- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California would regulate businesses that hold bitcoin and other virtual currency in a way similar to banks, under pending legislation.

The Assembly on Wednesday approved AB1326 on a 50-16 vote. It would require businesses that store and exchange virtual currency to seek licenses from the California Department of Business Oversight.

The collapse of Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox last year raised concerns about the industry’s stability.

Assemblyman Matt Dababneh says consumers using virtual currency deserve similar protections as bank customers. The Encino Democrat says his bill is a compromise that would protect consumers without stifling innovation.

Dababneh says retailers from small coffee shops to Overstock.com are accepting virtual currency.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown last year signed legislation recognizing virtual money as valid.

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