Cryptocurrency is quite a controversial industry. While some eagerly accept its disruptive potential for the entire financial sector, some (mostly, governments as they can’t regulate it) look quite suspiciously at it or even try to ban it. But how can you ban something you can’t control?
The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) thought of a better idea. Instead of banning cryptocurrencies itself it decided to ban cryptocurrency-related companies from trading their shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The amendment on cryptocurrencies was proposed by ISA chairman Shmuel Hauser. If the change is accepted, all cryptocurrency related companies will be unable to list their shares on the national stock exchange, and those already trading their shares would be delisted.
Such a move could turn away businesses from using digital money, which might prove much more effective in the government’s fight against decentralized digital assets. Besides, Israel’s policy may set an example for other countries wishing to get rid of cryptocurrencies from their financial markets.
At the moment, the exact number of Israeli companies that would suffer from such an aggressive stance from the government is not known. However, there are at least two cryptocurrency-related businesses whose shares are currently traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange: Blockchain Mining and Fantasy Networks.
The latter showed concerns as to the situation, stating “these restrictions could harm investment in the company and even exclude it from trade on the stock exchange.”
As to the reasons for such a move, CNBC cited Shmuel Hauser stating:
“We feel that the prices of bitcoin behave like bubbles and we don't want investors to be subject to that volatility and uncertainty. There is an importance to signal to the market where things are... Investors should know where we stand.”