California Governor Signs Digital Financial Assets Bill, Tightening Crypto Regulations from July 2025

Fibo Quantum

On October 13, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 39, enacting the Digital Financial Assets Law, aimed at establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptocurrency activities in the state. Set to be effective from July 1, 2025, the law mandates the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) to devise a stringent regulatory structure encompassing licensure and enforcement mechanisms for certain cryptocurrency operations.

The Governor emphasized the importance of the new law in providing a robust foundation to manage the burgeoning digital assets market. The bill entrusts the DFPI with rulemaking authority, along with an 18-month implementation timeframe to ensure a meticulously crafted regulatory architecture in sync with evolving industry trends and aimed at consumer harm mitigation.

The law is a proactive attempt to bolster consumer and investor protections, thereby minimizing fraudulent activities and ensuring accountability of malicious actors within the digital asset domain.

Under the new law, individuals and businesses engaging in commercial transactions involving digital assets are required to obtain a licensure from the DFPI. This move aims to bring transparency and compliance within commercial operations concerning digital assets, aligning California with the broader regulatory trends seen in various jurisdictions.

The law references existing Californian legislation governing money transmission, which mandates licensing by the DFPI for banking and transfer services operating within the state. Extending this requirement to cryptocurrency transactions signifies a concerted effort to uphold regulatory standards in the face of a rapidly advancing digital asset ecosystem.

Interestingly, this development contrasts with Governor Newsom’s previous stance in 2022, when he chose not to sign a similar bill aimed at establishing a licensing and regulatory framework for digital assets. Despite the lack of opposition during its debate in the California State Assembly, the Governor had then returned the bill unsigned, citing the necessity for a more agile framework to keep pace with the swiftly evolving cryptocurrency sector.

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