Cryptocurrencies will be recognized as legal tender in the Swiss city of Lugano. According to Michele Foletti, mayor of the City of Lugano, Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), and Lugano’s own LVGA Points currency will be recognized as de-facto currencies.
Cryptocurrencies will be recognized as legal tender in the Swiss 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.
According to Pietro Poretti, the director of the City of Lugano, the decision to accept Bitcoin and Tether as legal tender took 18 months. 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 decision to recognize a cryptocurrency as de-facto money in September advanced the decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, albeit none of the panelists said so explicitly.
Lugano’s history of absorbing technological innovations, according to Poretti, drove the decision to declare cryptocurrencies legal tender.
During the panel, he stated, “Lugano is the economic capital of southern Switzerland and has always been a leader in the creation of new opportunities.”
The city cooperated with Tether and recognized its proprietary stablecoin, USDT, as legal tender alongside Bitcoin to accelerate its blockchain adoption.
“Collaborating with a firm of Tether’s calibre acts as a magnet, attracting other enterprises to Lugano.” 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. He explained that Polygon’s low latency, great scalability, and low cost will allow for seamless settlement of all USDT payments in the city.
This will be especially important given the expected scope of crypto adoption in Lugano.
There has already been a widespread attempt, according to Poretti, to extend bitcoin payments to the public sector. Virtually all public services, including personal and municipal taxes, citizenship fees, access to public infrastructure, and document issuing fees, are already available in cryptocurrency.
In the private sector, a similar level of acceptance is projected. Over 200 firms, according to Poretti, have already built the technology required to accept BTC, USDT, and LVGA payments. Over 5,000 Lugano residents have used the city’s LVGA payment token to pay these businesses in the last month, and have been interacting with the digital wallet on a daily basis.
The city’s intentions to transform into a crypto utopia appear well-thought-out.
Lugano, which has a population of just over 60,000 people, could face a severe labour shortage if it is able to recruit even a percent of the companies it hopes to attract. Tether and Bitfinex have already begun working with Lugano’s three major institutions to promote blockchain and crypto-focused education, according to Ardoino. The two businesses are collaborating with academics to develop curriculums that will assist colleges in producing a workforce that is well-versed in blockchain technology. Ardoino also revealed that the corporations had put aside funding for 500 scholarships to be given to students studying blockchain and cryptography.
“This isn’t a gimmick,” Ardoino explained. “It’s a collection of tangible initiatives to make Lugano the blockchain capital of the world,” says the statement.