Digital Payments

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Could Ban Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies

Israel is gearing up to ban bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, reported Reuters.

Shmuel Hauser, chairman of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), said he is bringing the idea of a ban to the ISA board next week. If it is backed by the exchange operator, there will be a public hearing. After that, the stock exchange bylaws would need to be changed.

“If we have a company that their main business is digital currencies, we would not allow it. If already listed, its trading will be suspended,” Hauser said. He noted that the ISA has to find the appropriate regulation for that type of company. The regulator didn’t say which companies would be impacted by the bank, but Reuters noted there are at least two firms that are described as cryptocurrencies or use the technology behind it for their businesses that are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange: Blockchain Mining and Fantasy Network.

Earlier in December, Hauser said bitcoin companies wouldn’t be included in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange indexes. At the time, Fantasy Networks stated that “these restrictions … could harm investment in the company and even exclude it from trade on the stock exchange,” reported Reuters.  

Bitcoin has been volatile all year, shooting up to $20,000 at one point after starting the year at $1,000. Its value has dropped 30 percent to under $12,000 at the end of last week. It has since regained some of that loss but has been a wild ride for the investors who are brave enough to get into the market.

“We feel that the prices of bitcoin behave like bubbles, and we don’t want investors to be subject to that volatility and uncertainty,” Hauser said. “There is an importance to signal to the market where things are … investors should know where we stand.”

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