As the Israeli Securities Authority (ISA) pushes for new legislation to classify cryptocurrencies as securities, the CEO of an Israeli crypto service provider warns of the potential harm it could cause to the country’s crypto industry. Ilan Sterk, CEO of Altshuler Shaham Horizon in Tel Aviv, spoke with Cointelegraph Magazine Editor Andrew Fenton about the current legal situation for crypto in Israel.
“It’s quite complicated,” said Sterk, adding that the current proposal to put digital assets under ISA supervision would “change everything here.”
According to Sterk, classifying all digital assets as securities would kill the industry. The ISA’s proposal, released in early January, seeks to amend the definition of securities to include digital assets used for financial investment and gives the regulator the power to oversee the crypto industry, set requirements for issuers and intermediaries, and impose sanctions for non-compliance.
Under the proposal, issuers of digital assets would have to publish a prospectus-like document before issuing or registering digital assets for trading. The public has until February 12th to provide feedback on the matter.
In November of last year, the Ministry of Finance laid out its recommendations for crypto industry regulations, including a proposal that would allow crypto service providers to operate in Israel if they have a parallel license from abroad.
Sterk says this proposal would “make some lives a little bit easier” for foreign crypto exchanges operating in Israel, as obtaining a license in the country can take up to several years.
Around 150 companies operate in the local crypto industry, with over 200,000 Israelis invested in crypto, according to the ISA’s January figures.
As the ISA pushes for new legislation to classify cryptocurrencies as securities, Ilan Sterk warns that it could devastate the local crypto industry. While the public has until February 12th to provide feedback on the matter, it remains to be seen how the situation will play out and what impact it will have on the future of crypto in Israel.
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