California’s Digital Financial Assets Law: What You Need to Know


On October 13, 2023, California implemented the Digital Financial Assets law, marking the state's first comprehensive regulatory framework for digital asset markets. This article will explore the key provisions of the law and its impact on various aspects of the crypto industry.

Understanding Key Definitions

Before delving into the specific provisions of the Digital Financial Assets law, it is important to grasp the definitions of key terms mentioned in the legislation. The law defines "digital financial asset" as digital mediums of exchange, units of account, or stores of value. However, it explicitly excludes certain transactions, such as those involving merchant rewards programs or digital representations of value used within online games. Additionally, securities registered with or exempt from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission are also excluded from the definition.

Licensing Requirement for Digital Financial Asset Business Activity

The law introduces the concept of "digital financial asset business activity" and requires entities engaged in such activities to obtain a license. This includes activities like exchanging, transferring, or storing digital financial assets, engaging in digital financial asset administration, or holding electronic precious metals on behalf of others. It also encompasses the exchange of digital representations of value used within online games for either digital financial assets or legal tender outside the gaming platform.

Implications for Exchanges

The Digital Financial Assets law imposes several requirements on exchanges operating in California. Exchanges must assess the likelihood of digital financial assets listed on their platforms being classified as securities by federal or state regulators. They are also obligated to provide full and fair disclosure of material facts related to conflicts of interest associated with the assets. Exchanges must conduct comprehensive risk assessments to protect consumers from cybersecurity risks, malfeasance, and market-related risks. Additionally, exchanges must establish policies and procedures to evaluate the appropriateness of continuing to list or offer digital financial assets and to cease listing or offering them if necessary. Furthermore, exchanges are expected to ensure favorable exchange rates for consumers under prevailing market conditions.

Impact on Stablecoins

The Digital Financial Assets law grants the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) discretionary power over the approval of stablecoins for exchange, transfer, or storage. The DFPI considers factors such as the nature and quality of assets owned by stablecoin issuers to evaluate their ability to honor redemption requests. The DFPI commissioner may also require stablecoin issuers to obtain licenses to safeguard the interests of residents using stablecoins for payments or as a store of value. Additionally, stablecoin issuers must hold eligible securities with a market value equivalent to or greater than the total value of all outstanding stablecoins issued or sold.

Regulation and Enforcement

The new law empowers the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) with broad enforcement authority. The DFPI can initiate enforcement actions against individuals or entities engaged in digital financial business activity. However, there have been calls for greater clarity in the law, with Governor Gavin Newsom urging the DFPI to address any ambiguities.

Streamlined Licensure for Bitlicense Holders

Companies or individuals holding a New York Bitlicense or limited purpose trust company charter with approval to conduct virtual currency business in New York may be eligible for conditional licenses if they meet the necessary requirements, including the submission of fingerprints and other licensure criteria.


The implementation of California's Digital Financial Assets law marks a significant step in regulating the state's digital asset markets. With its comprehensive framework and licensing requirements, the law aims to protect consumers and ensure a secure environment for digital financial transactions. As the industry continues to evolve, the DFPI may refine and clarify the law to address any ambiguities and provide further guidance to market participants.

What are your thoughts on California's Digital Financial Assets law? Share your opinions and insights in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What tax is gold subject in an IRA

The fair market value at the time of sale is what determines how much tax you pay on gold sales. When you purchase gold, you don't have to pay any taxes. It isn't considered income. If you sell it after the purchase, you will get a tax-deductible gain if you increase the price.

You can use gold as collateral to secure loans. Lenders look for the highest return when you borrow against assets. This often means selling gold. However, there is no guarantee that the lender would do this. They may hold on to it. They may decide to resell it. The bottom line is that you could lose potential profit in any case.

So to avoid losing money, you should only lend against your gold if you plan to use it as collateral. It is better to leave it alone.

Is gold a good investment IRA option?

Gold is an excellent investment for any person who wants to save money. You can also diversify your portfolio by investing in gold. But there is more to gold than meets the eye.

It has been used throughout history as currency and it is still a very popular method of payment. It is sometimes called the “oldest currency in the world”.

But unlike paper currencies, which governments create, gold is mined out of the earth. This makes it highly valuable as it is hard and rare to produce.

The supply and demand factors determine how much gold is worth. If the economy is strong, people will spend more money which means less people can mine gold. This results in gold prices rising.

On the other hand, people will save cash when the economy slows and not spend it. This results in more gold being produced, which drives down its value.

It is this reason that gold investing makes sense for businesses and individuals. You'll reap the benefits of investing in gold when the economy grows.

Your investments will also generate interest, which can help you increase your wealth. You won't lose your money if gold prices drop.

How much should your IRA include precious metals

It is important to remember that precious metals can be a good investment for anyone. You don't need to be rich to make an investment in precious metals. There are many methods to make money off of silver and gold investments.

You might consider purchasing physical coins, such as bullion bars and rounds. Also, you could buy shares in companies producing precious metals. Your retirement plan provider may offer an IRA rollingover program.

No matter what your preference, precious metals will still be of benefit to you. These metals are not stocks, but they can still provide long-term growth.

Their prices are more volatile than traditional investments. You'll probably make more money if your investment is sold down the line than traditional investments.

Can I keep physical gold in an IRA?

Gold is money, not just paper currency or coinage. People have been using gold for thousands of years to store their wealth and protect it from economic instability and inflation. Today, investors use gold as part of a diversified portfolio because gold tends to do better during financial turmoil.

Many Americans now invest in precious metals. It's not guaranteed that you'll make any money investing gold, but there are several reasons it might be worthwhile to add gold to retirement funds.

Another reason is that gold has historically outperformed other assets in financial panic periods. Between August 2011 to early 2013, gold prices rose close to 100 percent while the S&P 500 fell 21 per cent. During these turbulent market times, gold was among few assets that outperformed the stocks.

One of the best things about investing in gold is its virtually zero counterparty risk. Your stock portfolio can fall, but you will still own your shares. However, if you have gold, your value will rise even if the company that you invested in defaults on its loans.

Finally, the liquidity that gold provides is unmatched. This means that, unlike most other investments, you can sell your gold anytime without worrying about finding another buyer. Because gold is so liquid compared to other investments, buying it in small amounts makes sense. This allows one to take advantage short-term fluctuations within the gold price.


  • If you take distributions before hitting 59.5, you'll owe a 10% penalty on the amount withdrawn. (
  • The price of gold jumped 131 percent from late 2007 to September 2011, when it hit a high of $1,921 an ounce, according to the World Gold Council. (
  • If you accidentally make an improper transaction, the IRS will disallow it and count it as a withdrawal, so you would owe income tax on the item's value and, if you are younger than 59 ½, an additional 10% early withdrawal penalty. (
  • Instead, the economy improved, stocks rebounded, and gold plunged, losing 28 percent of its value in 2013. (
  • This is a 15% margin that has shown no stable direction of growth but fluctuates seemingly at random. (

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