Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the possibility that his country would begin regulating the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin on Tuesday, but said that Israel would “not rush forward” with any regulations.
Netanyahu, speaking with Fox Business Network host Liz Claman, said that moving to an electronic system of money was “probably” inevitable, but that any move would need to be carefully orchestrated.
“How will we manage it with the necessary controls that you need to protect markets, governments, currency flows – that’s not easily resolved,” Netanyahu said. “I think on that one we have to be a bit careful. We’re passing a decision in my government to limit cash transactions.”
Netanyahu said that such a move seemed to be the direction that currency was moving, but that he didn’t want to “upset our financial system” by moving ahead full steam.
Claman then asked the prime minister if that meant Israel would regulate Bitcoin.
“It means that, I think for the moment, everybody’s going to look at it very carefully and not rush forward,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli prime minister then quickly changed the subject, and described himself as a “champion of deregulation” and a “free-market champion,” implying that Bitcoin regulations may not be imminent.
“Always be careful with the banks and with the currency,” Netanyahu said.