March 9, 2022
By Tiasha Chatterjee
A new bill has been introduced in the California Legislature, which aims to establish bitcoin as a legal tender in the state. This shall not be the first time that the state has taken such a measure – a constitutional amendment might need to be made before the bill is passed, according to reports.
Bitcoiners in California are trying to make cryptocurrency a form of legal tender in the city, even though it might mean going against the US constitution.
“This is a bottom-up approach, just like bitcoin is a bottom-up approach. The states have the final say over what is in the Constitution, and if we have to, we’ll go to an Article V and we’ll rewrite the Constitution,” says Dennis Porter, a bitcoin advocate trying to advance the bill.
Jordan Cunningham, Republican State Rep., introduced assembly bill 2698 on February 19. The bill has further been sent to the committee.
Ian Calderon, former California State Assembly majority leader and principal of political advocacy group Majority Advisors said that they are working on how they word their bill, “because it could be detrimental to list bitcoin or ethereum, or any other specific asset, because it’s important to leave flexibility for businesses and local governments that would accept cryptocurrency as payment.” As per the US Constitution, defining a “legal tender” falls under the domain of state lawmakers.
Some businesses in California, as well as all across the US, have already started to accept bitcoin or other digital assets as a means of payment. However, experts think that establishing a clear law is essential.
There is an entire country that wants to put in place a pilot program for virtual currencies, “but their concern is that down the line, after they’ve put time, energy and resources into developing this pilot program, the state comes in and yanks the rug out from underneath and says ‘No, you can’t do this — this isn’t legitimate,’” says Calderon.
Having some clarity will help businesses and governments to work together within the regulatory guidelines. The bill will also help to clear up issues around taxing cryptocurrencies, which may slow down the process of crypto adoption.
About the author
Tiasha Chatterjee is a content writer with a great curiosity to learn about new things. Combining this curiosity with her interest in the English language, she loves to write about different subjects, including blockchain. When not writing, you’ll find her surrounded by her cats, soaking up another book.