Crypto can be an extraordinarily complicated arena, which probably explains why countries like Israel can’t seem to make up their minds about it. The nation recently announced it’s examining the possibilities of releasing a national cryptocurrency in the coming years, while at the same time, several regulators want bitcoin companies banned from the Tel Aviv stock exchange.
One Side of the Spectrum
In line with countries like Russia (the crypto-ruble) and Venezuela (the petro), Israel is examining the benefits of digital currency to potentially release a nationally-regulated cryptocurrency known as the “digital shekel.”
The goal of the currency is to curb “black-market activity” and fraudulent activity including tax evasion and money-laundering by reducing the cash flow within the nation’s borders. Furthermore, several sources claim that the addition of cryptocurrency to Israel’s monetary systems could allow for faster payments and smoother business transactions.
Israel Appears Poised for a Future with Digital Currency
The issue will be included in the country’s “2019 budget,” granted the Bank of Israel gives its approval. An anonymous source explained:
“For the past few weeks, the Bank of Israel has been looking at this matter, which has various aspects to it including monetary and legal. There are many central banks studying the subject. There is no operative plan at this time, but it is something the Bank of Israel is studying.”
The news comes following an announcement that Israeli authorities were simplifying the country’s tax regulations to allow proper room for cryptocurrencies. Given the circumstances, one is led to believe that Israel is seeking to hike its presence in the digital currency arena and stay ahead, so why does hostility towards entities like bitcoin still exist there?
Not Everyone is Convinced of Crypto’s Advantages
For the most part, the hostility appears relatively singular, but mistrust is there, and anti-crypto regulators have issued some dire warnings.
Shmuel Hauser, for example, is the chairman of the Israel Securities Authority. He’s currently in talks with others in the ISA to see about a potential ban on all companies on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that are either based in bitcoin or run on blockchain technology.
“The prices of bitcoin behave like bubbles, and we don’t want investors to be subject to that volatility and uncertainty,” he mentions. “But once it’s on its way, it will continue to be pursued. There is an importance to signal to the market where things are. Investors should know where we stand.”
Hauser will step down from his post in January after serving with the ISA for nearly seven years.
“If we have a company that their main business is digital currencies, we would not allow it,” he further explains. “If already listed, its trading will be suspended.” He insists that countries implement appropriate regulation for cryptocurrency to prevent security issues before it can be allowed on such a mainstream scale.
Which direction will Israel go? Will cryptocurrency become a solid part of its future, or will the idea shrivel in due time? Post your comments below.
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