Head of Altshuler Shaham Horizon: “Recognition of cryptocurrencies as securities will kill the industry in Israel”


The CEO of the Israeli custodial service Altshuler Shaham Horizon believes that if crypto assets are recognized as securities by local regulators, this will hinder the development of the industry in the country.

Altshuler Shaham Horizon is one of the few services for storing and trading crypto assets that has permission to work with banks. Its CEO Ilan Sterk noted that the current regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in Israel is quite confusing.. At the beginning of the year, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) proposed changes to the legislation, according to which the regulator would have expanded powers to oversee the cryptocurrency industry.. Public discussions on the ISA proposal will continue until February 12.

Sterk said that if digital assets are classified as securities, the situation for the industry will change for the worse.. ISA seeks tighter control of cryptocurrencies, with a focus on penalizing non-compliance with crypto issuers and virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Sterk noted that the regulator is trying to change the very definition of securities to include digital assets in order to equate them with traditional finance.

The head of the custodial service believes that cryptocurrency service providers should be able to operate in Israel if they have a license from foreign regulators. According to Sterk, this would greatly simplify the operation of foreign cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, since obtaining a license in Israel can take several years.

However, last year the Israeli Ministry of Finance proposed tightening the licensing requirements for VASPs in order to protect the interests of cryptocurrency investors.