California: Startup friendly(ish) regulation? Exception for bitcoin ATMs?

August 3, 2015

Pending regulatory legislation in California was recently amended to include a provisional license to applicants with less than $1 million in outstanding obligations. This added language appears to be a major victory for the bitcoin ecosystem which has long argued for a provisional or bridge period to encourage innovation. However, perhaps the most interesting change to the legislation was actually the removal of certain language. Here’s an excerpt of the removed text:

Providing conversion or exchange services of fiat currency into virtual currency or the conversion or exchange of virtual currency into fiat currency or other value, or the conversion or exchange of one form of virtual currency into another form of virtual currency.

This may offer a potential carve out for bitcoin ATM operators and other non-custodial business models. Therefore, it likely opens the door to so-called “no action” letters in the near future. However, it’s important to note that the bill remains in the state legislature and will likely be subject to future revisions. Momentum, however, appears to be on the side of reason and innovation. The bill would likely be signed by the governor given its warm endorsement from Silicon Valley and the potential for much needed job creation in the Golden State.

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