Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said Israeli banks should not refuse to provide services to companies involved in cryptocurrencies.
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Mandelblit told the Tel Aviv District Court in Israel that banks should not stop the way they provide financial services to all cryptocurrency companies but should closely examine the risk of money laundering or other indicators of illegal financial behavior in each case.
Mandelblit's position allegedly opposed to Israeli central bank's position
The Israeli news agency reported on February 19 that Mandelblit's position runs counter to the views of the country's central bank, the Bank of Israel.
During 2019, many Israeli banks froze customer accounts that received transfers from cryptocurrencies. As Cointelegraph reported, the move meant that some Israeli Bitcoin (BTC) investors were unable to pay taxes because banks did not accept their deposits.
In August 2019, an investor sued Israeli bank Hapoalim for involving nearly $ 23 million, accusing the bank of refusing to accept profit deposits obtained through Bitcoin.
Similar incidents have occurred elsewhere in the world. The Indian Internet and Mobile Association is currently fighting the country's central bank's ban on the provision of financial services to cryptocurrency companies.
Some Israeli state agencies allegedly support Mandelblit
Mandelblit's position was raised in a case involving the Israeli Mercantile Discount Bank's refusal to authorize transfers from the local cryptocurrency exchange BIT2C. According to Globes, the Attorney General's position is based on the recommendations of an interministerial group led by Erez Kaminitz, Deputy Attorney General of the Ministry of Civil Law.
Members of the group are representatives of various national agencies and departments, including the Ministry of Justice, the Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority, and the Israel Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority.
Despite the Israeli bank's position, the Israeli government has been paying close attention to blockchain technology. Last month, the Israel Securities Regulatory Authority issued a request for information to identify regulations that are preventing the country's development of blockchain-based ventures.