Governor recognizes use of bitcoins in California

(File) (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)
(File) (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/30 6:27 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill into law that officially recognizes bitcoins and other virtual currencies in the state.

Brown announced over the weekend that he had signed AB129 by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson.

Dickinson, a Democrat from Sacramento, said his bill repeals an outdated restriction on using anything but the lawful currency of the U.S. He says people already routinely use digital currency, coupons, so-called community currency and reward points programs such as Amazon Coins and Starbucks Stars without legal penalty.

Community currencies rely on local merchants who agree to accept the alternative currency, usually as a way of encouraging customers to visit small businesses.

Dickinson noted that many of those currency alternatives predate Bitcoin, a digital currency that has recently gained media attention.

Brown signed the bill without comment.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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