South Korea’s Presidential Office Contemplates Local Bitcoin ETF Approval

South Korea’s Office of the President has urged the country’s financial regulator to reconsider the possibility of approving a local spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), signaling a potential shift in the government’s stance on cryptocurrency investment. Sung Tae-yoon, Chief of Staff for Policy of the presidential office, addressed the media on Thursday, revealing that the government is actively exploring ways to incorporate foreign affairs into local regulations, possibly indicating an openness to launching spot crypto ETFs.

While the Financial Services Commission (FSC) had previously imposed a ‘no trading’ policy on Bitcoin spot ETFs in the U.S. market, the President’s Office has left the door open for reconsideration. This move has ignited interest and speculation about the future direction of cryptocurrency ETFs in the country.

Despite challenges faced by the domestic Bitcoin spot ETF approval, the potential approval of an Ethereum spot ETF, the largest altcoin, is now gaining attention. Observers note that Bitcoin’s performance has fallen short of market expectations since the listing of the spot ETF on January 11th, with prices initially soaring close to $49,000 but later stabilizing in the $42,000 to $44,000 range.

IBK Investment & Securities predicted strong demand for direct investment in the cryptocurrency market among individual investors, but also warned of increased volatility towards the end of the year due to the introduction of virtual asset taxation in 2025. Researchers and analysts are closely monitoring the situation, suggesting that Ethereum futures ETF investment might gain traction due to Ethereum’s lower price compared to Bitcoin.

Kim In-sik, a researcher at IBK Investment & Securities, highlighted the importance of an event-driven strategy to navigate market fluctuations. “One way would be to alleviate ‘FOMO’ (fear of investment exclusion),” he advised.

The recent temporary weakness in Bitcoin’s performance has been attributed to pre-projections and the influence of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) stance. Despite this, researchers remain optimistic about the future, citing the gradual entry of the cryptocurrency market into the institutional system and efforts by existing companies to secure their market position.

Addressing concerns about institutionalizing Bitcoin, Director of the Presidential Office’s Policy Office Seong Tae-yoon emphasized the need to adapt the country’s legal system appropriately. “We are considering this direction together,” he stated, highlighting the ongoing examination of preventing potential side effects or risks for other financial products and the real economy while still considering cryptocurrency as an investment asset.

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