Korean Regulators Face Mounting Pressure Amid US and Hong Kong Crypto ETF Approvals

Korean Regulators Face Mounting Pressure Amid US and Hong Kong Crypto ETF Approvals

South Korean financial authorities are increasingly under pressure to approve exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for cryptocurrencies. This urgency follows the recent approval of spot Ethereum ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and similar moves by Hong Kong regulators, igniting a debate on the role of crypto in finance.

According to the Korea Times, both crypto and traditional finance market representatives in South Korea are urging regulatory changes. A spokesperson for Xangle, a Seoul-based crypto data provider, criticized South Korea’s regulatory approach as “outdated” and highlighted the influence of U.S. regulatory decisions on the Korean market.

“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,” said the Xangle spokesperson.

The dissatisfaction extends beyond the crypto community. Jung Eui-jung, head of the Korean Stockholders’ Alliance, stressed the need for South Korea to follow the U.S. example by endorsing Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs. Jung emphasized the importance of keeping investors within the country.

“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?” he questioned.

Jung warned that continued regulatory inertia in Seoul could lead investors to shift their funds to more progressive markets like the U.S. He suggested that it is only a matter of time before the U.S. fully embraces ETFs for a broader range of cryptocurrencies.

As global financial landscapes evolve rapidly, South Korea faces growing internal and external pressures to modernize its approach to cryptocurrency regulation to retain investor confidence and market competitiveness.

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