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South Korea president’s office urges FSC to reconsider its spot Bitcoin ETFs stance

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Will South Korea allow spot Bitcoin ETFs? The Financia Services Commission had warned brokerage firms against offering recently listed US spot Bitcoin ETFs.
President’s office urges FSC to reconsider stance, noting possibility if incorporating foreign-listed products.

The South Korean president’s office has urged the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to reassess its stance on the trading of the recently approved spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved eleven spot Bitcoin ETFs – the nod coming a decade after the first application. But only a day after the ETFs hit the market, the FSC released a statement warning local firms against providing access to the foreign-listed products.

An official of the FSC had also noted that South Korea wasn’t looking to follow the US in allowing spot ETFs.

Government urges FSC to review stance

On Thursday, details in a local media outlet revealed that South Korea’s Office of the President is urging the country’s financial regulator to revisit the matter.

Sung Tae-yoon, chief of staff for policy in the president’s office, said during a briefing on Thursday that the government had told the FSC “not to have a specific direction of ‘yes or no’” stance. The view is that there’s need to find how best to incorporate the new ETFs and other markets into the local financial ecosystem, Tae-yoon added, noting the government was considering this direction.

On January 12, the FSC said in a press release that local securities firms looking to broker Bitcoin spot ETFs listed overseas may violate the government’s current stance on virtual assets. Providing access may also be in violation of the Capital Markets Act, it added.

The outlook contrasts with that of Hong Kong, where regulators are open to spot ETFs.

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