Professor Eugene Kandel, an economic advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and head of Israel’s National Economic Council, stated yesterday that Israel needs to take a chance on bitcoins. Kandel’s talk was part of his participation at a conference yesterday in Jerusalem presented by Israel’s Ministry of Treasury on the topic of labor contracts and wages.
The reference to bitcoins was brought as Kandel expressed that the economic reality in Israel is that disruptive technologies are changing the modern workforce. As a result, he estimated that 900,000 employees in the country are at “high risk” of seeing their jobs replaced by technology. While he believed that only a small percentage of the 900,000 would find themselves fired, the remainder would experience no growth in their positions.
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As a solution, Kandel proposed that Israel should focus in becoming leaders in niche technological sectors. He explained that as a small nation, focusing and cornering individual niches provided a large opportunity for the overall economy. To do this, Kandel questioned the audience whether the government is ready to initiate regulations to support innovations in technology which will provide long term economic benefits.
Kandel brought bitcoins as an example and expressed that the government needs to take a chance with the digital currency. He added that the result is that if bitcoins are taken up by the rest of the world, Israel would be well positioned to benefit economically.
Bitcoins and Stem Cell Research
The idea that Israel should become a leader in bitcoins has been proposed in front of government officials in the past. During the Israel Bitcoin Conference in February which included attendees from the Bank of Israel, panelists brought precedence from stem cell research. In this case, it was cited that Israel was able to become a leader in stem cell research and filled a gap after the US had initiated walls to limit its research. Similarly, by becoming proactive in promoting bitcoins and increasing its adoption, Israel could become a hub for exporting technological innovation involved with digital currencies and payments.