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Bitcoin Advocates Prepare to Fight the California Bitlicense




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A new virtual currency licensure bill has been submitted to California legislature introduced by the state’s assembly member Matt Dababneh. According to many bitcoin proponents, the bill AB 1123 is nearly an exact copy of the AB 1326 California bitlicense which was defeated over the past two years.

Also read: Mexico’s Government Officials Discuss Plans to Regulate Bitcoin


The California Bitlicense Returns, With Barely Any Changes

Bitcoin Advocates Prepare to Fight the California BitlicenseCalifornia lawmakers are currently contemplating implementing a bitcoin-focused business license law for companies residing in the western U.S. state. The bill is very similar to last year’s AB 1326 bitlicense bill with only a few minor changes.

“The bill would prohibit a person from engaging in any virtual currency business, as defined, in this state unless the person is licensed by the Commissioner of Business Oversight or is exempt from the licensure requirement, as provided,” explains the California assembly bill 1123.

The bill would require applicants for licensure, including an applicant for licensure and approval to acquire control of a licensee, to pay the commissioner a specified nonrefundable application fee and complete an application form.

Help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Internet Advocacy Groups

Bitcoin Advocates Prepare to Fight the California BitlicenseOf course, bitcoin proponents are not too pleased with the revised version of the AB 1326 bitlicense legislation. Many of bitcoin community members are asking people to contact California legislators like Matt Dababneh and Governor Jerry Brown to show disapproval of this proposed virtual currency act. Furthermore, one member of the cryptocurrency community has been in contact with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) who told him they would be opposing bill 1123 as they have in the past.

“I’ve been following up with EFF and just got word from them that they are opposing AB 1123 as they did with AB 1326,” explains a Redditor discussing the newly revised bill.

Bitcoin Advocates Prepare to Fight the California Bitlicense

Additionally, there’s a website called Nobitcoinlicense.org dedicated to fighting the California bitlicense which is backed by the Internet advocacy organizations Taskforce, Fight For The Future, and the EFF. The website states it is too early to create a California bitlicense and the bill is a threat to innovation. The site also explains that the bill has many technical inaccuracies and definitions that are too vague. Moreover, if the bill becomes recognized into law the application process for licensure offers no due process.

“License applications can be rejected for any reason, with no administrative appeal. This will create difficulties for startups and innovators,” details the ‘Say No to the California Bitcoin License’ website.

Bitcoin Proponents Want California Residents to Contact the Governor and State Senators

The website against the California bill provides residents with the appropriate methods for contacting the state’s senators either by email or phone. Bitcoin proponents across cryptocurrency-centric forums seem hopeful they can defeat this bill as they have years prior.

The primary goal for those who oppose the California bitlicense is to stop the precedent that Ben Lawsky and New York legislators started. When the New York bitlicense was approved a vast amount of bitcoin, and blockchain-based companies left the region. However, they also stopped serving residents of New York state, and bitcoin proponents fear this will happen in California as well.

What do you think about the California bitlicense? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nobitcoinlicense.org, and the EFF.  


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