A representative of the Bank of Israel disclosed information about the bank’s relationship with the digital Shekel idea. Unfortunately, Dr Sigal Ribon mentioned that the bank does not Israel as the first country to have a national cryptocurrency.
The announcement was devastating for thousands of crypto enthusiasts as everybody craves safe and government-backed cryptos to invest in early on.
Ribon mentioned that besides the fact that Israel does not want to pioneer national cryptos, the country does not have the technological prowess to support such a large project. She did commend local startups and entrepreneurs for taking on their own private ventures, but something so complicated on a state level would be very expensive and complicated for the state to tackle.
Even though most of the world is moving towards a cashless future, Israel is falling behind a bit. This was one of the reasons why the Central Bank denied the implementation of the national cryptocurrency.
Ribon delivered this message by saying that they support digital payments, but the popularity of cash in the country does not necessitate such a radical change.
What about the positives?
Ribon did mention that cryptocurrencies could support the country at enforcing a national monetary policy for universal basic income, but could also tamper with the interest rate as the bank will have to offer negative interest rates on Shekel to still make it a viable investment for many.
Although the digital Shekel may not be coming anytime soon, Ribon did not say that it will not come in the future. There is still hope that a national cryptocurrency could kickstart in Israel.