Israeli Bank Leumi Launches Bitcoin Trading Services

March 26, 2022 1:24 pm

Leumi, a major bank is Israel, has announced that they will be launching Bitcoin and other crypto trading services through their trading platform called Pepper Invest.

This makes Leumi the first bank in the region to provide this type of service and serves as a new milestone that may further encourage other banks or financial institutions in the country to do the same.

The bank is making the process easy for customers by handling all the tax complications that usually come with digital asset services and will also handle the setup of crypto wallets to make it easy for clients to get started.

The region has been embracing the growth of the industry and may likely become a major hub for innovation along with other regions like the UAE.

BitcoinMagazine reports:

“We are proud to be the first in the Israeli banking system and one of the few worldwide to offer our customers to trade in cryptocurrencies simply, safely and reliably, without the need to download a crypto wallet and with all tax complexities being resolved by the bank”, says CEO of Pepper, Uri Nathan, per the release.

Pepper partnered with New York-based blockchain infrastructure company Paxos to achieve feasibility for the initiative, pending regulatory approval.

Paxos has a history of assisting companies like PayPal and Bank of America through the fog of blockchain-based regulatory and technical obstacles, among which is the traceability of transactions.

The Bank of Israel previous published a draft for regulations in the space stating banks seeking to operate in the realm of cryptocurrency would need to “clarify the source of the money used in the purchase of the virtual currency and the path through which the virtual currency passed from the time of its purchase until its conversion to fiat currency (classified as any legal tender) and deposit into an account with the banking corporation.”

The customers will have access to a wide range of services which include buying and selling digital assets with very minimal restrictions which will likely encourage higher user adoption in the future.

The goal here is to integrated digital assets into the traditional banking system in a way that both fiat and digital asset services can mutually benefit with each other.

The minimum amount of capital to access the digital asset services are extremely low which makes it extremely accessible given that Leumi is one of the two largest banks in Israel.

EconomicTimes reports:

It said the new service will allow Pepper Invest customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies — limited to Bitcoin and Ethereum, for now — in transactions worth at least 50 shekels ($15.49).

The statement gave no launch date, saying regulatory approval is pending. Leumi is one of Israel’s two largest banks.

“Pepper will collect tax according to the guidelines of the Israeli Tax Authority so that customers will not need to manage tax complexities,” it said, adding that the service will also eliminate the risks of downloading a digital wallet.

This announcement comes during a time when financial institutions within the region are starting to enter more crypto partnerships such Leumi’s previous announcement to use RippleNet (XRP) for cross-border transactions.

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