Former Israeli PM Ehud Barak Praises Blockchain, Calls Bitcoin A Ponzi Scheme

Former Israeli PM Ehud Barak Praises Blockchain, Calls Bitcoin A Ponzi Scheme
Kevin O'Brien

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who served from 1999 to 2001, recently sounded off against cryptocurrencies at the Globes Most Promising Startups event in Tel Aviv.

Barak characterized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as a “Ponzi scheme” and said he would not invest into anything related to crypto. The former Prime Minister was more open when it came to the topic of blockchain. He pointed out how the technology is “an interesting and important methodology” and noted people with a deep understanding of blockchain could find a variety of uses for it.

Israel’s Crypto Revolution

The small nation has rapidly become a hub in the cryptocurrency world as some in the industry speculate it could be an attractive place to set up shop in.

Israel’s first dedicated crypto investment firm for institutional and accredited investors launched two funds in November. Silver Castle Ltd. hopes to have “$50 million under management by the end of the year,” according to Bloomberg.

In March, the Israeli crypto subsidiary of Kik Interactive Inc., Kin, leased office space in the seaside city of Tel Aviv. Kik raised $98 million through an ICO in September 2017.

Netanyahu’s Love For Cryptocurrency

Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not been shy about expressing his perspective on cryptocurrency. Late last year, he expressed views that banks could disappear due to the influence of bitcoin.

At the start of 2018, members of the Israeli Knesset asked regulators to submit recommendations for applicable cryptocurrency regulations within 45 days. MK Moshe Gafni also asked Israeli crypto representatives to submit details on the types of regulations they would like to see.

Photo: Haaertz