Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to Set Up Platform for Digital Assets

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), Israel's sole public trading platform for equity and debt, is looking to set up a blockchain-based digital asset trading platform, according to a strategy document published Monday.

Establishing the platform is one of four goals outlined in the document, which lays out the institution's roadmap for the next five years. The TASE is looking to "promote the implementation of innovative technologies" and will explore the use of distributed ledgers (DLT) for immutable record-keeping, tokenization and smart contracts (which can be used to execute crypto trades) to improve existing markets infrastructure, and offer digital asset "services and products."

"We see in the next five years a critical window of opportunity for the integration of the Israeli Stock Exchange in the technological revolution that the world's capital markets are going through," CEO Itai Ben-Zeev said in the document.

Jurisdictions around the world are warming to the idea of incorporating elements of the technologies that underpin crypto markets into existing markets infrastructure. For instance, the European Union has approved a pilot to test the use of DLT for settling trades directly instead of through intermediaries.

Israeli regulators and lawmakers, meantime, have also indicated an interest in encouraging regulated crypto activity in the country. Earlier this year, the country's capital markets regulator handed out its first licenses for crypto service providers, and TASE is working with the Ministry of Finance to issue a blockchain-based digital state bond.

The inclusion of crypto in TASE's strategy is a "stamp of approval" for crypto and shows the technology that powers digital assets can improve the traditional financial services sector according to Ben Samocha, industry advocate and founder of Israeli crypto media outlet CryptoJungle.

"The inefficiencies of our current systems must be fixed with transparency, digitalization and faster settlements. Every traditional firm, public or private, will now have to better understand the impact of blockchain technology on their business models," Samocha said.

TASE shares rose 0.8% on the exchange.

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