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California Moves Forward With Digital Asset Bill (#GotBitcoin?)

Originally seeking to define digital assets, the bill now orders for a study to look at the impact of digital assets if these were securities. California Moves Forward With Digital Asset Bill (#GotBitcoin?)

California’s Senate Banking and Financial Institutions committee has passed a bill seeking to define digital assets and measure its impact on the state and consumer protections.

Assembly Bill 2150, which can potentially influence how federal regulators approach digital assets, unanimously passed the Senate’s Banking and Financial Institutions committee. It will be discussed in the Committee on Appropriations as early as August 17. The bill had previously passed the California Assembly before moving to the Senate.

The bill, first proposed by California Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon, initially sought to presume digital assets are not securities. However, amendments to the bill by the Senate refrained from further defining digital assets and tokens. It now focuses on directing the Department of Business Oversight to conduct a study to see if California can enact policies similar to the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Proposed Securities Act Rule 195- Time Limited Exemption for Tokens.

The study wants to see how treating digital assets as securities for a limited amount of time can impact consumer protections, benefits to the state, and hat the minimum standards to meet the exemptions.

The Department of Business Oversight must also provide suggestions for regulatory frameworks and define key terms. The report should be presented to the California Legislature on or before January 1, 2022.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce proposed the token exemption back in February though the regulatory body has not officially enacted it.

Updated: 9-29-2020

California Governor Signs Law Bringing State ‘New Tools’ To Regulate Crypto

The California department responsible for the regulation of financial services will soon have more powers to supervise the cryptocurrency industry.

* California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law Friday to rename the California Department of Business Oversight as the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

* The bill (AB 1864), introduced by lead author Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) on Jan. 7, will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

* The changes will equip the regulator with “new tools to shape the regulation of virtual currency,” the department’s
commissioner, Manuel P. Alvarez, told CoinDesk via email.

* The new California Consumer Financial Protection Law will, among other things, provide the department with greater enforcement powers designed to protect Californians from “pandemic-inspired scams,” per a Friday press release.

* The move means the department will have new regulatory authority to begin cracking down on deceptive or abusive practices undertaken by unlicensed financial services or products.

* But the new law will also see the creation of an Office of Financial Technology Innovation designed to engage with new industries and consumer advocates to encourage consumer-friendly innovation and job creation within the state.

* In addition, a new Division of Consumer Financial Protection will be created to monitor markets, with a research arm that will keep up with emerging financial products such as cryptocurrencies.

* With the expansion of the department, 90 additional employees will be added to the government payroll representing a 13% increase in staffing.

* The legislation would allow his department to increase consumer protections without hamstringing “honest and fair operations,” Alvarez said.

 

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