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South Korea considers approval of US Spot Bitcoin ETF



South Korea’s ruling party, the People Power Party, is considering including specific measures related to virtual assets in its upcoming general election pledges. 

One key consideration is approving a Bitcoin spot Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), a financial tool mirroring Bitcoin’s price movements, providing investors exposure without direct ownership. 

Additionally, the party is contemplating easing restrictions on institutional investments in virtual assets, including activities like Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs), indicating a potential expansion of institutional involvement in the virtual asset sphere.

Local media, News1 reports that the People Power Party aims to support the growing virtual asset industry and attract votes from the tech-savvy younger demographic. 

To achieve this, the party pledges to create a committee with the power to propose laws and enforce sanctions for virtual asset organizations.

The party also emphasizes the need for financial entities dealing with digital asset products, like Spot Bitcoin ETFs, to implement measures for protecting investors. 

Additionally, there is a review underway for the long-awaited proposal to allow corporations to invest in virtual assets. 

Initially, the plan is to allow investment for asset management purposes, with a gradual extension to corporations that prioritize the safety of customer funds.

Other proposed actions include introducing Virtual Asset Exchange Offerings (IEOs) as part of President Yoon Seok-Yeol’s agenda, completing legislation for token securities (ST) this year, resolving policy discrepancies related to virtual assets, and aiming for consistent regulations. The National Assembly election is expected to take place by April 2024.

As of 2022, it is estimated that nearly 30% of all crypto trading worldwide is powered within the Korean market, and about 3.9% of South Korea’s total population owns cryptocurrency. 

The country can be described as the crypto hotspot of Asia and has been an early adopter of new technology, with a significant portion of its young generation investing in cryptocurrencies as a path to prosperity.

In 2023, South Korea enacted legislation on virtual assets to bring cryptocurrency markets under regulatory control for investor protection. 

The country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced that crypto criminals committing illicit market acts could face criminal punishments, including life imprisonment, upon the commencement of the country’s new crypto law.

Read also; Crypto fundraising rose by 2.9% in Q4 2023, despite fewer deals


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