South Korea’s ruling party considers allowing spot bitcoin ETFs in election pledges: report

• February 19, 2024, 5:40AM EST

Published 1 minute earlier on

South Korea’s ruling People Power Party is looking into ways to allow spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) as part of its campaign promises for the upcoming general election in April, according to a local media report on Monday. 

Aside from spot bitcoin ETFs, the right-wing party said it will review legislative measures to approve other cryptocurrency-related investment products that have been greenlit in the U.S., South Korean news agency News1 reported. Last month, the country’s financial regulator reiterated its ban restricting financial institutions from launching any kind of cryptocurrency ETFs.

The ruling party is also planning to consider gradually lifting the country’s ban on institutional investment in crypto and initial exchange offerings (IEO). In the case of institutional crypto investment, the party is exploring the possibility of allowing investment firms to buy crypto before permitting banks or insurance companies, according to the report. This approach takes into account the need for banks and insurance firms to prioritize the protection of user funds.

Meanwhile, the party has decided to promise the creation of a “Digital Asset Promotion Committee,” which would be given sufficient authority to propose laws and impose sanctions related to digital assets, according to the report.

Appealing to young voters?

Earlier today, local news outlet Herald Business Daily reported that the People Power Party might promise to further push back the taxation on crypto gains from the start of 2025 to 2027.

People Power Party’s election promises are aimed at gaining the votes of South Korean citizens in their 20s and 30s, News1 reported. Over 80% of cryptocurrency holders in South Korea were in that age bracket as of September 2023, according to the National Tax Agency’s data.

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© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Danny Park is an East Asia reporter at The Block writing on topics including Web3 developments and crypto regulations in the region. He was formerly a reporter at Forkast.News, where he actively covered the downfall of Terra-Luna and FTX. Based in Seoul, Danny has previously produced written and video content for media companies in Korea, Hong Kong and China. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism and Business Marketing from the University of Hong Kong.

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