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Japanese financial watchdog denies Bitcoin ETF rumours

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The Japanese financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has denied recent speculation that it is considering approving cryptocurrency-based exchange traded funds (ETF), industry website Cotelegraph has reported.

Earlier this week Bloomberg cited an unnamed source, according to whom, the FSA is gauging industry interest ETFs tracking digital currencies and may approve such products. However, responding to a subsequent enquiry from Cointelgraph Japan, representatives of the FSA made it clear that approving crypto ETFs is not on the agency’s agenda right now.

“At this moment, we are not exploring an approval of ETFs based on crypto assets,” the representatives said, as quoted by Cointelegraph.

Some believe that a launch of a Bitcoin ETF, especially in the US, could be the catalyst for a new cryptocurrency bull run. There has been a number of proposals for US-listed ETFs over the past couple of years, none of which has been approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Now the SEC has until February 27 to announce its decision on a proposal by from fund manager VanEck and blockchain firm SolidX, which aim to launch an ETF on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).

So far Switzerland has been the only country to approve a crypto-based exchange-traded product. In November, last year, London-based fintech firm Amun listed an ETP tracking a basket of five digital currencies on the Swiss stock exchange.

“The Amun ETP will give institutional investors that are restricted to investing only in securities or do not want to set up custody for digital assets exposure to cryptocurrencies,” Amun’s chief executive officer Hany Rashwan said at the time. “It will also provide access for retail investors that currently have no access to crypto exchanges due to local regulatory impediments.”

In its Monday report, Bloomberg noted that that product, which trades under the ticker ‘HODL’, had so far attracted $6 million and averaged less than $1 million in daily turnover.

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