Israel Regulator Seeks to Ban bitcoin-based Companies from Stock Exchange

| Updated
by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Israel Regulator Seeks to Ban bitcoin-based Companies from Stock Exchange
Photo: jon lai / Flickr

Companies involved with digital currency related activities will like be banned from trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

The crypto mania has certainly given huge returns to the crypto-investors over the past year. However, there have been many companies listed on the stock exchange which too have benefited due to its business being associated with cryptocurrency markets in some or the other way. On Monday, Isreal regulators are hunting such companies and have proposed a regulation to ban all such companies that are listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and also dealing with either bitcoin or any other digital currencies.

Chairman of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) – Shmuel Hauser has informed during the Calcalist business conference that he will put forward a regulatory proposal to the ISA board to request a complete ban of digital currency firms from trading on the country’s public exchange. If the proposal gets approved, new bylaws for the stock exchange would be amended.

Hauser believes that ISA will look into this matter and will impose the necessary regulations. He further stated “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.”

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate completely on a decentralized blockchain technology that does not allow involvement of third-party centralized institutions like banks or other financial bodies. Looking to the volatility that cryptocurrencies offer, Hauser said that it is necessary for ISA to intervene by having a regulatory framework in place and discourage the retail investors from participating in this decentralized currency.

He said: “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.”

Two weeks back, shares of a few registered companies (involved in bitcoin-related activities) in Israel started falling heavily due to a major correction in the crypto markets. Looking to the volatility, Hauser said that such companies that pose a huge risk to the investor’s money should be banned from trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Shares of Blockchain – previously named as Natural Resources have surged by 5000% in the past few months since it announced that it will be shifting its focus from mining of commodities like iron and gold to mining of cryptocurrencies. The shares of the company recently plunged by 4.2% on Monday. This is quite indicative of the fact that shares of listed companies are also depending upon the movements in the crypto markets, which Hauser says is not desirable.

Fantasy Networks, previously a gaming firm announced last month about its plans to venture into the blockchain space. The shares of the company grew by 300% since but corrected 50% later just in past two weeks.

Hauser has served as the ISA chief for past six years and this is said to be his last proposal to the board to ban bitcoin companies. Hauser who steps down next month from his position said that “once it’s on its way, it will continue to be pursued.”

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