The Israeli Blockchain Association (IBA) has announced in a press release that there are now 200 DLT-related startups in the country, but that there is still more to be done.
Israel has been slow to embrace cryptocurrency as part of an expanding fintech industry in the country, particularly given the country’s geographical position on the fringes of Europe. Recently, however, the rate of startup investment and blockchain research has begun to gain some pace, as the country looks to the US and Europe and their enthusiastic embracing of new technologies and AI.
The newly-released IBA Israeli Blockchain Startup Map figures highlight the pace at which Israel has taken to developing the technology to promote business. The Association describes itself as “an organization whose primary objective is to educate, develop and empower Israel’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) community, encourage best practices and connect it with global leaders in the blockchain space”.
The report goes on to claim that 57 startups are specifically using blockchain and 37 are focused on the protocols and core infrastructure sectors, with a handful of other startups operating in the security sector of the economy.
However, 20 blockchain projects were unsuccessful and ceased operating since the beginning of 2018. The failures have been put down to lack of research and technical knowledge as to how DLT operates, before launching projects. Roma Gold, the Founding Partner of the IBA, commented that ICOs are becoming less popular, but institutional investment in blockchain is very much on the rise:
“The Israeli blockchain ecosystem is presently experiencing both a boost and a transformation… Today, fewer startup founders are coming out of morally questionable markets, such as binary options, and gambling. Instead, more institutional players are starting to enter the market. In essence, the market is going through self-purification.”
Israel is not afraid to seek help in this new field and crypto-friendly Switzerland is certainly a good friend to have given its experience in the sector. Recently, Switzerland’s Minister of Finance Ueli Maurer and State Secretary for International Financial Matters Joerg Gasser discussed terms for entering the Israeli market with high-ranking state officials during a Swiss delegation visit to the Middle East.
Part of the terms of this agreement concluded that both sides would cooperate with each other in areas of financial technology regulation and cryptocurrencies, as well as both parties sharing their history of success and failures in regulating the blockchain industry.
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