At a recent B2B event in Turkey, suit-clad men and women from traditional financial institutions and the public sector stood in line to take a selfie with a guy in a hoodie.
That guy, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, found time to attend the annual Turkish Capital Markets Summit in Istanbul, Turkey on Nov. 19. Between his speech at BlockShow Asia 2019 and the controversy over alleged false reporting, it’s been a busy month for CZ.
After his fireside chat on stage, where he praised Turkey as one of the fastest-growing countries in crypto and officially announced that Binance is now supporting the Turkish Lira, CZ answered a couple of questions from Cointelegraph.
Cointelegraph: What's your plan for Turkey? Why now?
CZ: Our goal is to serve the best interest of our Turkish community and responding to their demands. We are working to develop more services to our Turkish community and will soon.
Turkish community showed a high degree of understanding of blockchain. There is a high degree of enthusiasm. Binance is now a fiat to crypto exchange. Today we have a TRY onramp to Binance.com with the help of our local partner, Papara.
Other crypto exchanges, such as Huobi, promote their solid plans for compliance when entering Turkey. Do you have any? Have you ever spoken to a local regulator?
CZ: We take regulatory compliance very seriously. Working with governments is key to building a sustainable industry and promoting greater adoption. We are always working with local regulators in our development efforts.
Your local partnership with Papara, a digital wallet for local users, is step one. Turkish users can now buy crypto BTC, ETH and XRP directly from Binance with their Papara digital wallets. What is step two for Binance in Turkey?
CZ: Very soon we will add direct Turkish Lira Bank Transfer to Binance. We will also add Turkish lira Pairs on binance.com. Other than that we really want to invest in Turkey heavily We also want to increase our team members somewhere between 10-20 people in the next 3 to 6 months. And if you’re looking for a job in the cryptocurrency industry please hi to us.
Do you have any local partnerships in roadmap, maybe with a bank or local exchange?
CZ: We are working on a number of initiatives and partners in this area. We won’t be able to disclose very much ahead of time, but stay tuned.
Do you have any plans to enable selling crypto in Turkish Lira? When?
CZ: Yes, starting Nov. 15, our Turkish users can buy and sell cryptocurrency on our fiat gateway platform. We have partnered with Papara, a regulated and secure payments provider, to allow users to purchase BNB, BTC, ETH, XRP, and BUSD with TRY.
What's your take on the Turkish market? What will be your advantages and challenges here?
CZ: Turkey is a vibrant country that has illustrated one of the strongest demands and fast-growing interest in crypto. At Binance, we strive to provide the best product, most stable exchange platform, with great local language customer service, and of course, lowest fees.