Israeli Largest Bank Launches Crypto Services

Bank Leumi, Israel’s largest bank, will become the first bank in the country to allow cryptocurrency trading through its digital platform Pepper Invest, Reuters reports.

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The bank’s fintech arm will conduct transactions in a partnership with US blockchain firm Paxos. Initially, Pepper Invest will allow clients to buy, hold and sell bitcoin (EXANTE: Bitcoin) and ether worth at least ~$15.5. No launch date was revealed as the arm is pending regulatory approval. A spokesperson for Pepper Invest also said the firm will collect tax according to the guidelines of the Israeli Tax Authority on its own so that customers “will not need to manage tax complexities.”

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The move comes after the Bank of Israel speeded up the research of a digital shekel as the central bank found no significant erosion for the banking system. Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron believes that the digital currency will help with creating a more efficient payments system.

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