Should people be free to invest their bitcoin as they see fit, accepting the risks upon themselves as responsible adults, or should the nanny state protect them like kids from all potential losses while also stifling innovation? This is what is at stake right now in Israel as regulators are debating how to approach the challenges of cryptocurrency and the ICO phenomena.
Luckily for both Israeli entrepreneurs and ICO investors alike, the reports from the country that a complete ban is coming are premature and greatly exaggerated. In contrast to the unnamed sources cited as reference for the ban, news.bitcoin.com talked with a person known to be very close to the matter and willing to come out publicly to support ICOs.
Moshe Hogeg with the Israeli Finance Minister
Israeli serial entrepreneur (and vocal bitcoin advocate) Moshe Hogeg told us today that: “The state of Israel and its leaders understand that we can’t rest on our laurels and that if we wont promote the blockchain industry in Israel it will be a grave strategic mistake that will hurt our standing as the Startup Nation. The committees are studying the issue and I am certain that in the end we will have friendly regulations, similar to the situation in Switzerland.”
Hogeg met with the Israeli finance minister last month to promote the issues of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and is an invited guest at the committees.
Israeli entrepreneurs, already a notable group on the ICO scene, are in fact gearing up to launch an incredible number of protects next year.
Speaking at Jeff Pulver’s “Startup Nation to Crypto Nation” event in Tel Aviv this month, Bancor co-founder Guy Benartzi said he expects a thousand ICOs to come out of Israel in 2018. This is out of an expected 10,000 projects globally, according to Benartzi whose ICO raised $153 million in a just few hours this June.
The case of Bancor actually sets an example of how Israeli projects can succeed in their crowdfunding efforts regardless of the legal situation in the country. While the R&D is based in Tel Aviv, the company is officially domiciled in Switzerland. This might help the regulators understand they can’t stop the ICO phenomena and might as well cultivate it to positive directions.