Leumi Bank, one of the largest lenders in Israel, has reportedly started accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) trading.
Pepper Invest, Leumi’s digital platform, has partnered with blockchain infrastructure provider Paxos to launch cryptocurrency trading, according to a Reuters report released Thursday. Pepper Invest customers can now buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies using the new service.
This move will only support BTC and ETH before adding support for other crypto assets. Additionally, the minimum transaction value for cryptocurrencies has been set at around $15.50 (NIS 50), according to the report.
No start date has been announced at this time, and the new move is awaiting regulatory approval. The report highlights that:
“Pepper will collect taxes in accordance with the Israel Tax Authority’s guidelines, so customers won’t have to deal with tax complexities.”
Banks in many countries were previously hesitant to accept BTC and other cryptocurrencies, but this situation has changed as demand from corporations and individual customers has grown. Regulators have also shifted their focus from outright bans to developing a regulatory framework.
Leumi Bank previously banned the exchange of cryptocurrencies in the Bits Of Gold account, citing concerns from regulators. However, the Supreme Court ruling at the time, as reported by Cointelegraph, stated that Leumi Bank could not block the cryptocurrency exchange account.
Cointelegraph has reached out to Paxos for more information and the story will be updated with a response.
Related: US investment bank Cowen launches dedicated cryptocurrency arm
This is an important development as it represents a paradigm shift in the global financial sector’s attitude towards digital assets. DBS of Singapore already provides businesses with crypto trading services and will expand these offerings to retail clients by the end of the year.
In addition, KB Bank in South Korea is poised to provide customized crypto investment solutions for clients, and several other institutions are looking into similar opportunities.