Israel could ban companies whose business involves cryptocurrencies from trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) the country’s markets regulator on Thursday. The amendment has been approved by the ISA’s board and its next step is going for public comment.
The Israel Securities Authority has put forward an amendment to exchange rules that would ban it from listing shares issued by companies that primarily invest, own or mine cryptocurrencies. If the companies already trade on the exchange they would then be delisted. The ban does not include companies that have an equity of over 100 million shekels ($29 million) and audited financial statements for three years.
The idea for the amendment came forth following a spike in shares of Blockchain Mining, a company that said announced it would move away from mining gold and iron and concentrate on mining currencies.
“This phenomenon, if it continues, may in the future have serious consequences on the … fairness of trading in the bourse in general and on investor confidence in the bourse,” said the ISA. Share prices of companies with plans to operate in the cryptocurrency sector are taken away from their real value, said the ISA, and “the market treats their shares irrationally and unexpectedly.”
During December, ISA chairman Shmuel Hauser stated that he intended suggest this type of a proposal to the board, stating that bitcoin prices were performing like a “bubble”. The value of one bitcoin, the most popular and largest cryptocurrency, soared in mid-December to nearly $20,000, and then fell under $12,000 at the end of the month.
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Bitcoin is a ledger available all over the world. The cryptocurrency has a finite number of digital “coins”, which supporters state that it can be used as a currency without the backing of a country’s central bank. Cryptocurrency is “mined” by computers, which are awarded new coins for solving complex mathematical formulas.