From pet grooming services paid with currencies backed by aggregated gift cards to coffee shops in Palo Alto and San Francisco that accept digital currencies for a latte, many Californians are completing everyday transactions with digital currencies. Community currencies (such as currencies “created by members of a community in conjunction with merchants who agree to accept the alternative currency”) are seeing some popularity in Sonoma County, Humboldt County, and other areas of Northern California. Many video games continue to facilitate in-game and other purchases using alternative currencies.
The payments and video game industries have recognized, however, that quite often law moves more slowly than technology. In support of continuing the proliferation of alternative currencies, California Assembly Bill 129 (the “Alternative Currencies Act”) became effective on January 1, 2015. The Alternative Currencies Act loosens existing prohibitions on use of currencies other than the lawful money of the United States by repealing Section 107 of California Corporations Code.