Israeli financial regulator grants first “crypto” license to a local company

Israeli financial regulator grants first “crypto” license to a local company


It owns the Capital Markets, Insurance and Savings Authority of Israel (CMISA) granted Hybrid Bridge Holdings Ltd’s first permanent license to carry out digital asset activities in the country. According to financial news outlet Globes, the approval shows the regulator’s intent to stimulate the virtual asset industry in the country.

While it is unclear what type of digital asset business Hybrid Bridge will be involved in, insiders said the company is building an infrastructure to link fiat currencies in KYC and anti-money laundering (AML) regulated bank accounts to virtual currencies. . The ambitious undertaking is expected to simplify the trading process for new investors in the space.

Globus noted that in the coming days, many companies will also receive a permanent license from the foundation led by Moshe Barakat. Companies are subject to stringent checks to prevent unqualified service providers from operating in the ecosystem.

“As part of the licensing process, the CMA examines the full range of consumer risks, focusing on four main risks: money laundering and terrorist financing risks, technological risks, operational risks and client asset protection,” Globes reported.

Hybrid Bridge Holdings was established in 2021 and previously had an active license as a financial operator in the country. Mohik Teumim, Har-Tov Ido and Gitam BDO each own a significant portion of the company’s shares.

Rough patch for operators in Israel

Digital asset service providers have had a turbulent period with the country’s regulators. In February, the Capital Markets Authority, which is tasked with issuing licenses to operators in Israel, opened an investigation into Binance exchanges.

A fact-checking led to the suspension of all Binance activities in the country, with the exchange going so far as to remove support for the Hebrew language and the local currency.

“After the capital market intervention, Binance has at this point stopped marketing to Israelis until all activities are focused on Israel until we examine the licensing issue,” the CMA said.

While trying to solve the problem of virtual currency providers, Israeli regulators are also exploring the potential of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The creation of a digital shekel is moving forward with the results of a survey conducted by the Bank of Israel indicating great interest among respondents.

The Bank of Israel plans to adopt a two-tiered approach in developing a central bank digital currency with private players acting as intermediaries with the public while the banking regulator interacts with commercial banks. The proposed digital shekel will be issued in a distributed ledger to enhance financial inclusion, transparency, and prevent “encoder” from the economy.

Watch: Presentation of the BSV Global Blockchain Agreement, CBDCs and BSV

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