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Korean authorities under pressure amid US, Hong Kong crypto ETF moves

Korean regulators seem to be under pressure as U.S., Hong Kong regulators approved Bitcoin, Ethereum ETFs, sparking debate on crypto’s role in finance.

South Korean financial regulators are under mounting pressure to approve exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for cryptocurrencies, following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent approval of spot Ethereum ETFs, the Korea Times reports, citing local representatives of both crypto and traditional finance markets.

A spokesperson for Xangle, a Seoul-based crypto data provider, criticized Korea’s current approach as “outdated” and suggested that recent actions in the U.S. would likely put more pressure on Korean regulators.

“Under the circumstances, the SEC’s Thursday decision on Ethereum is anticipated to press Seoul’s financial regulators to reconsider its regulations against digital assets.”

Spokesperson for Xangle

The frustration with Seoul’s hesitance extends beyond the crypto sector. Jung Eui-jung, head of the Korean Stockholders’ Alliance, emphasized the importance of following the U.S. example by endorsing Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs.

“In order to ensure that investors, both in traditional finance and digital assets, do not exit Korea. Who would want to invest their money in a market that lags behind the fast-changing regulatory landscape?”

Jung Eui-jung

Jung warned that if Seoul regulators continue to make little progress while the U.S. advances, investors might shift their funds to U.S. markets, saying it will be a “matter of time for the U.S. to fully open the door for other less-traded cryptocurrencies.”