Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael said the company is eyeing Hong Kong, the UK and the EU for international expansion — this is happening as the U.S. continues to lack a clear regulatory framework.

Clearing regulation for crypto

“We’ve said quite clearly that whilst we’re committed to the U.S. market, we’re looking for markets where there’s traction and using those markets as a way to fuel growth,” said Michael at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange & FinTech Conference last month, according to a transcript that was made available today.

“We’re particularly focused on Hong Kong, the UK and parts of the EU because we see partners wanting to move into those spaces and we want to be able to support them,” he added.

During a recent statement, Michael shared that Bakkt’s international expansion plans have been bolstered by the acquisition of Apex Crypto, a U.S.-based integrated crypto-trading platform, in April 2023.

Michael expressed confidence that Bakkt can leverage Apex’s current partnerships with companies such as Webull, M1,, and Stash to further its international reach and establish itself as a leader in the industry.

Bakkt aims to offer crypto trading alongside these companies as they expand globally, creating a seamless entry point into the market. However, Bakkt has faced some challenges, including delisting 25 tokens on its platform due to regulatory concerns.

The Bakkt CEO said there’s more traction in crypto markets outside the U.S.

“And when you pull back further from the U.S. and you look at what’s happening in other markets, we see them moving slightly ahead of where we are,” he said. He noted that the UK is moving forward with clear crypto regulation, that Hong Kong is allowing trading in certain cryptocurrencies and that the EU has passed its MiCA framework for crypto regulation.

Michael also made sure to say the fact that he supports the recent regulatory actions in the U.S. but added that the country needs to go further in providing clear regulatory clarity, particularly at the federal level.

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