As cryptocurrencies gain more widespread global acceptance, regulatory bodies around the world have begun to see opportunity in blockchain. Today the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), the country’s official market regulator, advocated for the creation of a state-sponsored, regulated cryptocurrency trading platform.
The ISA, which had been studying the cryptocurrency market in depth for the previous two years, affirmed the potential of the blockchain space as part of the reason for its recommendation. ISA Chair Anat Guetta reported:
“The excitement that defined the field in 2017 has cooled off, but the technology is here to stay.”
The ISA proposed regulating cryptocurrencies under a slightly modified version of their present securities laws, altering disclosure demands for companies looking to offer digitized assets.
A contributing factor to the ISA’s decision to support a crypto platform is that the regulator sees increased income potential in blockchain offerings. In 2018, IPO’s (Initial Public Offerings) from startup tech companies in Israel fell 33%, part of a larger trend of decline in the country’s markets.
And with souring global economic conditions and tense trade relations between the U.S. and China, venture funding grows increasingly difficult for any new company to come by.
However, in contrast to the movement of traditional markets, Israeli interest in the blockchain space has only increased. In 2017, the Bank of Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank partnered with Microsoft to roll out a new blockchain based payment platform. Forbes has reported that the number of blockchain startups in the country tripled in 2018 to over 200 early-stage companies, making Israel a world center for blockchain tech.
The ISA’s recent decision to propose the issuance of digital tokens as a means of fundraising suggests that the cryptocurrency space continues to capture the attention of the country’s highest financial and regulatory bodies.
The author is invested in cryptocurrencies.