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Israel could issue cryptocurrency; markets regulator eyes bitcoin listing ban

The Bank of Israel is considering issuing its own digital currency in a bid to create a faster payments system and reduce cash in the economy, Reuters reported Dec. 24, citing a central bank source.

No decision has yet been made, the source said, adding that the government could incorporate the issue into its 2019 budget were the central bank to give its approval.

Meanwhile, the Israel Securities Authority will propose to bar the listing of companies based on bitcoin and other digital currencies on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Reuters reported Dec. 25, citing the markets regulator's chairman, Shmuel Hauser.

Hauser intends to propose the ban to the authority's board in the week of Jan. 1, following which it would require a public hearing and the amendments of stock exchange bylaws.

"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.