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South Korea’s top financial regulator said today that it will stand by its rule that restricts financial institutions from launching cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds, local media reported.

An official of the country’s Financial Services Commission told local news outlet Kyunghyang that the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. is not an event that would prompt the Korean regulator to lift the ban or reconsider it. The report cited the stability of the financial markets and investor protection as reasons for upholding the current restrictions.

The country’s capital markets act currently limits the scope of underlying assets for investment contract securities, such as ETFs, to financial investment instruments, currencies and ordinary commodities, which does not include crypto. South Korea does not acknowledge cryptocurrencies as financial assets and has banned financial institutions from investing in crypto since 2017. 

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