Israeli court supports ISA against Fairtrade binary options P2P platform as lobbyists try to dissuade Knesset from shutting down industry

Israeli court supports ISA against Fairtrade binary options P2P platform as lobbyists try to dissuade Knesset from shutting down industry

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Israel’s financial markets regulator, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), has won a court case against the local binary options P2P trading platform Fairtrade, said the regulator.

A judge in Tel Aviv District Court (Financial Division) accepted ISA’s argument that Fairtrade was running a financial exchange without the proper license and will not stop ISA from shutting down the site. On its part the exchange operators argued that Fairtrade was not an exchange, but a P2P platform where clients were trading in binary options among themselves. The court, however, dismissed those arguments and as of March 6, the platform’s site has already been taken down.

Earlier this year, ISA warned that Fairtrade was operating illegally and have it seven days to halt operations, which it obviously did not.

Back in 2016 the Israeli legislation banned the offering of binary options to local residents, but this did not stop the burgeoning Israeli binary options industry from operating call centers serving its international operations.

Now, it seems, this will also come to an end. According to a report of The Times of Israel, last week advocates of the binary options industry tried in vain to dissuade Knesset (the parliament of Israel) members and government officials to abandon legislation to shut it down, arguing that the law would cause massive unemployment and a collapse of the real-estate market.

As we reported earlier, the ISA has already drafted a law that would ban locally-licensed entities from advertising and marketing binary option products outside of the country.

It has to be passed into a law and it appears there is consent among legislators. Now, it seems, the binary options industry has sent lobbyist to the latest meeting of the Knesset State Control Committee meeting and they argued the industry was “too big to fail”. “We don’t think Israel should throw out the baby with the bathwater”, one of the lobbyists Roni Rimon, reportedly told the committee. “These Israeli companies will simply move to Western and Eastern Europe and hire Europeans to work in their call centers instead of Israelis.”

Another one, named Yanir Melech, went as far as threatening that the Israeli Arabs currently working for the call centers would turn to terrorism if they lose their jobs. “They will likely go back to their villages and have no work and this could cause a nationalistic problem for the State of Israel,” he said.

The lobbyists threats, however, were dismissed as “ridiculous”.

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