The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) has made a new statement for cryptocurrencies. The institution appears to consider certain cryptocurrencies as securities. To this end, they are in the process of creating a new regulatory framework. Here are the details…
New statement for cryptocurrencies from Israel’s securities regulator
The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) is moving forward to create a new legal structure for cryptoassets that largely places them under the authority’s umbrella and could provide greater clarity to the industry. According to the proposal, changes to country laws will “squeeze” “crypto assets” into existing securities regulations, potentially treating most cryptos as financial investments supervised by the ISA. The amendments will define assets as crypto value representations used for financial investment that can be transferred using a distributed ledger. Cryptoassets will be added under the current category of “financial instruments” in Israeli securities law.
The institution said that this effort means protecting investors while also allowing the unique advantages of cryptocurrency. While current securities laws may regulate some crypto-asset activities, according to the ISA, regulations as currently written can be difficult to enforce. The competent authority’s proposal is open for public comment by 12 February, and once approved it proposes a six-month period for it to take full effect. The ISA has also tried to keep in mind that regulations must be flexible to accommodate changes in the technology behind cryptoassets.
“There is no real difference between securities and crypto”
ISA chief Anat Guetta has made it clear that he does not see much of a distinction between cryptocurrencies and securities, taking cues from Gary Gensler, Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. In an interview last year, Guetta used the following statements:
We must wake up and understand that there is no real difference between crypto and securities, and we must unify the definitions to protect consumers and investors and legitimize this industry.
In this week’s proposal, the agency noted that the industry has suffered greatly from major failures, including the collapse of Celsius, which has key operations in Israel. Celsius Network is a bankrupt crypto lending company, as we have reported as Kriptokoin.com. As of May 2022, the company had loaned customers $8 billion and had approximately $12 billion in assets under management. But then it collapsed. This latest action by the country’s securities watchdog comes just after the Finance Ministry’s move in November to issue recommendations for the regulation of cryptoassets in an effort to further Israel’s entry into the sector.