Disclaimer – I assume the information in this article is correct. There has been talk about it for some time … let me TL;DR and translate it for you:
The head of the Prime Minister’s Office, Harel Locker (not the PM!), is expected to publish in the coming weeks reforms to limit the use of cash, which will ban cash transactions in payment of more than NIS 5,000 (~1500 USD)…
Reform was born after officials from Visa Europe arrived in Israel and presented to a member of the governmentm Knesset members and officials from the tax authority a study research that estimate the volume of the black economy in Israel.
The obvious thing that SHOUTS OUT here is that there is a strong business interest and complete lack of transparency here, not to mention … how is it even possible that such a ruling can be made without an orderly law-making process.
What’s less obvious, and for me is painfully clear, is just how wrong this is – the only “competition” (other than Bitcoin) to banks and credit companies will now be banned. Over the past year, we witnessed firsthand the degree of power banks have. For almost an entire year, it was very hard or impossible for individuals to buy bitcoins in Israel … because of the sheer whim of bankers.
When you went to your local bank, and asked them to take your money, and send it to a Bitcoin exchange … the answer was almost always “No”. Not because any rules or laws were broken, but because the bank management and compliance officers decided it was “too risky for them” to allow their customers to do these transactions. The same can happen with other legitimate businesses, not just Bitcoin. In fact in the U.S it has happened with the sale of Cannabis, which is legal in some states. WikiLeaks is another such example. True, these examples are “controversial”, but what’s considered controversy today is clear cut tomorrow … banks should not be given the sole power to control the flow of funds, because their decisions and interests aren’t necessarily aligned with the good of the public.
This is too much power that banks already … forbidding cash transactions over a certain sum is giving them absolute power.
I honestly hope that the article I quoted is mistaken, and that the resolution hasn’t been made yet. Luckily, Bitcoin users aren’t expected to be affected in any way … it’s highly unlikely any regulation they draw here will include Bitcoin in its prohibition, as it is my estimate that this will take the Israeli government some more time to properly understand Bitcoin.