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How can I trade Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in Israel?
Introduction to Bitcoin and crypto trading in Israel
Israel is one of Coincub’s middle-ranking crypto countries but has recently implemented new rules that will enable Israeli banks to process gains from digital currency trading without becoming embroiled in the country’s strict but entirely necessary anti-money laundering legislation. This is a very positive step forward and adds immeasurably to the state of the crypto-economy.
This move effectively adds credence and confidence to the fintech sectors including crypto-related companies. The crypto and financial sector will be subject to requirements designed to prevent them from being conduits for money laundering or possibly terrorism and will clear the ground for the issuing of licenses to those companies dealing in bitcoin and other digital assets. Also included are clear rules for the electronic transfer of money and digital currency within Israel and outside it. Whilst the licensing process has been described as too slow in some quarters, the regulating body, the Commissioner of Capital Markets, Insurance, and Savings, is processing the license applications of the many crypto services agencies on an ongoing basis.
Despite the lackluster crypto appetite, like so many countries now, Israel is a firm blockchain advocate and builds on the country’s high-tech traditions. There appears to be huge potential for the concept outside of the financial sector – in cybersecurity, for example. In terms of tax, bitcoin sellers will have to pay a capital gains tax of 25% each time a bitcoin is sold and miners are liable for corporate income tax as well as a 17% VAT charge.
Very much similar to new recommendations in the UK, Israel’s regulation of digital assets has progressed, advancing the country’s foray into the world of cryptocurrencies with new recommendations calling for the creation of new regulatory infrastructure, legislating licensing powers and supervision over the issuance of backed digital assets, including stablecoins, and the provision of financial services through them. Maintaining the financial stability of the system is the overriding concern. Taxation of cryptocurrencies comprises a major part of the proposal – as tax collection has been somewhat inefficient, per Coindesk.
Israeli is keen to get to grips with the digital asset industry and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) could establish a blockchain-based digital asset trading platform.
Overall, Israel has failed to ‘take off’ in the crypto rankings and has a not particularly high score for many of Coincub’s ranking criteria. The number of people holding crypto is average, and so too are the trading volumes and numbers of ATMs. Even the Google search score for crypto information is average to low, so it would seem as if the country is not being pushed by demand, or perhaps awaiting more positive encouragement which should result from widespread licensing.
Israel is home to an active crypto economy with a very large bitcoin meet-up group. A taxation policy that puts the ownness on individuals to report their crypto holding has not stemmed the interest in buying, selling, or spending crypto. Tel Aviv has a high number of retailers and ATMs that accept and exchange bitcoin.
Crypto trading law in Israel
Israel has applied particularly stringent taxation requirements on cryptocurrency and recently its financial authorities have been actively bringing clearer and more sophisticated regulations to bear on crypto economy investments. A Bill requiring all crypto holding over 61k to be reported to the tax authority and more comprehensive money laundering requirements are also to be applied to virtual currency service providers. The country’s first bitcoin-linked bonds trade on Israel’s exchange trading platform for private companies.
Paying taxes on my crypto trading in Israel
The taxation policy around crypto is built around the definition of crypto as an asset. Taxation reporting guidelines appear to be unstreamlined (that means ‘confusing’ to you and me) with the likelihood of capital gains tax (25%), income tax (up to 50%), value added tax (17%) all applying to your gains, depending upon circumstances. Of late the Israeli Tax Authority has made concerted efforts to contact individuals to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings and be taxed accordingly. Further disclosure requirements have also been asked of locally based and overseas exchanges operating in the country.
Tax relief, changing residency, and gifting crypto coins Israel
Investors in cryptocurrency will be subject to a 25% capital gains tax if their activity does not become an ongoing commercial enterprise. Moving into the heady realms of a commercial enterprise will incur a two-stage corporate tax or a marginal tax.
Crypto mining regulations in Israel
Thinking of mining crypto? It’s a highly technical and expensive activity at the best of times, involving powerful computers – and lots of energy – but it is legal in Israel. Mining or any business that looks to generate bitcoins or other cryptocurrency tokens will be taxed, just as any other factory in Israel, depending on the volume of its activity.
Planning your retirement and investing in cryptocurrency in Israel
Israel’s Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority requires insurance companies and investment houses to declare and justify any bitcoin-linked investments. Bitcoin, a speculative asset, is seen to have no intrinsic value, and caution is constantly advised by banks and authorities.
Israel’s Financial outlook on Bitcoin and the crypto economy
The high taxation and apparent consolidation over the definition and nature of cryptocurrency are compounded by a largely negative stance by the banking sector which refuses to deal with cryptocurrencies or accept fiat funds from crypto exchanges. Some banks have been known to refuse to broker payments for services rendered between blockchain companies and contractors. Perhaps the growth of the crypto economy is seen as untenable competition – and the thin end of the wedge. Financial authorities have been tightening crypto regulations around crypto, requiring holdings of more than $61,000 to be reported to the tax authority, however, crypto trading is uninhibited even without widescale participation by the banking sector.
Israel and DefI
Israel is big on blockchain and has a booming tech sector that is highly motivated by the opportunities such technology holds. Blockchain technology is now being investigated across a variety of sectors and industries, especially in relation to applications for SMEs and entrepreneurs. There is much positive debate on how this new technology will impact the future of companies and the prosperity that blockchain solutions offer. Despite its rather complex tax policy on crypto holdings, the Israeli government is very keen on the development of the blockchain industry and provides willing cooperation through bodies such as The Bank of Israel, The Ministry of Finance, and the Small and Medium Business Agency.
Crypto regulation in Israel
Anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations are wide ranging and applied to any cryptocurrency related activity.
AML procedures can, however, take an inordinate amount of time, with relevant companies waiting for official approval of their AML procedures.
The country’s priority is fighting terrorism and money laundering, but there is little in the way of recourse for being the victim of fraud or loss so it is strongly advisable to make your own checks regarding the exchanges and wallets you want to deal with. Some have insurance against loss and some have good security records, so it is more than sensible to do a little homework.
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