Israel’s Supreme Court Finally Rules in Favor of Bits of Gold Exchange
The long-standing court battle between Bits of Gold, one of Israel’s pioneer bitcoin trading venues and Bank Leumi, the nation’s second-largest lender, has finally come to an end as the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the cryptocurrency exchange.
The conclusion mandates the bank to unfreeze the firm’s accounts with immediate effect, reports local news platform Calcalist on June 4, 2019.
Per sources close to the matter, the Supreme Court of Israel has passed its final verdict on the lawsuit filed by Bits of Gold exchange against the country’s leading financial institution, Bank Leumi.
In another significant victory for Israel’s cryptocurrency ecosystem, the apex court has ruled that the bank unfreeze the accounts of Bits of Gold and resume servicing the exchange as soon as possible.
The dispute began in 2015, when the 117-year-old financial institution stopped facilitating some of Bit of Gold’s transactions, citing money laundering risks and regulatory concerns.
Fast forward to June 2017, and a Tel Aviv district court ruled in favor of Bank Leumi, dismissing the case of Bits of Gold exchange.
The exchange then took the case to the supreme court. In 2018, the court set-aside the previous ruling of the district court, granting Bits of Gold a temporary injunction against its account closure pending further investigation.
The presiding judge declared at the time that the exchange did not go against the statutes of the Israeli financial laws as Bit of Gold had put in place stringent anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) measures.
Despite the favorable verdict at the time, the court still gave the bank the authority to entirely shut down down Bit of Gold’s account upon discovery of any suspicious transaction or technical detail that went against the law.
While Israel’s stance towards bitcoin and other digital assets has not been exactly liberal, the nation’s financial watchdog, the Israeli Securities Authority (ISA), has however started showing signs of joining the cryptocurrency movement.
As reported by BTCManager in March 2019, ISA made recommendations for the establishment of a national platform for digital assets trading and issuance of tokenized assets.