Huobi Expands to Turkey as Turks Flock to Crypto
Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi Global is “moving aggressively into the Turkish market,” with plans including “a fiat onramp for Turkish lira” by the end of the year.
The company plans to open a physical branch office somewhere in Turkey, which will include localized products and customer support, Huobi announced.
“Turkey is a very important and promising prospective market for us and we plan to take an aggressive approach to bring the Huobi ecosystem there,” according to Huobi Global’s CEO Livio Weng.
In a recent interview with Cryptonews.com, Huobi said that 2019 will be another important year for their global expansion and there will be more comprehensive services offered to countries where there is large demand for cryptocurrencies and where those services are permitted by local regulators.
In Turkey, Huobi will most likely face fierce competition from existing players, including companies like BTCTurk, Bitfinex, EXMO, and many others.
Turkey, a country with a population of c. 80 million people, has become known as a hotspot for mainstream interest in cryptocurrencies, with the highest ownership rate of cryptocurrencies among all countries surveyed in Statistica’s Global Consumer Survey for 2019. According to the survey, 1 out of 5 Turkish respondents own cryptocurrencies in some form.
The high crypto ownership rate in Turkey is believed to be associated with the inflation-plagued national fiat currency; the Turkish lira. So far this year, the lira is down by roughly 8.6% against the U.S. dollar. Last year, lira lost 30% against the dollar, and the trend has been similar for several years before that.
Despite the government’s efforts, Turkish residents have been flocking to other assets that they deem as better, cryptocurrency including.
Last year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged people to defend the failing local currency: “Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks. This is a domestic and national struggle,” Erdogan was quoted as saying back then.
However, according to market data provider Coinlib.io, the Turkish lira was over the past 24 hours among the 7 largest fiat currencies in terms of money in-flows into crypto (USD 63 million), only behind US dollars, Japanese yen, Euro, Chinese yuan, South Korean won, and British pounds.
At pixel time (10:22 UTC), bitcoin trades at c. TRY 69,000 on Bitfinex.