Bits of Gold becomes the first cryptocurrency exchange in Israel to receive a license on the capital markets
Bits of Gold aims to make the world of cryptocurrencies more accessible to the Israeli public in a simple but secure way.
Bits of Gold, an Israel-based cryptocurrency exchange, has become the first cryptocurrency company to receive a license from the Capital Markets Authority. The company announced the milestone via social media posts on September 18.
With the capital markets license, Bits of Gold is now licensed to work with local banks and offer these financial institutions a service that allows them to connect to the cryptocurrency exchange’s digital asset services, according to Cointelegarph. The company can now also store digital currencies via its “Bits of Gold Wallet”.
Bits of Gold said securing the license is the next step in making the company’s mission a reality. The cryptocurrency exchange aims to make the world of cryptocurrencies more accessible to the Israeli public in a simple but secure way.
While Israeli authorities have imposed restrictions on cash transactions to encourage the use of digital payments as a means of combating illegal activities, the response from the country’s financial institutions can be described as lukewarm. For example, local banks have reportedly been very hostile towards cryptocurrencies and have cited anti-money laundering (AML) issues to block services until recently.
The Israeli Supreme Court sided with the local Leumi bank in 2017 and ruled that the bank was legally allowed to refuse service to Bits of Gold. Leumi said the nature of Bitcoin makes it impossible for them to meet AML requirements.
Cooperation between banks and the cryptocurrency industry has greatly improved with the recent enforcement of new anti-money laundering regulations by the government. Crypto companies are now required to obtain a license for their operations, and those that have already applied have received temporary permission to continue their activities pending approval of their applications.
Aside from regulations, another factor that could hinder institutional adoption is the country’s tax laws. A report released by Coincub on September 8 ranked Israel as the third worst country for cryptocurrency taxation. The government imposes a capital gains tax of up to 33% while the income tax for investment business is 50%.
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