Israel’s top court prevented a bank from terminating the account of a cryptocurrency trading company, reports said.
The Israeli Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction prohibiting Bank Leumi from limiting the banking activity of the cryptocurrency broker Bits of Gold, local media reported.
The court order is related to the bank’s decision in December to block payments to cryptocurrency exchanges amid the surge in price and demand for Bitcoin and its peers.
The Finance Magnates website reported that Bank Leumi had claimed the decision was in line with an order by the Bank of Israel, while the said order was actually part of the rules for online gambling.
Bank Leumi had classified various cryptocurrency exchanges as gambling sites, the report added.
The Supreme Court observed that concerns expressed by Bank Leumi were merely speculative and that Bits of Gold acted transparently without violating any legal provisions over the past five years.
The temporary injunction has helped to avert a potential closure of the Bits of Gold account, but the bank can still probe specific activities of the cryptocurrency broker.
Youval Rouach, CEO of Bits of Gold, welcomed the court decision saying that it will enable his company to focus on the growth of cryptocurrency in Israel.
Bits of Gold was the first company to request the creation of rules for the activity of digital currencies and the first to comply with them, he added.
Israeli authorities are exploring ways to regulate cryptocurrencies. The latest in their efforts was the decision by the tax authorities this month to consider cryptocurrencies as property and any profits made from their sale would be subject to a capital gains tax.