01.03.2018

Israel Stock Exchange Looks to Ban Bitcoin Trading

Is this the first salvo of bitcoin backlash?

Has the eponymous cryptocurrency and standard bearer of the world’s newest and most talked about asset class finally hit a snag? One exchange operator is looking to ban trading in the highly risky yet profitable crypto currency.

According to a report on Reuters, Israel’s stock market regulator said earlier this week that it will propose regulation to ban companies based on bitcoin and other digital currencies from trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

Shmuel Hauser, the chairman of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), told a business conference he will bring the proposal to the ISA board next week. If approved, it would be subject to a public hearing and then the TASE bylaws would need to be amended.

“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, adding the ISA must find the appropriate regulation for such companies. “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.”

Reuters added that Hauser had also said bitcoin-based companies would not be included in TASE indexes and that there was a need for a suitable regulatory framework for such instruments given that the global market value of all digital currencies grew in 2017 to $300 billion from $18 billion.

 

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