Just when the things were looking right for Bitcoin in the State of California, a new draconian bill jumped in to step on the silver platter.
Proposed by Californian Assembly Member Matt Dababneh, the Bill AB 1326 proposes an enduring law that could ban unlicensed Bitcoin businesses in the state. The real trouble however lies in the fact that the bill never categorizes the kind of businesses that come under the newly proposed law.
So in case one wants to, say, build a new Bitcoin-based feature, he/she would be required to obtain a license from the Commissioner of Business Oversight after paying a hefty fee of $5,000, plus other additive charges. And one could never know whether he/she will be given a license or not; the fee meanwhile is non-refundable. As an anonymous reader at this link says, college dropouts will face a severe time when trying to launch a Bitcoin product with empty pockets.
The bill however doesn’t stop here from hurting our eyes and intellect. It further exempts government agencies and Fed-approved banking and payment institutions from obtaining the aforementioned license. It simply means that any new Bitcoin startup, if launched within the state of CA, should be ready to face the bigwigs in their very first, unprofitable steps.
The only so-called silver lining in AB 1326 is for merchant and consumers who uses virtual currency solely for purchasing goods and services. These individuals have been exempted from obtaining the license.
Not a Bitcoin Haven Anymore?
In many of our previous posts, we referred to California as one of the friendliest states for Bitcoin. This thought further concreted with the passing of a bill back in January 2015 that allows digital currency transactions. However, bills like AB 1326 are shaking such perceptions. Nevertheless, the new draconian piece is yet to be read officially in committee (probably by March 31st), and seems to be quite far from being actually implemented.
In the worst case scenario, if the bill manages to come in effect in its original form, California will no longer look like a once-presumed haven for Bitcoin businesses.