According to a report in Korea Herald, South Korean trading institutions have been in somewhat of a holding pattern when it comes to innovative cryptocurrency trading options like exchange-traded funds, preferring instead to wait and see how the United States deals with the issue.
An anonymous official from Korea Exchange (KRX) reportedly told the Herald:
“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 Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision on bitcoin ETFs.”
However, that does not mean that KRX is not preparing for the possibility that Bitcoin ETFs may eventually be introduced in South Korea. The unnamed official also said that the exchange has been engaged in serious discussions about providing a “solid Bitcoin index” for any future crypto ETFs.
Meanwhile, blockchain ETFs are already a reality in South Korea. Asset management companies and investment banks have been focusing their attention on those investment vehicles, since they are not subject to the same intensive Financial Supervisory Service scrutiny that Bitcoin ETFs would receive. As the Herald reports:
Despite the government and finance industry’s wary stance on cryptocurrency, experts project that South Korea’s interest in blockchain technology will eventually pave the way for building a safe platform for bitcoin ETFs.
“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 Kyung-ho, a professor at Korea University’s Graduate School of Information Security said.