A few days ago, Tether announced a partnership with the Business & Technology University (BTU) in Tbilisi, Georgia, to develop academic courses on topics such as Bitcoin, stablecoins, and other technologies that promote financial freedom and free speech.
Yesterday came the announcement of another initiative in the European country: an investment in CityPay.io, which is a leading payment processing company operating in Georgia.
Tether and Bitcoin payments
CityPay.io offers a seamless payment experience to customers of more than 600 stores, hotels and restaurants, including Wendy’s and Radisson Hotels. The goal of this investment by Tether is to bring greater efficiency and convenience to the payments industry in the country.
With Tether’s entry, CityPay.io users will also be able to pay in Bitcoin and USDT, as well as in fiat currency. In addition, Tether’s investment will also allow CityPay.io to expand its operations and improve its services, benefiting not only its users in Georgia, but also those in the CIS.
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is an international organization composed of nine of the fifteen former Soviet republics, headquartered in Minsk, Belarus.
These include Russia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan, but not Georgia, which left in 2009, and Ukraine, which left in 2014.
In Georgia, it is estimated that nearly 3% of citizens own cryptocurrencies. It is no coincidence that it is considered one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world, so much so that last year a study by Forex Suggest ranked it fourth overall among the most cryptocurrency-ready nations.
Moreover, it is currently seeing a rapid growth in interest in cryptocurrencies, such as increased demand for crypto payment options.
Tether, which issues and manages the world’s leading stablecoin, is increasingly partnering with local entities, both for training and development and to facilitate mass adoption.
For example, in the small country on the edge of Europe there are as many as 130 crypto ATMs, compared to a total population of less than 4 million.
The investment in CityPay.io is intended to be Tether’s first concrete step toward expanding its presence in Georgia, with a commitment to bring innovation and greater efficiency to the payments industry.
However, Tether also announced that it plans additional future initiatives in the country.
Tether and Bitcoin in emerging countries
Georgia is not the only emerging country where the use of cryptocurrencies is becoming increasingly popular.
The fact is that in already highly developed countries there are already very efficient traditional payment infrastructures obviously based on fiat currencies that make it much more difficult for new players to enter en masse.
On the other hand, where the basic infrastructure has not also reached very high levels of efficiency, there is room to experiment with innovations that can bring very obvious competitive advantages.
Add to this the fact that in many emerging, or developing, countries, the percentage of unbanked citizens (i.e., without traditional bank accounts) is higher, and the picture becomes even clearer, especially where such citizens need to make or receive international transactions, such as remittances from relatives working abroad.
However, before the use of innovative solutions can spread, it is necessary to spread knowledge and expertise, and indeed it is no coincidence that in Georgia Tether began precisely from the university.
Tether Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino said:
“We are excited to be working with CityPay.io to bring greater innovation and efficiency to the payment industry in Georgia. Tether is committed to supporting companies that share our vision of building a more connected and accessible financial system. This investment in CityPay.io is an important step towards achieving that goal.”
CityPay.io CEO Eralp Hatipoglu added:
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Tether. Their investment will enable us to accelerate our growth and bring our services to more customers across Georgia. We look forward to working closely with Tether to bring greater innovation and efficiency to the payment industry.”