Expanding business in Brazil, Hong Kong, etc.
Bakkt Holdings, a US company that provides cryptocurrency trading and custody, announced on the 24th that it will expand its business in Latin America and Asia. Cooperating with stock trading platform Hapi, and digital brokerage firm SogoTrade.
First, we strengthened our cooperative relationship with Hapi and launched virtual currency trading functionality in Brazil and Guatemala. Already operating in Argentina and Mexico, the company is expanding its service area further into Latin America.
Additionally, in Asia, we have partnered with digital brokerage firm SogoTrade to launch cryptocurrency trading in Hong Kong and Singapore. The two companies plan to jointly expand cryptocurrency trading to other international markets in the near future.
Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael explains:
International expansion remains our priority in 2024. Bakkt believes that cryptocurrencies have the power to increase financial inclusion and connect communities within the global economy.
This time, as a new step, we will enter new Asian markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore, where the cryptocurrency economy is rapidly growing due to clarification of regulations.
Bakkt also plans to open offices in the UK and Australia in the coming months.
connection: “Country that uses virtual currency on a daily basis” India ranks first in Chainalysis 23rd year ranking
Hong Kong is gaining momentum for spot ETFs
Last October, Hong Kong introduced additional restrictions on crypto investments, stating that complex products should only be offered to professional investors.
On the other hand, we are also positive about virtual currency spot ETFs and are preparing to accept applications. According to the CEO of virtual currency exchange HashKey, about 10 companies are currently considering launching virtual currency spot ETFs in Hong Kong.
Following the United States, there is a possibility that a Bitcoin (BTC) spot ETF will be launched in Hong Kong this year.
connection: Hong Kong company plans to launch Bitcoin spot ETF, aiming to launch by March
connection: Hong Kong authorities introduce additional restrictions on virtual currency investments following huge scam in September
What is Bitcoin ETF?
An Exchange Traded Fund that includes Bitcoin as an investment. An investment trust is a financial product that collects money from investors into a single fund and invests it in stocks, bonds, etc. The system is such that the investment results are distributed according to each investor’s investment amount. Among investment trusts, ETFs are listed on stock exchanges, so they can be bought and sold like stocks.
▶️Virtual currency glossary
Learn about Bitcoin ETFs from the beginning: Explaining the advantages and disadvantages of investing and how to buy US stocks
Singaporean authorities are strengthening regulations related to cryptocurrencies, and have proposed strict guidelines, including restricting lending to individual users, margin trading, and leveraged trading. It is expected to come into effect in stages from mid-2024.
Additionally, authorities are willing to license crypto companies only if they have strong anti-money laundering measures. Incidentally, US Coinbase also positions Singapore as one of its important markets.
connection: Central Bank of Singapore significantly restricts virtual currency investment for individuals, expected to take effect next year
connection：Singapore is ‘top priority market’, Coinbase expands US dollar service
Cryptocurrency activity in Brazil and Guatemala
In Brazil, a bill will be passed in 2022 that will legally allow the use of virtual currencies as a means of payment. Additionally, many cryptocurrency-related ETFs are already being offered.
An example of a company entering the market is the country’s largest bank, Itau Unibanco, which launched a virtual currency trading service in December of last year.
connection: Brazil’s largest bank Itau launches Bitcoin and other virtual currency trading services
Guatemala, which shares a border with Mexico and other countries, is known for hosting the project “Bitcoin Lake,” which conducts demonstration experiments on the Bitcoin circular economy.
connection: I went to Bitcoin Lake in Guatemala | Experience contribution 1
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— CoinPost (virtual currency media) (@coin_post) December 21, 2023