Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Israel may issue cryptocurrency to speed up payments

Virtual money could solve institutional problems.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 26, 2017
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

Some countries are treating cryptocurrencies as the bane of their existence, but that might not be true of Israel -- it might see the technology as a cure. Reuters sources have claimed that the Bank of Israel is considering issuing virtual currency in order to both build a "faster payments system" and reduce the amount of conventional cash circulating in the economy. Officials are reportedly ready to include the issue in the country's 2019 budget so long as the bank approves.

If Israel went forward, the currency would unsurprisingly be kept on a tight leash. It'd be centralized, "safe" and honor financial rules. Don't expect the country to simply adopt bitcoin and call it a day.

The bank has declined to comment. However, it's easy to see why Israel might at least be tempted by cryptocurrency. As the technology relies on blockchain, where there's a distributed ledger that can quickly verify transactions, you could see payments fully authorized and completed within minutes no matter when they're processed. You wouldn't have to worry about paying a bill on the weekend and having to wait days before it clears.

This isn't a guaranteed solution. Israel would have to convince residents and businesses to use this currency. There's also the not-so-small problem of whether or not the currency would be useful with international transactions. Even so, it's notable that Israel is even mulling the option. It's looking at cryptocurrency as a practical solution to an economic problem, rather than an experiment or something to be shunned.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

View
Amazon has eliminated single-use plastic at its Indian fulfilment centers

Amazon has eliminated single-use plastic at its Indian fulfilment centers

View
Ford's 2021 Bronco SUVs offer 360-degree cameras for a 'spotter view'

Ford's 2021 Bronco SUVs offer 360-degree cameras for a 'spotter view'

View
You can now apply for your $25 iPhone 'batterygate' compensation

You can now apply for your $25 iPhone 'batterygate' compensation

View
Lego is teasing a buildable NES console set

Lego is teasing a buildable NES console set

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr