South Korea presidential office hints at domestic spot Bitcoin ETF amid regional uncertainty

The Office of the President of the Republic of Korea urged the financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), to reevaluate its stance on spot crypto Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), local media outlet Maekyung reported on Jan. 19.

The President’s office encouraged the financial regulator to adopt a flexible approach to these financial products instead of having a rigid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ position.

Tae-yoon Sung, the head of the presidential policy office, reportedly said the legal system was assessing whether foreign products were suitable for the Asian country or whether foreign ETFs could be made domestically tradeable.

“We are further examining how we can prevent it from becoming a side effect or risk factor for other financial products or the real economy while still having another investment asset element,” Sung added.

The President’s office statement follows a recent warning by the FSC against domestic securities firms brokering foreign ETFs.

On Jan. 12, the regulatory body highlighted potential violations of local laws by domestic firms offering foreign spot Bitcoin ETFs, forcing these firms to suspend their services for foreign-listed ETFs. Maekyung has, however, reported that the President’s Office may be looking to reconsider these decisions.

Asian countries divided on stance towards crypto ETFs

South Korean authorities’ diverging views about these ETFs mirror Asia’s prevailing outlook on such products.

Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) emphasized that spot Bitcoin ETFs lack approval because crypto trading is inherently volatile, speculative, and unstable, particularly for retail investors.

Similarly, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission asserted that it has no immediate plans to endorse ETFs because these products are just emerging in foreign markets. As such, it is too early to judge if they have the optimal economic value for Thai investors.

“The development of spot bitcoin ETFs in the foreign market is still in its early stages and such ETFs may not deliver direct economic value suitable for the current context of Thailand,” Thailand SEC reportedly said.

However, financial regulators in Hong Kong have signaled an openness to consider spot Bitcoin ETF applications.

Recent reports indicate the possibility of a spot ETF debuting in the city before the close of the first quarter. Hong Kong’s Venture Smart Financial Holdings Limited is reportedly gearing up to submit the necessary application for this ETF.

The post South Korea presidential office hints at domestic spot Bitcoin ETF amid regional uncertainty appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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