Stablecoin issuer Tether has recently announced its expansion plans in the Republic of Georgia through a strategic investment in CityPay.io, a popular payment processing company operating across over 600 locations within the country. CityPay.io already provides payment services to a diverse customer base, including renowned names like Wendy’s and Radisson Hotels. Tether aims to further enhance the Georgian payment industry by introducing improved efficiency and convenience.
Georgia has emerged as an attractive destination for cryptocurrency companies, thanks to its progressive regulatory framework. The country’s government aims to leverage this advantage in positioning itself as a global cryptocurrency hub. In 2022, Georgia introduced new crypto regulations, marking a crucial step in the development of a regulatory framework targeting digital businesses and cryptocurrency trading.
In a related development, cryptocurrency exchange Binance established a new blockchain hub in Georgia in March. Referred to as a “Web3 outpost,” the hub seeks to promote the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies within the country. Binance plans to attract talented individuals to Georgia’s blockchain sector, create more employment opportunities, and provide industry education.
Georgia’s developments come as European Union (EU) officials sign the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) framework into law. First introduced in 2020, MiCA aims to create a consistent regulatory framework for crypto assets among EU member states. The regulatory framework is expected to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and is likely to start affecting crypto firms in 2024.
As MiCA was first drafted in 2020, some EU lawmakers believe that a broader framework is necessary in light of the 2022 crypto market crash and high-profile bankruptcies, such as FTX, BlockFi, and Celsius. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has proposed a “MiCA II,” which would build upon the groundwork of the first framework.
Given these developments in Georgia and the European Union, it appears that global jurisdictions are becoming more receptive to the idea of integrating cryptocurrencies into their economies. However, the success of these integration efforts largely depends on the regulatory frameworks adopted by these countries and the willingness of both traditional financial institutions and new-age fintech companies to collaborate in building a secure and efficient financial ecosystem.