Buttonwood SF Founder Petitions California’s Proposed Bitcoin Bill

Yessi Bello Perez
Apr 3, 2015 at 19:37 UTC
Updated Apr 4, 2015 at 11:04 UTC
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The founder of  Buttonwood SF has started an online petition against a California legislative proposal for regulating digital currencies.

Penned by Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, chairman of the state’s Banking and Finance Committee, the proposal aims to regulate virtual currency businesses under the state’s Money Transmission Act.

In so doing, the bill, otherwise known as AB-1326, would prohibit virtual currency businesses from operating unless they are licensed by the Department of Business Oversight (DBO) or have received an exemption from the agency.

John Light, the founder of Buttonwood SF, told CoinDesk:

“I started this petition when I realised that AB-1326 would cause my meetup to shut down, since the legislation, if passed, would criminalise the cryptocurrency trading that takes place at the meetup.”

As previously reported by CoinDesk, potential applicants would need to pay a non-refundable $5,000 fee to register; provide certain identifying information; and keep a certain amount of funds in “investment-grade permissible investments”.

“It costs $5000 just to apply for the license, to say nothing of the actual cost of the license itself and related compliance costs, which would price out all but the richest entrepreneurs and businesses that seek its protection and effectively put all of the traders at my meetup out of business,” Light explained.

Amassing support

At the time of press, the petition had acquired over 80 participants, some of whom shared their views on the legislative proposal.

Rob Mitchell, a signatory, commented:

“Bitcoin is an important new technology that should not require an expensive licensing procedure to take part in. AB-1326 seems to be attacking a problem that doesn’t exist, and could mean the next big Financial Tech company won’t be coming from California.”

Nozomi Hayase, another commenter, said: “I am signing because people have a right to innovate and build legitimate businesses without restrain.”

Image via Shutterstock.

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