Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled in favor of crypto exchange Bits of Gold in its legal battle with Bank Leumi, the country’s second-largest bank. The ruling means Bank Leumi has to open banking services to the exchange, although the bank has objected to the decision in principle, per a report on Finance Magnates.
The news outlet quotes Bits of Gold CEO Yuval Roash who commented on the ruling and what it meant for the crypto community in Israel.
“We worked hard to set up a company which met regulatory requirements, in a new industry, and those efforts paid off. I am proud to be a part of this flourishing industry and push it towards the right regulation,” he said.
Bits of Gold’s issues with Leumi dates back to 2017, when the exchange was prevented from accessing its bank accounts due to its business model. Without warning, Leumi closed bank accounts belonging to Bits of Gold and other exchanges.
The exchange went to the judiciary to argue its case, but it took a beating. The Supreme Court ruled that the bank could deny its service to the crypto exchange if it had regulatory concerns. Bank Leumi argued that cryptocurrency transactions were hard to track, making it difficult for the financial institution to comply with the country’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws.
A year after the ruling, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction barring Bank Leumi from preventing Bits of Gold access to its accounts. While the ban was lifted, the court stated that the bank could refuse to process transactions or instructions from the exchange on a per transaction basis, where it believes such transactions could be illicit.”This court order is not intended to harm the bank’s rights to analyze with specificity every transaction that takes place with the bank account or to take any actions that are related to minimizing risks, which become transparent through the activities of the company,” Supreme Court Judge Anat Baron commented at the time.
Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.