DP vows to allow bitcoin-based ETFs

SEOUL, The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) vowed Wednesday to allow bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds (ETF) as part of campaign pledges ahead of the April elections. The DP seeks to improve investors' access to financial products based on virtual assets by approving the issuance, listing and trading of ETFs tracking major cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, the DP's floor leader, Rep. Hong Ihk-pyo, said. The pledge is seen as an apparent attempt to rally support from young voters, particularly in their 20s to 30s, who are considered the most active group of investors in the virtual assets market in South Korea. Local investors have keenly followed for signs of the National Assembly or the government opening doors for cryptocurrency based ETFs in South Korea, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made a landmark decision in January to approve the trading and listing of ETFs tracking bitcoin in the U.S. stock exchange. The financial regulator, however, has maintained that such financial p roducts violate existing laws. The DP also proposed making it a rule to ban lawmakers from trading virtual assets while the National Assembly is in session, after revelations last year that Rep. Kim Nam-kuk, then a DP member, traded virtual assets multiple times even while attending parliamentary committee meetings. Source: Yonhap News Agency