California governor legalizes Bitcoin and other digital currencies

By Shawn Knight · 11 replies
Jun 30, 2014
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  1. California governor Jerry Brown over the weekend passed a bill that effectively repeals previous legislation against alternative currencies. Up to this point, state law banned the use of any type of currency except US legal tender.

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  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    "California governor" has been known to rhyme with "Terminator", and now all-of-a-sudden... Who is Jerry Brown? :)
    H3llion likes this.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    This is really going to jingle the change of the anti-crypto crowd.
  4. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    So now the state has the means to solve its pension issues. I await the picture of the first retiree sitting at his screen counting his bitcoins as they hit his bank account.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    Unless California has seceded from from the union, unbeknownst to the US, I don't think any governor gets to say which money is legal, and which isn't.

    This, simply because when you drive in from New Mexico, you don't need a passport to get there. Hence, the fed still gets to print the money , er I mean, "currency", for CA.
    cmbjive likes this.
  6. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    It is perfectly legal to ban alternative forms of currency. Probably not the dollar though, which wouldn't make much sense to do anyway.
  7. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    No kidding... how dumb is this? Bitcoin is 'legal' now? What does that even mean? Is Bitcoin going to be something to put on their state tax return now?

    This is about one of 2 things I'd guess... either
    a) He wants to sound cool by saying you can use Bitcoin in CA, but it doesn't mean anything because Bitcoin was already being treated like a coupon, and it's not like turning in a rewards card with 5 punches in it for a free cup of coffee was ever illegal in the past. or...
    b) He knows that people are already using Bitcoin and everytime they do, they don't pay tax on it, and he wants to make sure the state of CA gets their cut. Now if you pay in Bitcoin you can add 7.5% because Bitcoin is 'legal'.

    Either way I say lol, you have fun with that CA...
    cmbjive likes this.
  8. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the crux of the biscuit.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    To be a part of the USA, you have to cede certain, "rights", ("controls", if you will), to the federal government".
    As you're likely aware, Uncle Sam gets the first, (but not necessarily last) say, on any transactions relating to, alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. In fact, they even have their own "SWAT" unit for enforcement. You know, the guys whose bulletproof vests say, ATF, right on the front...;)

    But for any, "country" to truly succeed as a "union", is has to have a common currency. The first thing to fail when a country loses a war, is the currency. When the South surrendered in the Civil War, their (paper), money was worthless the day it happened. So," the once and future governor of California", couldn't declare US currency, "illegal", even if he wanted. Because that would be an act of treason, which is still a capital offense under federal statute!

    The scope of titles in US Code is prodigious, and even without citations, fills a 4' library bookshelf. I'm obviously not suggesting you read it. But that said, "counterfeiting" is absolutely illegal.

    FWIW, The US Constitution is at its most basic, a framework for the implementation of a government, and in which areas of law, the federal government is the final arbiter. The"Bill of Rights", was only really a tool of blackmail, to garner the necessary signatures to ratify the Constitution. So, call the BOR, an "afterthought". That's pretty scary, if you stop to think about it.

    Now, when you venture overseas, it's mandatory that you exchange your currency for, "the coinage of the realm".

    I'm one of those who love to, "hate on bitcoin'. But most of that, is because I firmly believe it is illegal to start with.

    So, I truly believe you've got it backwards, and I suppose Jerry Brown could, (ceremonially only), declare certain "monies", illegal. But he lacks the authority to declare whatever money, "legal".

    This is the point where semantics comes into play. I suppose those who claim that bitcoin is a "coupon", have a valid point. But here again, Jerry Brown doesn't have the authority to declare bitcoin "legal", at least not to the extent where it is mandatory to allow it to be exchanged for US currency.

    I'm of the (perhaps unpopular), opinion that the Fed is dragging its feet on formally declaring bitcoin, null and void. But, if something as patently obvious as Aereo being "copyright infringement", has to make its way to the Supreme Court, perhaps this issue will find its way there as well.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  10. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    Nobody was saying he was declaring the US dollar illegal. However, if you're interested in alternative currencies that are legal in the United States you could check out this list. It's perfectly legal for communities to print their own paper money.
    And lastly, a straight to the point quote from this Forbes article regarding alternative currencies in the United States, "And no, it’s not illegal. There’s nothing in the U.S. Constitution that bans private institutions or individuals from issuing paper money: the only real prohibitions are those on coins and those on currencies issued by the individual states. There are some restrictions, of course, such as that alternative currency can’t look like federal money"
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    Nor at any time did I suggest that Governor Brown was trying to make US money "illegal"..

    This is what I said:
    This is correct.

    I don't care what another member quotes of what I have written, but I do mind when they presume to put words in my mouth.

    In any event, this excerpt, (from the links YOU provided), corroborates almost the entirety of my post:

    Now, everything I've read involving bitcoin, makes me think today's children believe that the internet is some "magical place", far beyond the reach of whatever mean, old, oppressive government. It's not. Not by any stretch of whomever's extremely fertile imagination.

    What the internet is, is a system of wire that transmits information across, local, state, federal, and global borders. As such, it falls into the jurisdiction of those aforementioned governments.

    BTW, I think your link to "alternative currencies" was interesting enough. But, it really reinforces something I've been saying all along. Which is, to have a closed economy, you have to have everything you need amongst yourselves. So, if these quaint little places you decide they really are in a position to secede from the US economy as a whole, they had better dig some oil wells, and put up a chip fab. Here in PA we have people like this as well, they call themselves, "Amish". We swerve to avoid their horse drawn carriages out on good old US route 30.

    And there's really nothing new about "individuals or organizations being allowed to create your own currency. Casinos have been doing it for many decades, they call their money, "CHIPS". And if I were you, I wouldn't waste my time trying to pass them off at the local supermarket.

    As a testament to the internet's power to "control circumstance for the greater good", I invite you to explain to me, how a mad flurry of posting, blogging, custom T-shirts, outrage far and wide, and thumb twiddling on a bazillion iPhones, has brought about the release of those kidnapped girls in Nigeria. Ah, the power of the web.

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