California: Midterms See Largest US State Elect Pro-Bitcoin Governor

Gavin Newsom is considered to be “pro-bitcoin.” Certainly, he’s willing to accept BTC for campaign contributions. He also has a record of being pro-technology in general, believing the government should be “performance-based” and that “government information and services at every level should be thoroughly ‘digitized,’ enabling citizens to conduct business with public agencies online.”

California’s New Governor Has Accepted Bitcoin Donations

Most importantly, he’s now the governor of California. This means that one of the most influential people in the most populated state with the largest technology sector in the United States is friendly to the cause of bitcoin. This alone is cause to celebrate, maybe, but it doesn’t mean the Democratic politician is necessarily all in for the various stances that many — though not all — cryptonaughts hold: the right to privacy, low if any taxes, and so forth.

It’s no secret that California, particularly Northern California, is home to some of the largest technological and financial technology innovation companies in the world. Coinbase, based in San Francisco, is probably relieved to have a Bitcoiner in the governor’s mansion. The California BitLicense proposal died in the legislature in January, and with a pro-bitcoin governor now holding sway, it’d be harder to get restrictive bills signed into law.

Freedom to participate and innovate is crucial for the growth of a crypto economy, and while other states may be focused on collecting fees and restricting the activities of crypto exchanges and other types of crypto businesses, California is still free from overly restrictive laws like the BitLicense in New York.

Colorado Also Gets Bitcoiner in the Governor’s Mansion

Jared Polis, newly elected governor of Colorado, has frequently spoken of the benefits of the blockchain. He specifically advocates making Colorado a “safe harbor” for bitcoin companies:

“Similar to Wyoming, I will work alongside the legislature to create a statewide safe harbor designed to exempt cryptocurrencies from state money transmissions laws, and I will work to establish legislation that protects “open blockchain tokens” or cryptocurrencies that are exchangeable for goods and services. These moves could allow our state to attract innovative companies and allow them to engage freely in them – as issuers, exchanges, wallet providers – without the licensing requirements of the multitude of securities and currency laws. Colorado can pave the way into the future and implement safeguards here at home with the hope that the federal government can catch up to our progress. These ideas, while bold, will put Colorado on the map for fostering new technology and experimenting with the best way to implement safeguards here at home and across the nation.”

Polis was the first US representative to ever accept bitcoin as a campaign contribution. He didn’t spend long in Congress before vying for the governor’s seat, and now he’s won, meaning that Bitcoiners in Colorado may find themselves in a specifically friendly environment to begin doing various types of blockchain business – legally, with limited interference at the behest of the government.


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Author: P. H. Madore
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California Legislature Passes Blockchain Working Group Bill

The California Legislature has passed Assembly Bill 2658, which provides a legal framework for the recognition of blockchain technology in the state’s insurance code.

LIONBIT

Introduced by Democrat Ian Calderon, the bill sought to amend Sections 1624.5, 1633.2, and 1633.75 of the Civil Code, Section 25612.5 of the Corporations Code, Section 16.5 of the Government Code, and Section 38.6 of the Insurance Code, with relation to blockchain technology, electronic signatures, and smart contracts.

New Inclusions and Definitions

Under previously-existing California law, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act offered legal protection and enforceability to the use of electronic signatures in creating contracts, specifying that in the events of a requirement for writing or a signature, an electronic record or signature should suffice.

No mention was made, however, of electronic records or signatures secured using blockchain technology, which was a point of legal ambiguity for blockchain-based businesses. The new bill expands the definition of “contract” under California law to include “smart contract,” which provides legal basis for use of blockchain-based electronic signatures in sealing contracts.

It also specifies that any individual doing interstate or foreign commerce using blockchain technology to secure information they own or have rights to has access to the same ownership and usage rights in California.

Under the bill, Section 1633.2 of the Civil Code is amended to include a legal definition of blockchain technology, and Clause “e” in the section is amended to read as follows:

“‘Contract’ means the total legal obligation resulting from the parties’ agreement as affected by this title and other applicable law. ‘Contract’ includes a smart contract.”

TIP

Clause “h” is also amended to read as follows:

“‘Electronic record’ means a record created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means. A record that is secured through blockchain technology is an electronic record.”

Clause “i” is amended to include the sentence: “A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is an electronic signature.” Clause “p” is also added to give a legal definition of “smart contract” under California law.

It reads:

“‘Smart contract’ is an event-driven program that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared, and replicated ledger that can take custody over, and instruct transfer of, assets on that ledger.”

In February, CCN reported about Assembly Member Calderon’s efforts to advance blockchain use for electronic signatures and smart contracts in the state. The passing of bill 2658 represents a major coup for Calderon, who at age 29 became the first millennial to be elected to the state legislature.

In April, CCN also reported that California Senator Bob Hertzberg launched bill SB 838 to allow blockchain technology into formal documentation known as a corporation’s articles of incorporation throughout the state.


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Author: David Hundeyin
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California Is Open to Allowing Crypto Political Donations

Candidates for public office in California may soon be able to accept cryptocurrencies as donations.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission met on Thursday to discuss a number of election issues facing the Golden State, including whether candidates for public office can accept cryptocurrencies as part of campaign donations.

Ultimately, the commissioners didn’t make a decision to adopt any of the proposed amendments during the hearing, acknowledging that they don’t understand the issue fully. Back in 2014, the Federal Election Commission ruled that federal election law allows for candidates to accept cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as an in-kind donation.

During the hearing on Thursday, chairwoman Alice Germond indicated that a set definition for a “cryptocurrency” is needed, remarking:

“I would be inclined to think that bitcoin is a thing that is not U.S. money but is more like a currency, like the euro. But I would like to hear more to develop my thinking on this.”

More time to study

A public comment from Nicolas Heidorn – policy and legal director of the nonpartisan political advocacy organization California Common Cause – suggested allowing cryptocurrency donations until the commission has further studied the matter. In the end, the commissioners disagreed with the idea.

Commissioner Allison Hayward, in particular, pushed back against the idea of banning cryptocurrencies as donations outright, saying that she would like to gather more information before making a decision

“I think cryptocurrencies are obviously new and designed to be confidential but the blockchain technology I think might ultimately be a very robust tool in tracing activity,” Hayward said, adding:

“I don’t think we’re there yet, but I would hate for something we do to forestall that later on. I don’t know what that would be but … blockchain might be a very useful tool for us and I’d hate to prevent that.”

Commissioners Brian Hatch and Frank Cardenas both said they disagreed with the concept of an outright ban, but in the case of Hatch, the issue of fraud remains a paramount one. He raised the prospect of a candidate claiming a crypto-donation that came from within the state, when, in reality, it actually had a different point of origin.

The commissioners came to a brief agreement that a cap of roughly $100 per donation may be appropriate for this year’s midterm elections. The commission would then be able to continue studying the matter in 2019, when there wouldn’t be an immediate election to consider.

However, this suggestion was not formally adopted during Thursday’s meeting. The commission will meet again next month to discuss the issue.


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Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Nikhilesh De
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