The Financial Services Commission of Korea issued the directive that bans securities firms from intermediating bitcoin futures transactions, according to securities industry sources on December 6. This is because it doesn’t recognize bitcoin as an underlying asset of derivative products so bitcoin cannot be a subject for futures trading.
Securities brokers in South Korea, which were gearing up to introduce bitcoin futures trading to their clients, halted the process for now. Accordingly, eBest Investment & Securities Co. and Shinhan Financial Investment Co. canceled seminars for bitcoin futures investors slated for the 14th and the 15th, respectively.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the world’s largest exchange for futures and options on futures, will begin trading the bitcoin futures from the 18th. Its competitor Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) announced on the 5th that it is also set to trade the futures starting from December 11.
An official from the securities industry said, “It is the first time for the South Korean authorities to ban trading a specific item. It seems that they made such decision worrying about if it gets out of control as they haven’t taken a position on cryptocurrency.”