Tether invests in Eastern Europe to scale cryptocurrency payments

The new investment intends to help CityPay.io expand throughout Eastern Europe, notably Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. Tether, the stablecoin powerhouse, is expanding its bets on cryptocurrency adoption in Eastern Europe with an additional investment in CityPay.io, a crypto payment company based in Georgia. 

On May 8, Tether formally announced the injection of more money into CityPay.io, a payment network that allows customers to pay for services at establishments like Wendy’s and Radisson Hotels with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. 

The investment is intended to strengthen CityPay.io’s expansion into Eastern Europe, with a focus on Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. As of May 2024, CityPay.io has over 600 sites in Georgia and intends to provide its own e-wallet and card solutions over the following two years. The company also plans to build more than 500,000 cryptocurrency payment points across the specified geographical locations.

Tether’s recent funding follows its 2023 investment in CityPay.io, which made it one of the world’s first stablecoin corporations to invest in the company.

“Our previous collaboration with CityPay.io yielded exciting results in expanding convenient cryptocurrency use across Georgia,” Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, said. “With this second investment, we aim to build on those results and drive the adoption of cutting-edge technologies that disrupt traditional payment systems.”

CityPay.io and Tether have worked closely together since the stablecoin business revealed its initial financing last year. In October 2023, CityPay.io announced the integration of Tether for payments on Polygon. Tether CEO Ardoino also met with political structures in Georgia in September 2023 as the company expanded its footprint in the country. In June 2023, Tether and the Georgian government signed a memorandum of understanding to build Bitcoin and peer-to-peer infrastructure in Georgia.

Georgia, a former Soviet Union member, has emerged as one of the world’s most crypto-friendly countries, with the local government aiming to transform the country into a major worldwide crypto hub.

Aside from Tether, Georgia has welcomed some prominent cryptocurrency firms, like Binance, which will establish a blockchain hub in the country in 2023. Georgia is well-known for having a large number of Bitcoin ATMs, which enable users to convert cryptocurrency into cash and vice versa. According to CoinATMRadar, Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, currently hosts 132 Bitcoin ATMs.

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