On September 29th, 2020, the California governor signed a bill which will change the way the state, and businesses within the state view and manage Bitcoin. California has always been a bit ahead of the game, as many businesses in the state already accept Bitcoin as terms for payment and the cryptocurrency has long been accepted as legal tender. However, cryptocurrencies as an asset, remained something of wishful thinking, and thus many businesses still don’t accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies because it leads to issues with their accountants, lenders, and banking. Now that Bill AB-2150 has been put up for vote, we will see if this leads to changes and possibly Bitcoin being more widely accepted. If this bill does pass, Bitcoin will be a legally recognized asset in the state of California beginning in January 2022.
California is Changing
It’s not surprising that the state of California might become the first state in the US to accept cryptocurrencies, after all, California has been going through some major radical social changes in the past few years, starting in 2015.
California has always been kind of a big deal, besides being one of the largest states area wise, the state also has 55 representatives in the House of Representatives in Washington DC. So, in theory, one would think that California would feel fairly represented when it comes to their position in the federal government. Californians disagree. The year 2015 saw the rise of a new radical group whom calls themselves Yes California, and they are currently rallying, lobbying, and protesting that California should be able to withdraw from the USA and become their own country. Yes, you read that right. Not only do they want to become their own country, but they’d like to use Bitcoin for their national currency one day.
Now to someone just being introduced to this idea, it sounds a bit crazy, but apparently it isn’t as crazy as one would think, as between the years 2015-2019, legislators for the state proposed numerous bills on the ballots which would allow California to become one, or three, of its own countries. And the surprising part? Almost one third of people who voted, voted for a “Calexit” as it has come to be known. Only about forty percent of people voted against, and the remaining just under one third of people chose not to vote. This means a California Exit may not be as far-fetched of an idea as we might think.
Why is this Happening?
California is pushing hard to become its own country because they feel that they are, first and foremost, the most radical state in the US and that their views on immigration and humanity as a whole are an entire world away from those in the rest of the United States. Many Californians are for unrestricted immigration as well as more freedom of speech and expression when it comes to things like gender, childbearing, and sexuality. In fact, most citizens of California feel they have absolutely nothing in common with the people who live on the east coast. And they’re tired of paying high taxes to not have the sort of federal government representing them in the ways they desire.
Not only is it the social views which sets California apart, but they also have new and advanced ideas when it comes to technology, which takes us, one again, right back to the fact that California is currently the most accepting state when it comes to digital technologies. With Silicon Valley nestled in its midst’s, we can assume that cryptocurrencies aren’t the only digital innovation that California will feel is unfairly squashed by federal regulations.
Will it Happen?
Although about a third of Californians would like to see their state break off, it’s not as easy as just signing a petition or passing a bill. Even if all of those things do come to fruition, there’s still the extremely difficult task of actually leaving the US. Which would involve making massive changes to the US constitution.
This doesn’t mean it won’t happen though. As civil unrest starts to grow all over the United States, we are bound to see some interesting political agendas come to the spotlight. And when the southern states succeeded from the union in the 1860’s, I can assure you they didn’t wait for congressional permission. If California does indeed try to leave the USA, I doubt they will do so legally. They will probably withdraw first and then fight with the federal government later, which brings up another problem. There are a number of US military bases located in California. If the state does decide to leave, it’s probably likely those soldiers would remain under the command of the federal government and that they would possibly stop whatever succession from happening from the inside. If, for whatever reason, the military in California decides to side with the state government, this will open an entire new can of worms about deserting, betrayal of one’s country, and perhaps accusations of the remaining soldiers being spies.
Not only are there many logistical problems with this separation, but there’s also a few lurking controversies. Although you may have read this far and think, why not let California have their own country? Yes California seems like a great movement especially for those who feel they currently are not fairly represented. But, if you dig a little deeper into the Yes California movement, you will find they receive a lot of support from an unfortunately seedy source, otherwise known as the country of Russia.
Russia isn’t an inherently bad country, but many of the things their government does occurs on the sly, and without what we know in the US as ‘due process.’ If the Russians are indeed helping fund this Yes California movement…well it’s hard to imagine that things will continue to go well politically between the two countries after a separation. Which brings us to one of the reasons why Russia is possibly supporting this movement, they probably see it as a great way to possibly have access to American soil as they help the emerging country set up. Even if this isn’t the reason they’re helping Yes California, you have to admit, it seems a bit fishy. And I doubt their motives for helping this sort of movement are truly genuine.
Yes California massively scaled back their efforts in the year 2019 as they claimed they needed more time to prepare and ready their movement for widespread success. And part of this step back could be because their former leader has sought permanent residency in Russia. The movement is not gone though, and there have recently been whispers about the changes and another push for sovereignty when Bitcoin becomes a legal currency. Perhaps the establishment of Bitcoin really will lead the state to a new sort of revolution. Only time will tell.