Lugano, Switzerland’s southern city, is pushing local businesses to accept Bitcoin and Tether as “de facto” legal tender. This is part of the city’s ongoing efforts to establish itself as Europe’s Bitcoin Capital. Lugano wants to enable its residents to pay taxes, parking tickets, tuition fees, and goods and services with cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.
As such, the Swiss city has joined forces with the issuer of Stablecoin Tether to make Bitcoin, Tether, and LVGA (Lugano’s own crypto/token) as de facto legal tender. The local administration in a statement revealed that an MoU has been signed between Lugano and Tether to encourage the adoption of blockchain technology at a local level. This will allow the citizens to pay taxes and fees in Bitcoin, Tether, or stablecoin based on the Swiss franc. They will work together to achieve the shared goal of boosting the city’s blockchain capabilities and promoting Lugano as a new place for the adoption of blockchain at a European level.
Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s Chief Technical Officer, highlighted that the company has created a three million Swiss-franc fund in partnership with Lugano’s officials. The project will attract talent from the crypto sector to Lugano to help it emerge as a leading blockchain hub in Europe. Ardoino said they want to use these tools, instruments, and currencies to show that it can be put to work in a locally-controlled vibrant environment.
The project will take cryptocurrencies for paying parking tickets, public services, and students’ tuition fees. Ardoino says over 200 shops and businesses are expected to accept crypto payments for their goods and services. It will show the real-world utility of blockchain within the local community. The city intends to convert the digital assets into local fiat via a third-party intermediary.