US Decision on Bitcoin ETF Will Set Tone for Korean Crypto Market


US Bitcoin ETF Decision Sets Tone For Local Crypto Market

An official at South Korea’s sole securities exchange operator says the bourse is closely considering developments in regard to crypto ETFs.

Authorities at South Korea’s sole securities exchange operator, the Korea Exchange (KRX), says the bourse is closely eyeing advancements from United States regulators in regard to Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The official, reportedly speaking on condition of anonymity, was pointed out by local English-language daily paper The Korea Herald on Feb. 20.

ETFs are securities that track a basket of assets proportionately represented in the fund’s shares. They are seen by some as a potential development that would declare the widespread adoption of crypto as a managed and passive investment instrument.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has to date either declined or postponed its decision on a wide variety of proposed crypto-related ETFs. With the SEC’s review period of one proposal now set to come to a close by April, the KRX authorities apparently mentioned:

“The US has been the front-runner on the cryptocurrency market and related derivatives, and there are strong voices supporting the launch of Bitcoin ETFs within the market — which is why we are observing the progress and response of the US [SEC]’s decision on Bitcoin ETFs.”

The official added that KRX is thoroughly discussing the arrangement of a strong Bitcoin index, which would be “required for the launch of such ETFs […] when […] commercialized and integrated into the market […] because it would eventually concern investor protection issues.”

As The Korea Herald further reports, South Korea’s growing blockchain space has apparently currently seen the launch of blockchain ETFs by regional financial investment banks and asset management firms– products whose listing is alleviated by the fairly lower level of scrutiny they receive from the country’s watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Service.

Lee Kyung-ho, a professor at Korea University’s Graduate School of Information Security, reportedly argued that the health of the local blockchain sector would eventually lead the way to cryptocurrency ETF integration, saying that:

“With the government expanding its investment in research and development of blockchain technology, the projects are expected to minimize or eliminate the risk of integrating ETF transactions in the cryptocurrency market.”


Lee further indicated the reality that prospective Bitcoin ETF trading depends on robust Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering compliance, which the Korean has actually currently progressively been requiring domestic crypto exchanges.

In a current interview with Cointelegraph, popular CNBC commentator, crypto expert, and financier Brian Kelly stated he thinks there is no chance for a Bitcoin ETF this year– but an excellent possibility in 2020.

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