MARKETS

Israel regulator seeks to ban bitcoin firms from stock exchange

Shares of Blockchain, which on Sunday changed its name from Natural Resources, have soared some 5,000 percent in the past few months. (Reuters)

Israel’s markets regulator will propose regulation to ban companies based on bitcoin and other digital currencies from trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, he said on Monday.

Shmuel Hauser, the chairman of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), told the Calcalist business conference he will bring the proposal to the ISA board next week. If approved, it would be subject to a public hearing and then the stock exchange bylaws would need to be amended.

“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,” Hauser said, adding the ISA must find the appropriate regulation for such companies.

Hauser did not identify any companies that would be affected by his ban, but at least two firms listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) now describe digital currencies or the technology behind them as essential to their business: Blockchain Mining and Fantasy Network.

Shares of Blockchain, which on Sunday changed its name from Natural Resources, have soared some 5,000 percent in the past few months since it announced it would shift its focus from mining for gold and iron to mining cryptocurrencies.

It was down 4.2 percent in afternoon trading on Monday. Blockchain was not immediately available for comment.

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Last Update: Monday, 25 December 2017 KSA 20:56 - GMT 17:56
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