SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 23 California lawmakers
on Monday approved a measure making it easier to use alternative
currencies including Bitcoin, even as the failed Tokyo based
bitcoin exchange, Mt Gox, moved forward into bankruptcy
The bill would repeal what backers said was an outdated law
prohibiting commerce using anything but U.S. currency.
"This bill is intended to fine-tune current law to address
Californians' payment habits in the mobile and digital fields,"
said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson
in a press release.
He cited the popularity of Bitcoin, and said even gift cards
and reward points from retailers could be considered illegal
under the current law.
"In an era of evolving payment methods, from Amazon coins to
Starbucks Stars, it is impractical to ignore the growing use of
cash alternatives," Dickinson said.
Mt Gox, once the world's leading exchange for Bitcoin
trading, shut its website earlier this year after saying it lost
some 850,000 bitcoins - worth more than $500 million at current
prices - in a hacking attack. It subsequently said it found
The company filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in
March to prevent U.S. customers who had filed a class action
lawsuit from seizing its U.S. assets, such as computer servers,
and demanding evidence and access to Mt Gox executives.
Last week, it received approval to begin Chapter 15
bankruptcy proceedings in the United States.
Dickinson's bill now goes to California Governor Jerry
Brown, a Democrat, for his approval or veto.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)