Bitcoin seems to be getting higher attention from restaurants to cafes to taxi owners around the world; now, it is the turn of Israeli lawyers who can now accept this virtual currency in exchange of their legal services. The ruling that came from the regional ethics committee of the Israel Bar Association ensures that lawyers in the country can now charge in Bitcoin.
The latest development will definitely help Bitcoin receive wide popularity among legal practitioners which will also mean tacit legal support for this virtual currency. It is happening despite the regulatory problems that are surrounding the independent virtual currency; according to Bitcoin supporters, it can enhance the acceptability of the crypto-currency.
Although, the banking systems around the world are imposing certain restrictions on Bitcoin, the Bank of Israel has not yet finalized on any policy. The latest decision on the part of the Ethics Committee in response to an inquiry whether lawyers can accept Bitcoin in exchange of their legal services has been welcomed by attorneys. However, Bitcoin will need to go Through a Second Phase for Final Acceptance The rule of the Israel Bar Association’s Ethics Committee is clear that attorneys must be paid with money for their professional services and there is no reason why attorneys cannot supply legal services in exchange for Bitcoin.
However, it is not yet final as the committee’s authorization is the first part of a two-stage process.
In the first process it is clear now that lawyers can accept payment in Bitcoin, now it will be required from them to apply proper taxation procedures in transactions involving Bitcoin. However, another issue for Bitcoin is that since VAT receipts cannot be issued in it, so this makes problems of how the charges will be taxed.
Additionally, as Bitcoin does not have an official exchange rate, it is still unclear how the Bitcoin-shekel exchange rate will be applicable. Legal fraternity is also worried about Bitcoin’s misuses as though they can receive payment in Bitcoin, there is no way of tracing the source and for that it recommends that the Ethics Committee should issue any such ruling only after Bitcoin becomes a legitimate currency.
Even banks in Israel consider that virtual currencies are anonymous and cannot be monitored as transactions, and are not regulated which in fact can cause huge risk. Considering all these factors, the banking system has placed restrictions on Bitcoin’s commercial transactions. The latest decision on the part of the Israeli lawyers’ body will definitely have a watershed impact.
To contact the reporter of this story: Jonathan Millet at firstname.lastname@example.org