Huobi, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange based in Singapore, has unveiled plans to increase the ease of access for individuals trading in the Turkish currency, the lira.
The company announced this move via press release on October 18, 2019. It claims that its lira gateway will be the first of its kind for a global cryptocurrency exchange and will include full language localization and a Turkish-based team, as well as a mobile app and reduced trading fees.
Huobi and Bitcoin Expansion in Turkey
This latest announcement is a continuation of Huobi’s efforts in Turkey over the past several months. Having originally set up the Huobi Turkey offices in June 2019, the company expressed a desire to “move aggressively into the Turkish market,” according to a company statement at the time. This launch was initially overseen by local Huobi offices in other Middle Eastern nations, with the overall goal of setting up full operations within Turkey itself.
Interest in the economic possibilities of bitcoin in Turkey has been on the rise for the past several months, with the general instability of the lira making bitcoin an appealing option as a store of value. The Turkish cryptocurrency space has been particularly voracious in 2019, with some reports finding Turks collectively owning more bitcoin per capita than any other residents of Europe as of February 2019.
As data from LocalBitcoins has shown, Turkish trade volumes have only been increasing since then. Granted, the growth itself has not been a massive outlier, but the general trend of data shows a steady overall increase punctuated by brief, extreme spikes of volume. Considering the fluctuations in the cryptocurrency space and in the value of bitcoin worldwide throughout 2019, this steady growth can be considered an outlier in and of itself.
The CEO of Huobi Global, Livio Weng, emphasized the potential importance of Huobi’s new service in the press release.
“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, and trigger key conversations around long overdue [issues] for a thriving crypto community,” he said.
This fiat gateway for the Turkish lira will offer Turks greater access not only to bitcoin, but also to a great deal of other crypto assets. Users will be able to “easily deposit fiat currency via wire transfer and exchange for Tether” by the end of 2019, the announcement claims, and crypto-to-crypto services using this stablecoin will be freely available on Huobi’s platform.
Landon Manning is a freelance writer for Bitcoin Magazine.