In its press release, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has given the green-light for bars and other alcohol-serving establishments and allowed them to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. The announcement came in the light of the State of Ohio banning the use of Bitcoin for alcohol sales.
Whereas Ohio became the first government in the US to take such explicit action, California seems to paving the way for Bitcoin. According to the members responsible for the decision, such purchases do not violate any state laws. The move has been roundly applauded in the digital currency community.
According to John Carr, the ABC’s information officer the decision to accept Bitcoin whether for alcohol or otherwise is perfectly legal under California law. In his statement to the media he added that Bitcoin can be accepted if a bar, restaurant or liquor store or place that sells alcoholic beverages, wishes to accept it. That’s their business decision.
From the two decisions i.e. one from Ohio and another from California establish one fact and that is that state laws lead to differing decisions. Earlier Ohio released its announcement after it was requested to clear its stand on merchants participating in Bitcoin Boulevard US, a project in Cleveland, Ohio.
Bitcoin Boulevard is a unique place where merchants accept Bitcoin as part of a wider promotion. However, as the state’s Liquor Control Law noted that its rules require the ‘payment of money’ to be part of any alcohol purchase and that because the law does not use the word ‘currency’, Bitcoin sales are not allowed.
The Expanding Bitcoin Economy in California
On the other hand, the ABC believes that Bitcoin is very much a payment option and for it the choice of accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment as a decision should be left to the businesses themselves.
In his explanation Mr. Carr said if it’s a recognized form of currency by the business and they’re willing to accept that as a consideration for a point-of-sale, that’s a decision they can make. It looks, the decision is also to pamper to expanding local Bitcoin economy in California.
Bitcoin in California has received attention from all segments; whereas, the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) warned investors and consumers about the potential dangers of digital currency, and the California State Assembly wants to expand the definition of “lawful money” in the state to include digital currencies like Bitcoin.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org