Korea teachers’ union denies crypto media reports, will ‘never have’ Bitcoin ETF plan

Crypto media sites The Block and Finance Magnates recently reported that the Korea Teachers' Credit Union was set to invest in a Bitcoin ETF.

The Korea Teachers’ Credit Union (KTCU) has denied that it will invest any of its $34 billion worth of assets in Bitcoin via an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).

In fact, KTCU says it “has never reviewed an investment in a Bitcoin-related ETF, and will never have a plan to do so.”

As reported by Korea Herald, speculation had been rife that the organization responsible for the financial welfare of teachers in Korea was planning to sink some of its 40 trillion won ($34.3 billion) in a fund set up by an external partner. 

Outlets such as The Block and Finance Magnates relayed that KTCU was supposedly readying to allocate an amount of funds by early 2022. KTCU’s Bitcoin play was said to mimic the movement of Bitcoin’s price via its market cap.

The claim was originally shared by The Korea Economic Daily.

If it were real, KTCU would’ve become the first institutional investor based in Korea to gain exposure to the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

The KTCU’s portfolio of stocks, bonds, and alternatives, increased by 10% in the six months to June, according to Korea Herald.

Korea still waiting for its first Bitcoin ETF

At present, no Korean asset manager has launched an ETF. Elsewhere, however, they’re more prevalent.

Last week, Wall Street fund shop ProShares launched a Bitcoin futures-linked ETF. Back in February, Toronto’s Purpose Investments launched North America’s first-ever exchange-traded Bitcoin product on Canadian exchanges

Three other Canadian funds followed suit.

However, futures-linked Bitcoin ETFs like ProShares’ might not be such a great deal.

[Read more: Grayscale owner tries to lure ETF buyers by pumping its own Bitcoin stock]

As pointed out by Bloomberg, if you can get past its high fees, ProShares’ ETF involves betting on future Bitcoin prices.

This leaves investors exposed to the dreaded contango, where prices of Bitcoin futures could be higher than its spot price.

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