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Governor Jerry Brown Signs Alternative Currencies Bill Into Law

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On Saturday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new bill into law that clears out state-level obstacles for alternative currencies, according to a report from Reuters. The new legislation helps to repeal an outdated law in the state that prohibits commerce other than United States currency.

The author of the bill is Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson. Dickinson said that the bill would reflect popular forms of payment used in California, such as bitcoin, and the rewards points associated with those businesses. Dickinson said that is the law is not updated, those currencies and rewards points could be considered illegal.

The measure was approved last Monday. This occurred days after Mt. Gox received its court approval to start bankruptcy proceedings in the United States. Mt. Gox is based in Tokyo and is a bitcoin exchange. It claims it lost some 850,000 bitcoins in a hacking attack, which led to the shutdown of its website. The 850,000 bitcoins were worth more than $500 million with current prices. The company said it was able to find 200,000 bitcoins following the attack.

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In a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Dickinson said, “In an era of evolving payment methods, from Amazon Coins to Starbucks Stars, it is impractical to ignore the growing use of cash alternatives.”

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