Lugano has made Bitcoin and USDT legal tender, aiming to become Switzerland the next crypto utopia
The Swiss city of Lugano has stated that cryptocurrencies would be accepted as legal cash.
Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), and Lugano’s own LVGA Points currency will be recognized as de-facto currencies, according to Michele Foletti, the mayor of the City of Lugano.
The news was made during Lugano’s Plan B event, when city leaders and Tether’s CTO Paolo Ardoino discussed the consequences of the progressive choice.
A crypto paradise has been in the works in Lugano for the past 18 months
According to Pietro Poretti, the director of the City of Lugano, the decision to accept Bitcoin and Tether as legal tender took 18 years to reach. In late 2020, the city began experimenting with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency payments by launching a loyalty program using its own points token, LVGA.
The LVGA coin was used in all transactions on Lugano’s Proof-of-Authority blockchain, which the city established last year.
El Salvador‘s move in September, when the government became the first to recognize a cryptocurrency as de-facto money, accelerated the decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal cash, albeit none of the panelists said so officially.
Poretti said that the decision to make cryptocurrencies legal tender was driven by Lugano’s history of adopting technological developments.
“Lugano is the economic capital of southern Switzerland and has always been a leader in the creation of new opportunities,” he said during the panel.
To speed up its journey to adopt blockchain, the city partnered with Tether and recognized its proprietary stablecoin, USDT, as legal tender alongside Bitcoin.
“Collaborating with a company the caliber of Tether is a magnet that will attract more companies to come to Lugano.”
Companies that want to relocate to Lugano will be able to take advantage of a significant incentive package that the city has put together with the support of Tether.
Tether’s CTO, Paolo Ardoino, said the business collaborated with the city to establish a $100 million incentive fund for entrepreneurs relocating their headquarters and staff to Lugano. Tether will also help build a major startup cluster in the heart of Lugano, which will house tech startups from all around the world.
Polygon was named as Ardoino’s major infrastructure partner in Lugano for supporting stablecoin payments. Polygon is the second-largest network supporting Tether’s USDT stablecoin, after Ethereum.
Polygon’s low latency, high scalability, and low cost will enable seamless settlements of all USDT payments in the city, he explained.
This will be especially significant given the scale of crypto adoption Lugano is expecting to achieve.
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