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Will California License Virtual Currency Issuers?

The California Department of Business Oversight regulates the money transmission business pursuant to the Money Transmission Act, Cal. Fin. Code § 2000 et seq.  The Act currently defines "money transmission" as any of the following:

  • Selling or issuing payment instruments;

  • Selling or issuing stored value; or

  •  Receiving money for transmission.

Assembly Member Ian Calderon recently introduced a bill, AB 2150, that would add "issuing, transferring, or storing a virtual currency on behalf of a consumer."  The bill defines "virtual currency" as "a digital representation of value that is used as a medium of exchange, unit of account, or store of value and that is not legal tender, whether or not denominated in legal tender."  Virtual currency would not include digital units that  (i) are used solely within online gaming platforms with no market or application outside of those gaming platforms; (ii) are used exclusively as part of a consumer affinity or rewards program; or (iii) can be redeemed for goods, services, or for purchases with the issuer or other designated merchants but cannot be converted into, or redeemed for, fiat currency.

© 2010-2021 Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP National Law Review, Volume X, Number 43
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About this Author

Keith Paul Bishop, Corporate Transactions Lawyer, finance securities attorney, Allen Matkins Law Firm
Partner

Keith Bishop works with privately held and publicly traded companies on federal and state corporate and securities transactions, compliance, and governance matters. He is highly-regarded for his in-depth knowledge of the distinctive corporate and regulatory requirements faced by corporations in the state of California.

While many law firms have a great deal of expertise in federal or Delaware corporate law, Keith’s specific focus on California corporate and securities law is uncommon. A former California state regulator of securities and financial institutions, Keith has decades of...

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