Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), Israel’s sole trading platform for equities, has announced that it will be venturing into virtual currencies with the introduction of a platform for the trading of digital assets.
The TASE trading platform will be built using blockchain technology, according to the stock exchange’s strategic document. The plan to turn toward blockchain has been in the works for the stock exchange as it has been experimenting with implementing “innovative technologies,” including smart contracts and tokenization.
Creating a digital asset trading platform forms part of four critical goals for TASE, which encompasses improved engagement with end customers, selling tech services to other exchanges, entering the ‘crypto’ worlds, and enhancing the value proposition of TASE’s core activity. The goals are expected to be completed within a five-year period.
“The next five years are a critical window of opportunity for TASE to play an active role in the technological revolution of the global capital markets,” said Ittai Ben-Zeev, Chief Executive Officer of TASE. “The plan anticipates the needs of the market 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 action plans, with the conversion of existing infrastructure to blockchain at the top of its options. The move will also see TASE offer a basket of services tailored to digital asset users and may include the “deployment of innovative technologies into specialized platforms.”
In the document, the stock exchange confirmed that it had achieved its previous five-year goals, which included its conversion from a non-profit to a profitable firm and becoming a major player in Israel’s capital market.
Israel is striving for digital asset leader status
Israeli administrators have been moving toward using blockchain to revamp certain key sectors’ operations, with the financial services industry having the most applications.
The country’s Ministry of Finance and TASE disclosed that they will be collaborating on a pilot for the issuance of state bonds in an attempt to institutionalize digital assets. The pilot will involve technical assistance from Fireblocks and VMware, firms with previous 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 has issued several licenses to digital service operators that meet its minimum benchmarks.
Israel faces a stern test to assert its dominance amid stiff competition from emerging digital asset hubs like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain in the Middle East region.
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