What Does The Proposed ‘Payment Choice Act 2019’ Mean For Bitcoin?

  • The “Payment Choice Act of 2019” set to open up a leeway for the use of cryptocurrencies and digital assets across the United States.
  • The bill is set to prevent private US businesses from refusing cash as a payment option and set to offer legal options for affected clientele.
  • The bill introduced May 2019 has so far garnered support from 34 members from both sides.

A bill sponsored by rep Donald Payne (D-NJ) is set to undergo a hearing to be held by the Financial Technology Taskforce dubbed “Is cash still King?”(Payment choice act) whose main objective is to Review the Rise of Mobile Payments.

The Financial Technology acknowledges that the federal government has provided the US dollar and coins as the legal tender however private businesses are not stipulated by law to accept cash as a payment option.

According to the findings of the bill, it has been noted that an increasing number of businesses have taken up cashless payments and in the process not accepting US dollars and coins in exchange for goods and services as they only accept cashless payments.

The bill seeks to bar US based private businesses from; refusing the US legal tender (Cash), hanging up sign posts stating cash payments aren’t accepted or even charging above normal fee to clientele using cash options while offering exceptions for transactions carried out on phone, mail or internet. It is even to be enforced in various ways including cash fines of up to $2500 for first time offense.

How will Bitcoin benefit if the law passes?

Blockchain Lawyer Gabriel Shapiro helped clarify the legal repercussions of the bill. The bill would enable customers a ‘private right to action’ where they could personally sue companies in breach of the bill. While the law is strictly set on cash payments, Bitcoin (BTC) will be set to benefit greatly if the bill goes through.

According to Shapiro, the requirement to accept cash by retailers shows the need for cryptocurrencies especially Bitcoin. If approved to law, then the establishment of a legally binding acceptance shows the need for an unregulated currency. He said,

“The extreme need for cash in society is extremely bullish for Bitcoin…This is a huge opportunity for Bitcoin and any other truly decentralized cryptocurrencies.”

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