According to social media posts from the company on September 18, Israeli-based crypto exchange Bits of Gold became the country’s first crypto firm to get a licence from the Capital Markets Authority, as reported by Cointelegraph.
Bits of Gold will be able to store digital currencies in a “Bits of Gold Wallet” they have been working on for some time as a result of obtaining the licence. It will also begin offering a service that connects banks and other financial institutions to its digital asset offerings.
Bits of Gold stated in a public statement that the licence is the next step in their mission to make the world of digital currencies more accessible to Israelis “in a simple and secure manner.”
Authorities in Israel have imposed limits on cash payments in order to curb criminal activity and accelerate the country’s transition to digital payments.
Despite this, institutional acceptance in the nation has been delayed, with Israeli banks previously being hostile to crypto and blocking services, citing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) concerns.
In 2017, the Israeli Supreme Court found that local bank Leumi was legally permitted to reject service to Bits of Gold, stating that the nature of Bitcoin rendered it difficult for the bank to comply with ALM regulations. However, the Supreme Court’s stance had shifted by 2019, when it found that Leumi could not block Bits of Gold’s account due to regulatory concerns, setting a precedent for other cryptocurrency enterprises, Cointelegraph noted.
Cointelegraph further noted that the Israeli government’s implementation of new AML legislation has paved the way for greater collaboration between banks and the crypto industry. The development also mandated that crypto firms obtain a licence, though those that sought for one were granted a temporary licence to continue operations.
(With insights from Cointelegraph)