Residents of Lugano, the biggest city in Switzerland’s Ticino canton, will soon be able to buy houses, cars, and even pay taxes with bitcoin, Tether (USDT), and Lugano’s own LVGA token.
Bitcoin, Tether Set To Become Legal Payment In Lugano
After El Salvador’s controversial bitcoin experiment, more countries around the world are pushing to adopt the number one cryptocurrency this year.
Speaking during a Thursday live event dubbed “Lugano’s Plan B”, officials from the Swiss city and Tether announced “de facto” bitcoin legalization. This means that businesses and companies in the region will be allowed to pay for goods, services, and taxes in bitcoin, USDT, and LVGA in the near future. However, the Swiss Franc will remain the real legal tender in Lugano.
Cryptocurrencies used as currency by the residents of Lugano will be immediately converted into the local currency by a broker. Lugano, which has an estimated population of 62,000, has teamed up with major stablecoin provider Tether in a bid to make it Europe’s leading crypto hub. Put shortly, Tether and Lugano are looking to showcase real-world use cases for crypto among the locals through their collaboration.
Lugano’s mayor Michele Foletti noted that the city is “investing in its future”. He added that the city is optimistic about the potential of blockchain and the move will help create “a better and more open, transparent and smart city”.
The Swiss city plans to deploy Lightning, a second-layer network for bitcoin, to resolve the scalability barriers of its cryptocurrency infrastructure. Tether will also be creating a major fund to finance blockchain startups and other blockchain-related services in Lugano. Tether will also partner with local universities and various research centers, where it will offer relevant expertise.
A Bitcoin And Blockchain Haven
According to Tether’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Paolo Ardoino, the company envisages Lugano “becoming a model for global adoption” of crypto and its underlying technology.
What’s more, Lugano also intends to utilize clean energy for bitcoin mining.
Switzerland has long proven to be attractive for firms in the cryptocurrency industry, owing to its friendly regulatory environment. While several Switzerland cities and cantons already accept crypto for tax payments, Lugano becomes the very first city in the Alpine country to essentially make bitcoin legal tender.
This comes on the heels of El Salvador adopting bitcoin as a legally recognized currency alongside the US dollar, in global first. El Salvador’s crypto-loving president Nayib Bukele has continued going down the rabbit hole by frequently purchasing BTC, mining bitcoin using the geothermal energy of a volcano, and even building a city dedicated to the flagship cryptocurrency.
Perhaps we can expect more countries to soon follow El Salvador, Lugano into bitcoin.