California and New York, home to Silicon Valley and Wall Street,are preparing to write rules of the road for entrepreneurs drivinga surge of interest in bitcoins and other virtual currencies.

The outcome could determine how big a threat bitcoins pose toestablished payment companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co.and Visa Inc. as well as where venture capital and talent convergeto form a geographic hub for U.S. startups.

“If a state becomes bitcoin-friendly, it will see a hugeincrease in companies,” said Adam Ettinger, an attorney with SanFrancisco-based Strategic Counsel Corp., which advises technologyinvestors. “That will mean the brightest minds working on some ofthe most innovative payment technology we've seen in awhile.”

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