The number of large banking organizations opting in the digital asset industry continues to expand, with the latest example coming from Bank Leumi. The organization has partnered with blockchain company Paxos to provide Bitcoin and Ethereum trading services.
Bank Leumi to Enter the Crypto World?
Reuters reported on March 24 that Bank Leumi – the largest Israeli bank founded over 120 years ago and headquartered in Tel Aviv-Yafo, has forayed into the cryptocurrency world.
More precisely, the institution wants to allow its customers to buy, hold, and sell the two largest digital assets by market capitalization – bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH). The minimum transaction costs need to be at least 50 shekels (around $15).
However, there’s no official launch date yet, as Bank Leumi has to wait for regulatory approval from the country’s central bank and the Tax Authority.
If greenlighted, the cryptocurrency services will go through the bank’s online application that allows clients to invest in other asset classes – Pepper.
Moreover, Bank Leumi wants to simplify the tax collection process. To do so, it will withhold taxes in accordance with guidelines presented by the Tax Authority when customers sell and convert digital assets back to shekels.
Bank Leumi’s approach to crypto is somewhat different from the one undertaken by Bank Hapoalim, which denied a 69-year old Israeli lady to deposit $320,000 worth of bitcoin she made by investing in the asset years ago.
US Banks Lead the Way
When it comes down to banking organizations adopting cryptocurrencies and launching such services, the United States has a distinctive lead. Former critics, such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Citigroup, have already gone down that road by various digital asset opportunities.
Morgan Stanley, on the other hand, allowed its customers to invest in bitcoin through several funds. Moreover, it received BTC exposure by purchasing shares from Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust.
BNY Mellon has been among the leaders in terms of adoption. Aside from launching several crypto-related services, it has participated in funding rounds of blockchain-based projects and partnered with Grayscale to help it convert the aforementioned Trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF.
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