While there is hope that the regulations might be in place in the next six months, some are still not too sure of cryptocurrencies.
For many, uncertainty can be terribly annoying, especially when it comes to matters of law. This is exactly the case with residents of Israel. The country’s government has yet to decide what their official stance on the use of Bitcoin is. The issue, however, may be fully resolved in the near future.
Last week it was announced that the Ministry of Finance in Israel will set up a team to work on digital currencies. The team will work together with heads of major accounting firms as well as relevant professional chambers.
The decision was taken by Moshe Kahlon, the Israeli Minister of Finance, during a recent meeting with representatives from all affected parties. During the meeting, it was agreed that Israel had not in fact been sufficiently prepared to handle digital currency issues.
Moshe Hogeg, an Israeli entrepreneur, and Bitcoin advocate is just one of the people who have pushed for the country to look into cryptocurrencies. Just, last month he met with the finance minister to promote the use of blockchain as well as cryptocurrencies.
Speaking to local news, Hogeg said that authorities were taking up the issue along with the minister. He also said that the minister was behind the ideas tabled during the meeting. Hogeg also said that committees would move fast on the issue and he hopes to see results on the ground in six months.
Currently, the complete lack of regulations surrounding Bitcoin has resulted in a lot of trouble not only for users in Israel but also for businesses in the field. A district court in Tel Aviv ruled in June that banks could deny services to Bitcoin-related ventures. This included exchange services.
The court said that its ruling was because banks were unable to validate their own KCY and AML requirements before the law. Adding to this, earlier this year, the Israeli Tax Authority ruled that because Bitcoin and others were not legally defined as currencies, its sale would be subjected to a number of taxes. This would ultimately hurt the country’s adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Many believe that no matter what recommendations are made by the working team, authorities are most likely not going to be too supportive of the venture. It is widely known that at least one high-ranking Israeli public official remains pretty concerned about the dangerous potential of cryptocurrencies.
The official is likely to have his voice heard rather loudly on the matter. Head of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), Professor Shmuel Hauser, has publically spoken out about a need for regulations of ICO’s and Bitcoin to be paternalistic. It is known that the ISA has also created its own committee to assess possible regulations in Israel.