Digital Payments

Israel Gunning To Be Cryptocurrencies' Global Headquarters

Should Israel embrace cryptocurrencies wholeheartedly?

It deserves a look, in an effort to bring the country along as an international hub for initial coin offerings, commonly called ICOs. That sentiment is according to Shmuel Hauser, who heads the Israel Securities Authority.

Bloomberg reported news that Hauser has said that the country should undertake “daring” cryptocurrency regulations to boost digital initiatives. He made the comments at a conference on Monday, Dec. 4th. And yet, digital currencies are such that ICOs and “investments in bitcoin reminds me of the 19th-century gold rush.” Bloomberg further noted that Hauser mused that bitcoin has “gotten out of control.”

As has been widely reported, bitcoin has traded above $11,000, reaching new highs and exhibiting volatility in markets that the newswire has noted have largely been unregulated. Some countries have made overtures toward regulation. For example, in the Philippines there are talks underway between the securities regulators and the central bank centered on monitoring and overseeing the ways ICOs come to market.

Thus far the Middle Eastern nation has no framework set up for cryptocurrencies.  But the nation’s tax authority has said that bitcoin is indeed a taxable asset.

The idea that Israel might wind up a powerhouse and beacon for ICOs drew some criticism from Yaniv Pagot, chief investment strategist at the Ayalon Group, who said the thoughts might stem from technological advances for which the country is famous. Said Pagot, “I don’t think there are enough people in Israel ready to give a kosher stamp for something like this yet.”

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