California is the first U.S. state to formally begin examining how to broadly adapt to cryptocurrency and related technologies, following a path laid out by President Joe Biden in March.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Wednesday for California agencies to move in tandem with the federal government to craft regulations for digital currencies. It also calls for the state to explore incorporating broader blockchain technologies into state operations.
Ohio was the first to attempt to accept virtual currency for government services in 2018, though the program was soon discontinued. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis says his state will begin accepting cryptocurrency for government services later this year.
As CNBC reported, Newsom's directive should have California's Business and Economic Development Office working with California's Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and the state's financial protection and innovation office.
Newsom's Senior Adviser and Director of the Office of Business and Economic Development in California Dee Dee Myers said, “Of the 800 blockchain businesses in North America, about a quarter of them are in California, dramatically more than any other state,” they said. “We’ve heard from so many that they want to be here, and we want to help them do that responsibly.”