Crypto exchange Huobi Global announced plans on Friday it will add a Turkish Lira/Tether pairing by the end of the year. This it says, will make it easier for customers in the crypto-loving nation to trade on Huobi.
Once Turkish customers buy USDT with Turkish Lira, they could potentially access any of more than 250 cryptocurrencies currently listed on Huobi Global.
The Turkish Lira (TRY) and Tether (USDT) pairing is part of Huobi’s expansion into the Turkish market. Other pro-Turkey moves announced by Huobi include translating its website to Turkish, reducing transaction fees for Turkish customers by 50 percent, and creating a new team in Istanbul to help drive interest in the exchange.
“Turkey is an important region for us, and we plan to bring Huobi’s six years of industry expertise, advanced ecosystem, and a standard of trust to the market,” said Livio Weng, CEO of Huobi Global.
While the rest of the world goes off crypto, the Turkish outlook on crypto has remained favorable. According to a 2019 consumer poll by Statista, 20 percent of Turkish respondents owned or used cryptocurrencies, the most out of any country surveyed. By contrast, just five percent of US respondents owned or used cryptocurrencies.
And according to a survey by Austrian banking giant ING of over 15,000 people from Europe, the US, and Australia, 62 percent of Turkish felt positive about digital currencies. By contrast, just 31 percent of U.S. respondents held positive feelings, and in Western Europe, things were even worse: only 13 percent of Austrians regarded cryptocurrencies favorably.
Mohit Davar, regional president of Huobi Group, tells Decrypt that Turkey is fertile ground for crypto adoption.
Davar said it’s a combination of “Turkish Lira volatility” combined with a “general consensus among the community that blockchain will be key for Turkey.” The Lira has been on a downward spiral against the US dollar ever since the 2008 crash. In 2008, the Lira was worth 87 cents. Now, it’s worth 17 cents.
Huobi’s expansion follows plans by the Turkish government to work with blockchain technology. Last month, the government announced a national blockchain infrastructure, as part of its longer-term planning, dubbed “Vision 2023”.
Other companies have also taken an interest in the state. Electroneum, the UK-based startup whereby users can “mine” cryptocurrency on their phones, launched services in Turkey earlier this week. Binance also announced intentions to launch a fiat on-ramp to Turkish customers earlier this year, though did not set a date. Huobi might just beat it to the bunch.