The new partnership between the Bitcoin exchange Bits of Gold and Global Money Transfer (GMT) is now allowing Israelis to buy Bitcoins at their local exchange bureau, for the maximum amount of 10,000 Israeli new shekel (around $2,800).
This collaboration means that Bits of Gold is properly following the current and future anti-money laundering and customer-related regulations in the country. Great news for the CEO of the exchange, who claims to be in love with Bitcoin ever since he heard about the “cross-border nature” cryptocurrency for the first time, back in 2010.
Jonathan Rouach says he “couldn’t sleep for three weeks” at the time. “I was reading everything I could and basically re-learning the meaning of money. But it takes some time for people to really trust the idea of a math-based currency. To me, it took about 1.5 years”, he explained.
The entrepreneur reached a point in life where he liked the idea of Bitcoin so much that he got brave. “I quit my nice job, seize the opportunity and open a company”, Rouach tells. And so he decided to provide a new opportunity to a new crowd: “as larger online service markets begin to accept Bitcoin, Israelis who wish to participate in that economy will jump in. We are also in talks with large local retailers to have Israeli products sold in Bitcoin, but that will take some time”.
Currently, there’s no regulation in Israel that refers to Bitcoin in any way. Or to digital currencies at all. “The Israeli government is essentially waiting for the US to take a clear stand. Both the Israeli equivalent of FinCEN and the Central Bank do not want to get involved in this new technology until they really have to”, says Rouach.
However, the digital theme has intrigued the Israeli government so much that the country’s governors have started engaging with the local Bitcoin community. And what about the future of the innovative Bits of Gold? As announced by Rouach, the company is looking to expand its business in South America and in the Middle East. The first part of the growth project will start in the first quarter of 2014.