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These Asian nations in focus after Hong Kong approves spot Bitcoin ETFs

Ever since the United States approved Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) earlier this year, the focus has shifted to Asia, with investors eagerly anticipating which nation will follow suit.

Hong Kong has already made headlines by approving spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFs on April 15, setting a precedent for other Asian markets.

Taiwan’s progressive crypto stance under new leadership

Taiwan is gearing up for a significant shift under its incoming president, Lai Ching-te, who is set to take office next month.

Known for his support of AI and blockchain technologies, Lai’s administration has laid the groundwork for enhanced cryptocurrency legislation.

Currently, crypto companies in Taiwan are pushing for self-regulation and are forming an association to establish a self-regulating body.

This movement includes strong advocacy for the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF, a topic that has stirred considerable debate within the local industry, according to Abel Seow of BitGo.

South Korea’s political landscape warms to crypto ETFs

In South Korea, where the won has surpassed the US dollar as the most-used currency for crypto trading, the political climate is warming to the idea of approving Bitcoin ETFs.

Despite initial hesitations, the recent parliamentary elections have seen both major political parties express openness to the concept, although the People Power Party later withdrew its initial support.

With the upcoming implementation of South Korea’s Virtual Asset User Protection Act in July 2024, further regulatory groundwork could support the introduction of ETFs.

Japan’s integration of crypto into financial systems

Japan is also showing signs of embracing digital assets, with the government recently passing a bill that allows investment and venture capital funds to acquire cryptocurrencies.

Although crypto ETFs are currently banned in Japan, there is growing support among crypto advocates to lobby for change.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has expressed his ambition to transform Japan into a web3 and wealth management hub, signaling potential future openness to crypto integration.

Thailand and Singapore’s cautious approach to crypto ETFs

Thailand remains conservative regarding spot Bitcoin ETFs, with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission clearly stating no plans to permit these ETFs for now.

However, Thailand has allowed private funds to invest in US spot Bitcoin ETFs for institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals, indicating a nuanced regulatory approach.

In contrast, Singapore has maintained a firm stance against introducing US spot Bitcoin ETFs for retail investors, citing concerns over volatility and regulatory complexities.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore emphasizes investor protection, though future changes in the regulatory landscape are not ruled out if conditions become favorable.

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