The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), the only equity trading platform in Israel, has announced that it will venture into virtual currencies with the introduction of a digital asset trading platform.
The TASE trading platform will be built using blockchain technology, according to the exchange’s strategy document. The plan to turn to blockchain is underway for the exchange as it experiments with the implementation of “innovative technologies” including smart contracts and tokenization.
Building a digital asset exchange is part of four core goals for TASE, which encompass better engagement with end customers, selling technology services to other exchanges, entering the world of “crypto” and improving the value proposition of TASE’s core business. The objectives should be achieved within five years.
“The next five years are a critical window of opportunity for TASE to play an active role in the technological revolution of global capital markets,” said Ittai Ben-Zeev, Managing Director of TASE. “The plan anticipates market needs and takes the development and management of innovative services and products to the next level.”
In venturing into digital services, TASE notes that it will explore a litany of courses of action, with converting existing infrastructure to blockchain at the top of its options. The move will also see TASE offer a basket of services tailored to users of digital assets and could include the “deployment of innovative technologies on specialized platforms”.
In the document, the exchange confirmed that it had achieved its previous five-year goals, which included its transformation from a nonprofit to a profitable business and becoming a major player in the Israeli capital market.
Israel strives for digital asset leadership status
Israeli administrators have turned to using blockchain to revamp the operations of certain key sectors, with the financial services sector having the most applications.
The country’s finance ministry and TASE have revealed that they will be collaborating on a pilot project to issue government bonds with the aim of institutionalizing digital assets. The pilot project will involve technical assistance from Fireblocks and VMware, companies with experience working in Israel’s digital services ecosystem.
The country’s central bank has also conducted several experiments for the launch of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) and issued several licenses to digital service operators that meet its minimum benchmarks.
Israel faces a severe test to assert its dominance against fierce competition from emerging digital asset hubs like the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the Middle East region.
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