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Colin Gallagher

Help Defeat California's proposed version of Bitlicense

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You can link here for a reddit discussion on the subject of:

  • Who is behind the lobbying in California to try to get AB 1326 approved
  • What is the status of AB 1326
  • how you can get your voice heard on it at the State Senate level
  • And, most importantly, how you can request that the Governor veto it, which is the likeliest possible avenue for it to be defeated given the tradition of the Legislature to approve nearly any bills that are introduced.

Also, you can link here to EFF's campaign against the California version of Bitlicense. (Thank you, EFF!)


You can also help by sharing these links far and wide across whatever social media you use!


Thank you.

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In addition to the EFF's opposition, the Bitcoin Foundation provided a letter of opposition against AB 1326 on its blog and indicated support for EFF's action page, nobitcoinlicense, via the Bitcoin Foundation's twitter.


In the face of overwhelming opposition, AB 1326 failed to pass by California's deadline (Sept. 11 2015, last day for each house to pass bills (J.R. 61(a)(14))), and was ordered to inactive file. In addition, numerous veto requests were sent to the Governor by bill opponents in case AB 1326 ended up being rammed through in the late hours of Sept. 11, but the bill never made it to the Governor's desk. (A copy of my own veto request can be seen here.)


Had this bill passed the Legislature and been signed by the Governor, it would have criminalized startups and any users who donate virtual currency, as well as making oppressive permitting requirements standard in California for literally every use case not expressly exempted by the law. There is a lot to celebrate in having defeated the attempts of Coin Center (and certain wallet firms that have funded Coin Center) to pass this terribly flawed state legislation that would have prosecuted individuals merely for expressing themselves on the blockchain.


While we should remain vigilant (the California legislature reconvenes on Jan. 4, 2016, and could attempt to take up the bill again), this is a victory we should celebrate. California should not be allowed to fall prey to the same blunders that have cast New York in a financial stone age, and we deserve the freedom to be innovators (without state sanction) both in the making of new decentralized systems as well as in our daily actions and explorations of new systems.

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AB 1326 (Digital Currency). Guess what - IT'S BACK. It's been changed. It's even worse than before. And it's passed the Assembly and now is on Senate Second Reading - scheduled for Tuesday, AUGUST 9, 2016.


If you want to take quick action, use this tool (see link below, still works) made by Electronic Frontier Foundation to oppose the bill, but when you get to the message section, edit and rewrite the message simply to state, "I oppose AB 1326 as rewritten. Please oppose this bill which cannot be enforced, which would limit economic freedom, and which the state would be unable to support due to the State's own fiscal problems. Additionally, this bill as rewritten meets the threshold for suspense and should be referred back to Appropriations for review and suspense motions."


The link below goes to Electronic Frontier Foundation's tool for you to quickly oppose AB 1326.



You can also use this very handy tool: https://nobitcoinlicense.org/


When you're done, make sure and go to the California Governor's webpage at gov.ca.gov and (using the contact form on the Governor's page) tell him to VETO AB 1326 if it reaches his desk. (You can do this no matter where you live in the world!)


Thank you!




AB 1326 has gone through the CA Senate Second Reading and Third Reading, and has been referred to the CA Senate Banking and Financial Institutional Committee. It will be heard in that committee on Monday August 15, 2016. Please call AND (e-mail or fax) each and every member of that committee TODAY, Friday, to register your opposition to AB 1326 (as it's unlikely they'll be checking messages over the weekend before Monday August 15)!


Their contact information can be found here: http://sbnk.senate.ca.gov/




AB 1326 has been defeated.


"From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak I fought with the Balrog of Morgoth... Until at last I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountain side. ...Darkness took me and I strayed away through thought and time. Stars wheeled overhead and every day was as long as a life age of the earth... But it was not the end. I felt life in me again. I've been sent back until my task is done."


- Gandalf

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AB 1326 has been defeated (twice this legislative session) and will not be brought back this year.


However, there are already rumblings from the idiot legislator who has been proposing this nonsense that he intends to bring a proposed bitlicense back to the California legislature for consideration in early 2017. Apparently, this paragon of stupidity also has been held in some regard at the Banking and Financial Institution Committee, where the members have more or less confirmed they will consider it next year with revisions based on the so-called "model virtual currency bill" created by the Uniform Law Commission -- a horrible piece of work if there ever was one. (It seems as though they are intent on simply replacing one bad proposal with another.)


It is therefore essential that you continue to write your legislators to oppose California's next version of the anti-virtual currency bill.


Suggested talking points for your message (use any or all that you like):

  • We won't accept limitations on our ability to engage in free trade. We consider our use of bitcoin, and other decentralized, distributed systems, to be a form of speech as well. We'll keep fighting efforts to restrict this -- and when legislators propose that we must be subject to a licensing regime in order to use the systems we want -- there's a simple answer that I have for them, and that I hope you'll defend as a legislator as well: "Just Say No."
  • We defeated AB 1326 by taking a hard line in favor of economic freedom and fungibility, not in favor of statism and central planning.
  • Fungibility is the property of something whose individual units are capable of mutual substitution. It is the property of things which are "capable of being substituted in place of one another." Imposing licenses on the use of virtual currency will impair or even destroy fungibility in the context of legal uses of currency. Without fungibility, you don't have a functional economic system; if the economic system were to remain functional, it could only occur with nearly all economic activity being driven underground.)
  • We won't accept any proposal which would require individuals or businesses to have to obtain a license or enrollment. The so-called "model virtual currency bill" created by the Uniform Law Commission, which the California Legislature is apparently considering introducing as a new proposed bitlicense bill in 2017, is simply replacing one bad, failed proposal with another one. We don't want it, and won't accept it.
  • Even if the Legislature were to limit its proposal to having a license requirement for exchanges and brokerages, it would not work. When New York adopted its bitlicense regulation, a partial list of the companies that immediately left New York were: BitQuick, BTCGuild, Eobot, Genesis Mining, GoCoin, Kraken, LocalBitcoins, Paxful, and Poloniex. “This particular piece of legislation is unnecessary and is an obstacle to free market innovation,” wrote Genesis Mining on its blog in response to New York's approach. Kraken, an exchange headquartered in San Francisco, California, said that the license, “comes at a price that exceeds the market opportunity of servicing New York residents. Therefore, we have no option but to withdraw our service from the state.” These companies and more will make a similar exodus from California if a bitlicense bill is adopted here. (Actually, BTCGuild had to shut down, citing NY's bitlicense as a reason, so they won't be able to make an exodus from California... they have already been killed by bad regulation.)
  • Decentralized, distributed exchanges and markets will not be able to be regulated. Where the system does not rely upon a corporation or service provider, but rather relies upon each person running software that is a part (or a node) of a network, then these systems are quite resilient and well beyond the reach of the state. Technology is dynamic, develops at an exponential rate, and will outpace the dinosaur legislatures such as California and New York. Those legislatures which will benefit from decentralized virtual currencies and decentralized, distributed exchanges are those that welcome them, not those that attempt to impose ridiculous licensing requirements that people have roundly rejected.

Who to write your message to?


1) Your legislator: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

(Make sure you send it to your Assemblymember AND Senator.)


2) The Governor: https://govnews.gov....39mail/mail.php (In addition to the talking points above, make sure you ask him to veto ANY bill which would require virtual currency licensing that would be introduced in 2017.)


3) You may also want to contact interest groups, such as the EFF, Bitcoin Foundation (that's us!) and other groups with your concerns about the California Legislature's ongoing insanity. It will help, and can't hurt.


Thank you!

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Hello once again!


If you have been following bitcoin news, you will know that a certain California legislator has proposed a bitlicense for California - again.


This will be the third time that we have had to fight (and defeat) bitlicense in California!


But it's not only California that is dealing with these issues. As a result, I've written a comprehensive article on the various states where a bitlicense in some form is either being considered, or in some cases, has actually been (or is in the process of being) repealed! And in at least one state (New York), a bitlicense is being challenged in court, which is also covered in the article below.


Here's the link -- enjoy the article and share it widely!


Note: If you couldn't view the content at the above link for any reason, it is also posted here.

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