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California Legislature Passes Blockchain Bill




A bill requiring the creation of a blockchain study group has passed both houses of the California legislature.

Despite its historical dominance of the tech industry, California has not moved very quickly to create legislation to encourage blockchain technology. However, on Monday, AB2658 cleared the final legislative hurdles. Passed by both houses, and having the respective amendments approved in each, the bill will now head to the governor for approval.

In recent years, states other than California have been jockeying to become home to the next Silicon Valley, with Colorado, Delaware, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wyoming all having passed legislation designed to attract and encourage blockchain businesses.

These bills tend to fall into a few broad categories: prohibiting taxation of blockchains (Nevada and Wyoming), amending the state's electronic transfers law or corporate code (Delaware and Ohio), and/or creating a working group to create a report on the issue (Connecticut).

California's AB2658 falls into the latter category. The bill, which was submitted to the legislature in February, calls for the creation of a working group to be tasked with reporting to the legislature "the potential uses, risks, and benefits of the use of blockchain technology by state government and California-based businesses."

The group would consist of 17 members, from both government and the private sector, and would have to complete its report by July 2020.

California is also currently considering a bill that would amend its corporate code. That bill, which specifies that blockchains are an acceptable tool for maintaining corporate records, seems to be advancing, with a third reading of the bill ordered in the California State Assembly three weeks ago. The state also considered a bill that would have required certain businesses to obtain cryptocurrency licenses. However, that bill failed to advance.  

Tim Prentiss

Tim Prentiss has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno. He lives in Reno with his daughter. In his spare time he writes songs and disassembles perfectly good electronic devices.

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