Israeli Regulator to Fast Track 2,000 Fintech License Applications

Over 2,000 fintech and blockchain-businesses are currently seeking licenses from the federal regulator

AccessTimeIconAug 19, 2019 at 8:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:21 a.m. UTC
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Israel’s Fintech regulator is rearranging its licensing regime to encourage competition in the field.

The Israeli Capital Market Authority is looking to change how fintech licenses are distributed in Israel according to a Monday announcement reported by Israeli daily newspaper Calcalist. Some 2,000 fintech and blockchain-businesses are currently seeking licenses from the state regulator. Due to the glut, the Authority is setting up a licensing fast track. 

Per Calcalist, the fast-tracking program consists of creating small industry specific Authority teams reviewing applications.

“Business and technological innovation and the relationship with the industry are the basic principles that guide the Authority in its operations," said the head of the Authority Dr Moshe Barkat. “The Authority is engaged in the licensing and regulation of fintech companies on a regular basis, including digital insurance companies, P2P platforms and credit providers, digital wallets, Blockchain-based fintech ventures and other payment services providers.”

The Authority is also reviewing its current standards concerning fintech insurance. 

The Authority's move is part of a greater effort by the Israeli Ministry of Finance’s work promoting financial innovation. The regulator recently joined the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), says Calcalist. The World Bank and International Monetary Authority (IMF) are also members.

The finance ministry's fintech and blockchain efforts are contradicted by banking regulations in the country. Early August conversations between CoinDesk and Israeli blockchain and cryptocurrency heads revealed largely held anti-crypto sentiment across the banking sector. All cryptocurrency traders and most fintech firms dealing with cryptocurrencies have to seek banking solutions outside of Israel.

Israeli Shekels image via CoinDesk archives

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