Israeli retiree made $270K in BTC profits. Her bank wouldn’t take her money.

Israel’s Bank Hapoalim initially denied Freeman, a 40-year customer, the ability to deposit $273,000 in profit realized from a bitcoin investment made in 2013


rasika108/Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks


An Israeli pensioner and the country’s second-largest commercial bank have agreed to dismiss a long-running case involving substantial profit from a bitcoin investment made ten years ago.

Esther Freeman, a 70-year-old retiree, and Bank Hapoalim agreed to drop the case after reaching an agreement, with each party paying their own legal fees, local media reported Saturday. 

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The bank did not immediately return Blockworks’ request for comment.

The settlement ends a two-year legal tussle in which Freeman sued the bank in 2021 for denying her the chance to deposit her bitcoin proceeds, which had ballooned to more than 100 times her initial investment. Since filing her claim, bitcoin has dropped more than 50%.

Freeman invested NIS 10,000 ($2,700) in bitcoin (BTC) in 2013 using cash through a third party, at a time when digital asset exchanges were virtually non-existent. By July 2021, with bitcoin trading at around $58,000, her investment was worth close to NIS 1 million ($273,000), per the report.

In its defense, the bank argued it was doing so under the provision of newly established regulations and that Freeman’s purchase was not undertaken from a regulated or monitored entity, but rather from a private person in cash.

In reaction to increased customer transactions in digital assets, the Bank of Israel’s Banking Supervision Department introduced a draft regulation last year attempting to address AML/CFT concerns.

The regulation mandates banks conduct appropriate risk assessments, set policies and trace a digital asset’s trajectory from acquisition to fiat.

Under those rules and according to the bank, “it is not possible to trace the money path in relation to the purchase of the [bitcoin]” and “only in cases where the funds used to purchase the virtual currency were withdrawn and received in the same account can the receipt of the funds be approved.”

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png


Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.



Though the opposing flow trend is likely to slow over time, industry watchers note, bitcoin fund assets could one day eclipse the $90 billion gold ETF space


Celestia had the first mover advantage. EigenDA has staked ether. What sets Avail apart?


Bitcoin moved 1% higher Monday morning in New York, Matrixport analysts say $62,000 could happen next month


It’s hard to believe right now that crypto — even with all of its flexibility and massive capabilities — could ever be like cash on the internet


Michael Saylor announced Monday morning that MicroStrategy bought 3k more bitcoin after the X account was compromised over the weekend


Plus, Pudgy Penguins grows its brand and a group of Autoglyphs sell for $14.5 million