Israeli Court Rules Against Peer-to-Peer Binary Options Exchange

Fairtrade still has the option of applying for a securities exchange licence in the future.

More bad news for any binary options traders in Israel holding onto hope that a way will be found to keep the instruments legally available in the country. An Israeli court has ruled in favor of the Israeli Securities Authority (ISA) which asked to stop the activity of Peer-to-Peer platform Fairtrade, the regulator has announced.

When it was launched in December 2016, the co-founders and co-CEOs of Fairtrade, Avi Gal and Yaniv Genzer, claimed that their activities were in accordance with Israeli law: “We offer a system of trade between people and don’t need a license in Israel as it’s P2P. The ISA is familiar with our activity and we operate according to a legal framework. The website operates only in Israel and is meant for Israelis only. The vision is to implement the P2P model at the expanse of the traditional broker model, on all finance products.”

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Avi Gal and Yaniv Ganzer

The main argument being that binary options are not securities, and therefore the firm is not operating an unauthorized exchange as the ISA charges. The court has now rejected this and accepted the regulator’s position completely.

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In its own announcement it was possible to see how the ISA basically took two contradictory positions on binary options in order to get this passed the court. The ISA says that binary options are dangerous and it has decided to ban them because they are not securities but actually betting in their nature. It then goes on to say that Fairtrade’s operation is illegal because it is offering a securities exchange with a proper license.

However, it is obvious that the ISA is not troubled by such minor details as it makes sure that anyone reading its announcements know that this is another step in its vigilant efforts to banish binary options from Israel, including a ban on international call centers.

The company commented to Finance Magnates today: “We respect the decision of the court. All we tried to do is to improve the way this market (OTC) is conducted. We still have the option to file a request for a securities exchange license and we are considering our future actions. For now the company has stopped its operations per the court ruling.”

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