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Tel Aviv Court forces Israel’s largest Bank against his will to accept Bitcoin

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Tel Aviv Court slaps the banking system. The Israeli banking system keeps mounting challenges for bitcoin users, be they exchanges, miners or just traders, and keeps getting slapped for it by the courts.

A recent incident of whereby a client of the bank was denied an incoming transfer of $195,000 from a European bitcoin trading venue into his joint account.

However, Tel Aviv District Court has commanded Bank Hapoalim which is the largest bank in the country to accept a transfer of funds resulting from the sale of bitcoin.

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The Israeli largest bank, claimed that there was a reasonable basis for concern that the sale of bitcoin was linked to money laundering and financing of terror, this despite the existence of documents indicating the exact source of the funds used for the purchase in this case and enabling ability to track the money from beginning to end. In addition, the transaction was duly reported by the client to the Israel Tax Authority. None of this was sufficient to convince the bank, which insisted on its refusal, and even informed the client that it intended to return the funds within a week.

This Sunday the two sides faced each other in court and the bank folded. In a hearing before judge Limor Bibi regarding a request for temporary injunction, it became clear that there is no real suspicion of violations of AML laws or of taxation offenses, and the bank was forced to agree that the funds would be deposited in the client’s account immediately. For his part, the trader agreed to sign an IRS W8 form proclaiming he has no linkage to the US. This indicates, that like in previous cases , the Israeli bank’s real concern is an eventual crackdown by American regulators. Interestingly the court also rejected the bank’s request for a gag order regarding the case.

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