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Gov. Gavin Newsom Vetoes California BitLicense Bill –

Gov. Gavin Newsom Vetoes California BitLicense Bill –

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California won’t be getting its version of New York’s BitLicense bill anytime soon. Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the bill on Friday.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tim Grayson, a Vallejo Democrat, passed the state Assembly 71-0 in early September. Like New York State’s 2015 BitLicense legislation, AB 2269 would have set requirements for the conduct of crypto exchanges such as Coinbase or Binance. In addition, California crypto exchanges would have been prevented from trading stablecoins (cryptocurrencies pegged to the value of assets such as the yen, dollar or euro) without a permit to do so.

Governor Newsom explained his veto in a Sept. 23 message to the General Assembly. The governor stated that while he shared “the author’s intent to protect Californians from potential financial harm,” his administration “has conducted extensive research and outreach to gather feedback on approaches that balance consumer benefits and risks, are consistent with federal rules, and incorporate California’s values ​​such as equality, inclusion and environmental protection.

“It is premature to lock the licensing structure into law,” the statement continued, “without considering both this work and future federal action.” Newsom said the government must be flexible “to ensure that regulatory oversight keeps pace with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the appropriate tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.”


It is refreshing that a government official knows how legislation related to new technology can fall short as technology develops. Still, Gov. Newsom also noted that AB 2269 would have cost “tens of millions of dollars in the first few years” from the state’s general fund — something not accounted for in the state’s annual budget.

Rep. Tim Grayson responded to Newsom’s actions with a tweet, writing in part that the crypto market is at best underregulated and at worst deliberately rigged against everyday consumers. Financial markets cannot be considered healthy unless there are guardrails to protect consumers from scams and bad actors.”

California lawmakers have not been alone in exploring ways to bring discipline to the cryptocurrency wilderness. In 2022 alone, Oklahoma passed HB 3279 and Utah passed (and signed into law) SB 182 bills aimed at creating regulatory systems and empowering government agencies to oversee all digital currency-related business.

Additionally, on September 16, the White House issued a statement outlining a “comprehensive framework for the responsible development of digital assets,” a follow-up to President Joe Biden’s March 9 executive order aimed at ensuring the responsible use of digital assets. digital assets.

While Governor Newsom’s veto means that California will avoid additional and potentially costly crypto regulations, the tide currently appears to be turning nationwide toward rules designed to protect crypto investors. With the Federal Trade Commission reporting in June more than $1 billion in losses to cryptocurrency scams since the start of 2021, some may say new regulations to protect consumers are overdue.

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