Huobi, a leading global crypto exchange, announced that it plans to launch a fiat gateway in Turkey. If successful, the platform may increase access to over 250 digital tokens for the local investors.
Mohit Davar, Huobi’s EMEA regional president, is convinced that this will prove to be a worthwhile investment. He said that the move has come amidst Turkey’s efforts to set up a clearer legal infrastructure for the cryptocurrency market. Reports show that many people in the country already hold cryptocurrencies.
The company announced the project at the Eurasia Blockchain Summit in Istanbul on October 17. The summit is the biggest crypto and blockchain event yet to ever happen in Turkey. Huobi Global and local Kemer Partners were the organizers. This summit hosted international influencers, Turkish Government officials, the local community, and top bank representatives.
In June this year, Huobi announced that it intended to involve itself more in the Turkish crypto market. However, the company at that time did not give away details about its expansion plans. Davar confirmed that the exchange has already partnered with one of the biggest local banks to develop the infrastructure.
This partnership will also see the development of compliance standards for the fiat gateway. However, he declined to name the local bank partner. The launch of the Turkish Lira/USDT pair makes Huobi the first crypto exchange to officially offer its services to the Turkish residents.
He added that Huobi would reveal its partnership at another launch scheduled for December at the latest. The actual date for that launch could be earlier since they have already begun testing the gateway platform.
The crypto exchange started to establish its partnership with the bank in June 2019. Since then, it has been striving to solve different challenges and concerns raised by the Turkish banks. Davar explained:
“I think generally where there is not a clear regulatory framework in the market; it’s been left to the discretion of the banks to make their own decision. That is always to make sure that we have the right checks and balances, particularly when it comes to KYC and AML.”
The local banks want to ensure that when they face off with Huobi as a partner they are fully fulfilling their obligations. This new fiat gateway will support transactions between local fiat currency Lira and the dollar stablecoin Tether (USDT). After the users get tether through their bank accounts, they can then trade it with any other crypto available on Huobi Global.
The company is convinced that the Lira-USDT pairing makes transactions easier and much more accessible in the local market. It will be considerably easier compared to offering hundreds of pairing between the local currency and many other cryptos. Davar stated that it is quite challenging for any exchange to provide liquidity in the 250 coins that Huobi holds against the local currency.
Any Turkish trader will have the opportunity to convert their Lira to dollar-pegged tether at a rate that they will feel comfortable without worrying about the volatility of cryptos in the course of the transaction. Huobi also revealed its ‘aggressive’ fee structure.
Using the platform, Turkish users can trade at a 50% discount with 0.1% transaction fees. The transaction fees may be as low as 0.07% if the trader chooses to hold the Huobi Token (HT). Another program will soon open up for professional Turkish traders to trade with low fees across Margin and Spot trades.
Huobi has launched a mobile application and a Turkish version of its trading site to help the local customers. The next step is to get the local team aboard the project and start the operation with the team comprising of four full-time staff members.
Davar revealed that the banking partnership being worked on currently is non-exclusive. Thus, Huobi could sign up additional banking institutions and non-bank investors as it seeks to expand its services in Turkey. On October 17, Huobi announced the quarterly burn of Huobi Tokens estimated to be worth over 40 million. That shows the company is committed to maintaining a viable environment for crypto trading activities
The first Turkish Lira/USDT trading pair is scheduled to go live in Q4 2019. In March 2019, Binance had announced its intentions to get the said license to operate a Turkish Lira fiat gateway. Now that Huobi plans to launch its platform before the end of the year, it gains an upper hand in winning over the Turkish crypto community beating Binance at that race.
Huobi’s announcement follows its September launch of Huobi Argentina that came before Binance’s launch as well.