Israel Approves License for Crypto Service Provider after 4 years

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: The Times of Israel

The Capital Markets Authority, Israel’s primary market regulator, has approved the license for the local crypto exchange, Bits of Gold. It marks one of the first licenses for a crypto service provider in the country.

Bits of Gold shared a press release with CoinDesk, highlighting the provisions of the license. As per the press release, the exchange will now be able to partner with local banks and financial institutions. The company claims that the license, along with the recent guidelines, will help resolve many of the bank issues.

Is this the beginning of Israel’s crypto adventure?

Israeli officials passed the anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-terrorist financing rules for crypto asset service providers in November of 2021. Since then, regulators have attempted to remove obstacles for local banks to interact with cryptocurrencies. In March 2022, the Israeli central bank, released a draft guideline for crypto deposits. As per the guideline, banks would not be able to refuse fiat deposits coming from crypto activities.

However, Bits of Gold is not the first crypto firm to acquire a license from the regulator. That honor is with another private company called Hybrid Bridge Holdings (HBH). HBH acquired its license earlier this month. The company was founded in 2021. HBH CEO, Giyora Ran, spoke to local news outlets and said that the company was building a cryptocurrency custody and exchange platform. However, there is no confirmation of their progress.

However, Bits of Gold, founded in 2013, is the first veteran crypto-based company in Israel to obtain such a license. Nonetheless, the company had to wait for four long years before acquiring a said license.

Bits of Gold is preparing to develop a platform that will let local and European banks and fintech companies sell crypto to customers. Moreover, beginning next month, the company plans to start providing cryptocurrency custody services through its new digital wallet.