Binance CEO Identifies Turkey as Key Market for Blockchain and Crypto

As Turkey prepares to create its own state-issued digital asset, the CEO of leading crypto exchange Binance has praised the nation’s demand for and interest in cryptocurrency. Changpeng Zhao said Turkey is giving itself “the chance to lead financial technology developments.”

The news comes shortly after Binance announced a new fiat-to-crypto gateway for Turkish lira. Clearly, the exchange is attempting to position itself correctly to take advantage of the comparatively high demand for crypto assets in the nation.

Binance in Favour of State-Issued Digital Currency Yet Clearly Expecting Demand for Crypto to Grow in Turkey

Earlier this month, the Turkish government announced it may be ready to issue its own digital currency by the end of 2020. As per a report in The Express, Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay first announced the idea in June. The “Digital Lira” has reportedly been met with widespread enthusiasm, prompting the government to say that it will begin testing the system next year, with an aim to launch by next December.

According to a report by local news source Anadolu Agency, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is optimistic about Turkey’s plans to create a digital currency. In an interview with the publication, he stated:

“Turkey plays a leading role in this field, giving it the chance to lead financial technology developments… If Turkey takes the right steps, it will become a very important actor in the field of financial technologies in the near future.”

He added that the company was supportive of efforts by Turkey and China to create their own digital currency, calling such plans a “good development for the industry.”

Turkey has proved particularly receptive to crypto in recent years. The hunger in the nation for an alternative to the lira is likely a direct result of the fiat currency’s own poor performance and a major debt crisis during 2018. At an estimated 20 percent, the country leads the globe in terms of the percentage of the population that has previously used or owned crypto assets. A recent Statista Global Consumer Survey also showed high levels of enthusiasm for the technology in other developing nations, such as Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and South Africa.

Given the organic growth in interest in cryptocurrency in Turkey, it should be interesting to see how the public receives a Digital Lira. Without much public knowledge of the cryptocurrency plans, it seems likely that any state-issued effort would still allow for changes in the total supply of money, much like the current system does. Since there is nothing to suggest that a Digital Lira’s monetary policy would be handled in any way different to the nation’s current physical currency, it’s hard to imagine the public wanting to use it. After all, it was presumably issues with the lira that caused around 20 percent of the population to explore alternative currencies in the first place.

Binance is obviously banking on there still being a buoyant market for cryptocurrencies in Turkey, despite the state-issued option being on its way. The company recently announced a fiat-to-crypto gateway. This will allow Binance users in Turkey to use lira to buy either Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, or BNB. The service has been made possible by a partnership between Binance and Turkey-based payments firm Papara. Similarly, the leading global exchange platform hosted a meetup in Istanbul just days ago.

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