Bank Leumi announced on Thursday that it is going to enable cryptocurrency trading, thus becoming the first Israeli bank to allow customers to buy and sell digital assets. Leumi is one of the two largest lenders in the country.

The lender’s digital platform, Pepper Invest has partnered with  blockchain  infrastructure provider, Paxos for facilitating the launch of crypto trading. Pepper Invest customers can buy, sell and hold  cryptocurrencies  under the new service.

Initially, the platform will only allow transactions with Bitcoin and Ethereum. Also, the minimum transaction value with cryptocurrencies has been set at 50 shekels (around $15.50). In addition, it will eliminate the risks of downloading a digital currency wallet.

“Pepper will collect tax according to the guidelines of the Israeli Tax Authority so that customers will not need to manage tax complexities,” the official statement said.

However, the statement did not provide any anticipated launch date for the new services, saying that the approval is still pending with the Israeli regulator.

The Pivot of the Banks

Banks around the world were previously hostile towards cryptocurrencies, but that has changed with the increasing demand from institutions and retail clients. Also, the regulators are now focused on bringing regulations to the sector, rather than imposing a ban.

Bank Leumi is not the first lender globally to dive into cryptocurrencies. Singapore’s DBS is already offering crypto trading services for institutions and is now set to bring these services to retail customers by the end of 2022.

Furthermore, South Korea’s KB Bank is gearing up to bring crypto investment products to retail clients, while several other banks are considering similar prospects.

Bank Leumi announced on Thursday that it is going to enable cryptocurrency trading, thus becoming the first Israeli bank to allow customers to buy and sell digital assets. Leumi is one of the two largest lenders in the country.

The lender’s digital platform, Pepper Invest has partnered with  blockchain  infrastructure provider, Paxos for facilitating the launch of crypto trading. Pepper Invest customers can buy, sell and hold  cryptocurrencies  under the new service.

Initially, the platform will only allow transactions with Bitcoin and Ethereum. Also, the minimum transaction value with cryptocurrencies has been set at 50 shekels (around $15.50). In addition, it will eliminate the risks of downloading a digital currency wallet.

“Pepper will collect tax according to the guidelines of the Israeli Tax Authority so that customers will not need to manage tax complexities,” the official statement said.

However, the statement did not provide any anticipated launch date for the new services, saying that the approval is still pending with the Israeli regulator.

The Pivot of the Banks

Banks around the world were previously hostile towards cryptocurrencies, but that has changed with the increasing demand from institutions and retail clients. Also, the regulators are now focused on bringing regulations to the sector, rather than imposing a ban.

Bank Leumi is not the first lender globally to dive into cryptocurrencies. Singapore’s DBS is already offering crypto trading services for institutions and is now set to bring these services to retail customers by the end of 2022.

Furthermore, South Korea’s KB Bank is gearing up to bring crypto investment products to retail clients, while several other banks are considering similar prospects.