Published: 13:17, March 5, 2024 | Updated: 13:17, March 5, 2024
S. Korea agencies discuss allowing spot bitcoin ETFs' future
By Reuters

In this photo illustration, the Coinbase and Bitcoin logos are displayed on a phone screen on Feb 15, 2024 in San Anselmo, California. (PHOTO / AFP)

SEOUL — South Korean authorities are discussing whether to allow sales of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the country, the financial watchdog chief said on Tuesday.

"Among authorities, I am one of those who are positive about virtual assets, while there are others who are wary, and we need to hear their opinions as well. We are internally discussing it," said Lee Bok-hyun, governor of the Financial Supervisory Service.

Brokerage sales of spot bitcoin ETFs could be in violation of the Capital Markets Act given the question of whether bitcoin qualifies to be an underlying asset

READ MORE: World's largest Saudi ETF listing lifts HK's role in capital flows

His comments were made in a radio interview in response to a question about authorities' views on spot bitcoin ETFs, which are currently not available to investors in South Korea.

In January, South Korea's financial authorities said it did not plan to regulate sales of bitcoin futures ETFs. However, it said brokerage sales of spot bitcoin ETFs could be in violation of the Capital Markets Act given the question of whether bitcoin qualifies to be an underlying asset.

READ MORE: Stocks rise before US data, bitcoin stalls after ETF green light

Lee said he expects the public to have an opportunity to air their views regarding it after virtual assets are brought under regulatory control in the second half of the year.