language has been removed.”