Lugano, a city in Switzerland, has been in crypto news often in the past few years. The city aims to become Europe’s first Bitcoin capital, although many believed that’s impossible. After a lot of talk with no walk, the city made a big move toward crypto legalization, forming a partnership with Tether to establish Tether, Bitcoin, and its own LGVA points as legal tender in the city.
Even before Lugano, there have been several municipalities in Switzerland that accepted crypto for tax payments. It was clear that cryptos will become legal tender in Switzerland or at least in some of its parts sooner or later, and Lugano made the first move. Similar to the case of El Salvador, Lugano aims to allow all businesses to use cryptocurrencies for daily transactions, not just for tax payments.
A Unique European Case
Last Thursday, a plan B event hosted by Lugano’s mayor, Michele Foletti, it was revealed that this move is the first step toward broader crypto legalization. Of course, nor Lugano or Switzerland will drop the Franc. It remains the primary legal tender, but now, Swiss residents can choose to use Bitcoin or Tether to pay for services and products in Lugano.
The same Plan B event also announced that this year’s Bitcoin World Forum will be held in Lugano. It will take place from October 26 to 28. Lugano is the ninth-largest city in the country with over 62,000 residents. It is in the Italian-speaking part of the country. The fact that this city has made Bitcoin a de facto legal tender in the country speaks volumes of Switzerland’s intentions, and there are already rumors that Lugano’s decision will spread across the country soon.
It would be a major step forward for cryptocurrencies in Europe. Switzerland is known as a financial haven and its neutrality in global matters is surely one of the reasons why Lugano opted for such a move.
Investing in the Future
As mayor Foletti said, the move is essentially investing in Lugano’s future. The city has already implemented blockchain-based solutions via the MyLugano app and the LVGA payments token. Then there’s the Lugano digital franc and the 3Achain blockchain infrastructure which were essentially precursors to the latest decision.
The city’s authorities strongly believe that blockchain is the future of payments. By enabling Bitcoin as legal tender in the city and through the Tether collaboration, Lugano will become a transparent and smart city.
Tether was delighted about the collab. Paolo Arduino, its chief technology officer, says that as the world’s largest stablecoin, Tether envisions a future where businesses of all sizes adopt blockchain solutions to scale their operations and improve the quality of life. Lugano’s citizens will enjoy more transparent and reliable financial day to day services. The city should serve as a blueprint for many others, just like El Salvador served before it.
The move is expected to have major implications in Europe, and will most likely drive other countries to rethink their Bitcoin stance.