OKX announces launch of crypto exchange in Turkey

OKX announces launch of crypto exchange in Turkey
OKX announces the arrival of its Turkey exchange on the market. / @okx
By bne IntelliNews February 27, 2024

OKX on February 27 announced the launch of a crypto exchange in Turkey, OKX TR.

Company president Hong Fang said: "The official launch of OKX TR is a significant milestone in our global expansion strategy.

“With a crypto adoption rate close to 50%, Türkiye represents a very dynamic and promising market for the industry as it continues to develop. The population's high level of engagement and understanding of digital assets makes it an ideal environment for OKX, and we're strongly committed to helping continue to grow this already vibrant ecosystem."

Given the collapse of the Turkish lira (TRY) in recent years, many Turks have invested in crypto in an effort at protecting their assets.

In May last year, research firm GWI said ownership of digital currencies in Turkey stood at the highest level in the world at 27.1% followed by Argentina’s 23.5%—both percentages were well above the global crypto ownership rate figure estimated at 11.9%.

Ahead of the GWI figures, Bank of International Settlements (BIS) data showed Turks held the world number one spot for crypto currency exchange app adoption.

Crypto took a blow in Turkey in April 2021 when the Thodex exchange ceased operations as Turkish prosecutors issued a red notice to Interpol for the arrest of CEO Faruk Fatih Ozer amid reports he had fled with a fortune in investors’ money. Last September, Ozer and a sister and a brother were imprisoned for 11,196 years each for swindling investors of millions of dollars.

On OKX TR, users will have access to enhanced localised features, including TRY direct deposits and withdrawals from banking partners Fibabanka, VakifBank, Ziraat Bankasi, Is Bankasi, Sekerbank and Türkiye Finans, Seychelles-headquartered OKX said.

The platform will enable trading in cryptocurrency pairs including USTD/TRY, BTC/TRY and ETH/TRY.

In October last year, OKX commercial chief Lennix Lai told City A.M. that more digital asset exchanges should be made to publish proof of reserves to shore up trust. Crypto exchanges, he said, should be made to prove they can cope with a flood of withdrawals from customers. The comments came as certain regulators tightened the screws on the crypto sector in the wake of the FTX collapse in 2022.