S. Korea regulator to discuss spot Bitcoin ETF with SEC chief Gary Gensler

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South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) — the chief financial regulator in the country — is planning to tap the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for insights into spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The FSS examines and supervises financial institutions under the broad oversight of the Financial Services Commission.

FSS chief Lee Bok-Hyun presented a business plan for 2024 at the Financial Supervisory Service in Seoul on Feb. 5. The plan includes visits to major advanced financial markets, such as New York, in the second quarter of the year to discuss various aspects of South Korean financial markets, including discussions on spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs, according to a report.

The FSS chief revealed that he plans to meet SEC Chair Gary Gensler later in 2024 to discuss digital assets and spot Bitcoin ETFs, among other issues. He added that the SEC’s recent approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs had a major impact on the world’s financial policies.

The announcement from Lee comes weeks after the SEC approved the first spot BTC ETFs in the United States. In a historic decision, the SEC approved 11 spot BTC ETFs on Jan. 10. The SEC had previously denied spot BTC ETF applications, citing the small size of the crypto market, which makes it prone to market manipulation.

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After the SEC approved spot BTC ETFs, the Korean securities regulator warned local firms against brokering spot Bitcoin ETFs from the United States. However, at the time, it said it was planning to review and update its regulations around spot Bitcoin ETF trade approval in the United States.

South Korea is one of the leading regulators of cryptocurrency markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The nation has often followed in the footsteps of the U.S. regarding crypto regulations, such as banning the use of credit cards for crypto purchases and outlawing crypto mixing services.

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