Israel’s New President Sworn in with an NFT, Ministry of Defense Orders Seizure of Crypto Wallets

The Bank of Israel Deputy Governor is also more concerned about financial stability, citing the rush to cryptos than inflation as such “enough reasons to be patient” with monetary policy and to allow it to be accommodative enough to continue to support the economy.

Israel made history as its 11th President Issac Herzog was sworn into office using a non-fungible token (NFT) that contained the image of his presidential oath.

“Israel becomes the first country to swear a new president into office using an NFT commemorative oath,” said analyst Mati Greenspan while noting that the President is only a ceremonial position in the country while the prime minister is the one with the legislative power.

“I am thrilled to present the President-elect Herzog with a special memory from his father that includes the wording of the oath he signed 38 years ago,” in May 1983 said Knesset Speaker Michael Levy, according to a local report.

The President will be presented with the digital copy of the document at the official ceremony, which will then be sent to the Knesset's computer department for safekeeping in cold storage until Herzog’s term.

The physical copy, meanwhile, will be put on display in the president's new office.

Counterterror Authority Onto Crypto

Amidst this, Benjamin Gantz, Israel's minister of defense, signed a seizure order for crypto wallets linked to Hamas operatives.

This list includes 84 addresses for Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin, Tether, among other cryptos, which the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing attributes to seven Palestinian nationals it associates with Hamas, a militant political group that controls the Gaza Strip.

According to blockchain analytics and forensics firm Elliptic, these sanctioned addresses had received $7.7 million in crypto, mostly in USDT and BTC. The firm noted,

“Some of the addresses are part of larger services and not all of these funds may be associated with terrorism. When calculating this figure we excluded funds sent to addresses known to be used by services such as exchanges to receive deposits from multiple users.”

The Ministry of Defense has asked individuals who claim ownership to make their claims and submit them in writing to the Head of the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing.

Financial Instability Is The Main Challenge

Meanwhile, Bank of Israel Deputy Governor Andrew Abir shared his concerns of financial instability being the main challenge for central bankers in conducting monetary policy rather than rising inflation. In a central banking conference, citing the rush to cryptos, Abir said,

“Global monetary policy that is very accommodative for an extended period of time is liable to lead to increased leverage and to taking of excess risks.”

Central banks will have to develop tools to moderate risks deriving from increased risk appetite and over-leverage, he said, adding, inflation — which “remains low” in the country — was less of a concern because of two-decade long disinflation on the heels of technological developments.

“It appears that we have enough reasons to be patient with our monetary policy, and to allow it to be accommodative enough to continue to support the economy’s recovery from the crisis.”

Earlier this week, the central bank left its benchmark rate at 0.1%, with a hike in 2022 or 2023 believed to be the next move.

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