Today Bank Leumi announced plans to launch cryptocurrency trading for clients. Its Pepper Invest division is partnering with U.S. based Paxos, which also provides crypto brokerage services to PayPal, and stablecoin services to Meta’s Novi and Binance.
The Israeli bank says it will enable clients to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies, starting with Bitcoin and Ethereum. The launch is subject to regulatory approval and Pepper will collect tax on behalf of the government.
“We are proud to be the first in the Israeli banking system and one of the few worldwide to offer our customers to trade in cryptocurrencies simply, safely and reliably, without the need to download a crypto wallet and with all tax complexities being resolved by the bank,” said Uri Nathan, CEO of Pepper.
A handful of banks worldwide have launched crypto services, such as DBS Bank in Singapore and several banks in Switzerland, including Julius Baer. However, most limit users to accredited investors. Bank Leumi is targeting the average retail investor, following BBVA Switzerland’s footsteps.
In addition to crypto services, banks are exploring stablecoin services as well. While most stick to tokenizing money on permissioned blockchain networks, a few support public blockchains. Yesterday Australia’s ANZ bank announced an AUS$ 30 million stablecoin transaction.