Until 30 January 2015, section 107 of the Californian Corporations Code made it clear that, “No corporation, social purpose corporation, association, or individual shall issue or put in circulation, as money, anything but the lawful money of the United States“. This was enough to make it unlawful to use Bitcoins, and other virtual, digital and crypto currencies, to buy and sell anything, in California.

That prohibition was repealed on 31 January 2015, by California Assembly Bill 129 (Lawful Money) – a bill that was promoted by Assembly Member Roger Dickinson (District of Sacramento), and approved by Governor Edmund G Brown Jr, on 28 June 2014.

Bitcoins, and other virtual, digits and crypto currencies can therefore now be accepted as if they were money in California. But they’re still not legal tender. A vendor may therefore choose to accept them in exchange for the goods he’s selling, but he’s not obliged to do so.