Citizens will be able to use Bitcoin, Tether, and LVGA to pay for taxes, goods, and services.
The City of Lugano is introducing Bitcoin, Tether, and its own LVGA token as legal tender.
Officials from the Swiss city and Tether announced the update, dubbed “Lugano’s Plan B,” in a Thursday live stream , before Tether posted a tweet . Lugano citizens and companies will be able to use Bitcoin, Tether, and LVGA to pay for all goods, services, and taxes “in the near future,” a press release confirmed. When citizens use crypto assets as a currency, the funds will be converted into local fiat via a third party intermediary.
Lugano’s Plan B will see the city and Tether collaborate in hopes of making Lugano a hub for blockchain adoption in Europe. Through the partnership, Lugano and Tether are hoping to demonstrate the real-world utility for blockchain within the local community. The press release said that the collaboration would mark Tether’s “first full-scale urban practical use case.”
The Swiss city is also focusing on helping businesses integrate payments solutions for stablecoins, and it plans to leverage Bitcoin’s Layer 2 Lightning Network to achieve scalability. Lugano and Tether have also committed to several other initiatives, including creating a blockchain company hub and fund for startups. Additionally, Lugano plans to use green energy for Bitcoin mining.
Michele Foletti, Mayor of Lugano, said that the city was “investing in its future” through the partnership. He explained that Lugano strongly believes in blockchain’s potential and that the partnership would help build “a better and more open, transparent and smart city.”
Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology Officer, added that Tether looks forward to Lugano “becoming a model for global adoption” of cryptocurrency technology, remarking that the firm hopes to help all businesses leverage blockchain in the future.
While Lugano is the first Swiss city to announce that it will be using Bitcoin as legal tender, it’s not the first place in the world where crypto assets have been adopted as a form of currency. Miami, led by the prominent Bitcoin enthusiast Francis Suarez, launched a cryptocurrency called MiamiCoin last summer, and El Salvador made history when it officially recognized Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has since doubled down on the top crypto by mining coins from volcanoes, planning a city dedicated to Bitcoin, and repeatedly "buying the dip" on market downturns, but the country's adoption move has faced intense criticism from Salvadoran citizens and officials alike. How Lugano’s crypto play will be received remains to be seen.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.