Tether, the company behind the USDT coin, said it has entered into a partnership agreement with the Georgian government.
According to an official release from Tether and a report from Forklog, the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement with the country's government.
The company will initially create a fund that will provide investments and grants to Georgian startups working in the field of blockchain technology.
The company also plans to “promote” the use of payment systems based on peer-to-peer technologies both in the public administration space and in the private sector.
Georgia's Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Irakli Nadareishvili said Tether was "interested in investing in Georgia".
And Nadareishvili said Tether would help "position Georgia as a country with an attractive ecosystem for tech startups."
The Deputy Minister said:
“We have agreed on a cooperation in the field of education regarding blockchain technology. This will contribute to the development of local blockchain technologies in the country, as well as the introduction of companies operating in this sector in Georgia.
What does Tether hope to achieve in Georgia?
Georgia has had a somewhat mixed relationship with the crypto world over the years.
Cambridge University data from January 2022 indicates that Georgia was only responsible for 0.23% of the global Bitcoin hashrate.
But this statistic seems to mask the fact that few other nations in the world spend more of their national energy consumption on crypto mining.
Mining has been growing in the country - and more broadly in the Central Asia region - since the mid-2010s.
In the winter of 2021, communities across the country began reporting power outages and blackouts, with crypto miners being blamed.
But that hasn't dampened the country's crypto ambitions.
Last year, the country revealed its intention to become a crypto “hub” by adopting EU-inspired regulations.
Tether wrote that the MoU also "highlights" its "commitment to advancing its global strategy of building resilient cities and nations around the world."
Paolo Ardoino, CTO of the company, said:
“Through close collaboration with the government of Georgia, Tether aims to create a thriving environment for the use of peer-to-peer technology. This collaboration [is] a milestone for Tether.
The company has announced plans to "nurture a thriving startup ecosystem in Georgia" and train students in blockchain issues.
In May, Tether entered into a memorandum of understanding with Georgia University of Business and Technology.
The parties agreed to "promote education in the fields of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in Georgia."
With few major international players active in a country that has become increasingly crypto-savvy, Tether may believe it has found an opening in the Central Asian market.